KATHARINE PETKOVSKI (b. 1997) is a composer and pianist based in Toronto, Canada. Featured on CBC’s list of “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30”, her music has been performed and premiered by celebrated ensembles such as the Bedford Trio, Odin Quartet, and the Exultate Chamber Singers. Awarded the NDSU Edwin Fissinger Choral Composition Prize, and selected as the winner of the Bedford Trio Composition Competition, Katharine’s music spans multiple disciplines, and is especially passionate about creating music for visual media, scoring films that have shown at the Vancouver International Film Festival, Atlantic International Film Festival, San Francisco Indie Short Festival, TIFF Next Wave Film Festival, and Inside Out Film Festival.

Katharine holds a BMus in Composition from the University of Toronto (’19), and a MMus in Composition from the University of Toronto (’21), where she received the prestigious Tecumseh Sherman Rogers Graduating Award of $25,000 upon completion. She has been mentored by esteemed composers like James Rolfe, Norbert Palej, and Derek Bermel, and has had the opportunity to work with artists such as JACK Quartet and musica intima. She is an active member of the Screen Composer’s Guild of Canada, the Association of Canadian Women Composers, the Alliance for Women Film Composers, and the Canadian League of Composers.

When Music Sounds

by Katharine Petkovski

SATB a cappella – CP 2336 – duration 2:45

This is the first place winner of the Choral Canada Composition Competition, 2024 – the Diane Loomer Award.

When Music Sounds is a setting of the poem “Music” by Walter de la Mare (1873-1956). With hints of nostalgia injected in its folk-like tune, the piece is an appreciation and celebration of the beauty and wonder of music. Inspired by great works like The Road Home by Stephen Paulus and Requiem: In Remembrance by Eleanor Daley, this piece serves as a reminder of the connection that music brings, spanning generations and travelling across space and time.


When Music Sounds was composed during the pandemic, a time of isolation, uncertainty, and despair. With the world put on an indefinite hold, there was a collective doubt about our future. The solitude brought introspection for many, and loneliness, too. In this darkness, we are reminded that where there is music, there is hope. Music has the rare ability to move and connect us all, wherever we are in our life, whatever we are going through. When we pass on this message, we feel our spirits lighter and the lives of those around us transformed. I believe that When Music Sounds fits well within the 2024 NYCC programme theme. The concept of heritage, of passing on from one generation to another, is central to the piece’s theme. When Music Sounds serves as a reminder that music is a powerful mode of connection, forming social closeness and familiar bonds, and is a powerful tool that can bring individuals together and promote trust, empathy, and a sense of belonging and shared experience.