Christina Rusnak, a Northwest-based contemporary composer and explorer, is passionate about composing about place and the human experience. She works at the intersection of place, nature, culture, and history, and seeks to integrate context into her pieces. The composer also strives to create thought-provoking music that engages both the performers and the audience.
Rusnak crosses genres and her work encompasses chamber, orchestra, wind band, and solo pieces as well as jazz, women’s choir, electro-acoustic works, and film. Composing since age 9, Rusnak’s works have been performed in concert halls and festivals across the country, including the Festival of New American Music, by talented performers and ensembles: Third Angle, Citywater, and Corvus New Music Ensembles, the Chris Klaxton Band, Vocal Luna Women’s Choir, Winona State University Wind Band, the Kiev Philharmonic Orchestra, and Jeffrey Jacob among others.
An avid hiker, and a member of the Landscape Music Composers Network, she has served as Artist in Residence at North Cascades National Park, Homestead National Monument, and the Ansel Adams Wilderness, and has composed works inspired by Denali, Glacier, and many other national and state parks as well. For the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, Rusnak’s Oregon Trail integrated the human experience of indigenous people and the landscape into the historic trail. Rusnak enjoys a diversity of projects. Dallas Contemporary Museum commissioned Rusnak to compose for their new art space, and she was commissioned by Kino-Lorber Films for Pioneers of Women Filmmakers in 2018.
An advocate for music and landscape, her essays have been published in New Music Box, LandscapeMusic.org, and the International Alliance for Women in Music Journal among others.
Rusnak reflects on how composers and performers are “looking at the diverse landscapes in which we live, with their complex human histories and changing values, as the grounds to examine the intersection of place and people—past and present.” (New Music USA 2015-2016 Year in Review). Rusnak serves on the board of the International Alliance of Women in Music. Recordings are available on Navona Records and through Amazon and Naxos.