AYO and National Music Camp 1981

AYO 1983

As a writer, opera singer and festival director Xenia Hanusiak enjoys a diverse international career. She holds a PhD in Literature/Creative Writing, a Master’s degree in classical music performance, a Bachelor of Arts degree (theatre and literature), and a Bachelor or Music. She is an Alumna of the Australian Youth Orchestra, Banff School of Fine Arts (Canada), and Corsi Di Perfezionamento Sulla Musica Del Novecento (Italy).

Xenia creates and directs international festivals, and has commissioned the world’s leading composers. Her most recent festival "Songlines for a New World" made its New York debut for the 2018 Spring Revolution Festival at the visionary National Sawdust. Previous projects include: A thousand doors, a thousand windows (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Venice, Boston, Florence, Singapore, Beijing), MADE IN CHINA (Beijing Music Festival), Earth Songs (Korea, Sydney, Melbourne) and The Garden of Joy and Sorrow, (Melbourne International Arts Festival).

As Churchill Fellow, a State Library of Victoria Creative Fellow, the inaugural arts recipient of a Boston-Melbourne Fellowship and the holder of multiple Australia Council for the Arts awards, Xenia’s honours also include an R. E. Ross Trust award for playwriting. She is a current Global Cultural fellow of the University of Edinburgh International Center for Cultural Relations. Previous fellowships include Columbia University, Peking University, Kookmin University, and Northeastern University (Boston).

Her body of work as a writer for the stage includes "Un_labelled" (a children’s chorus co-written with Elena Kats-Chernin), the libretto "A thousand doors, a thousand windows" (Melbourne International Arts Festival, Venice Biennale), the music-theatre work "Earth Songs" and the dramatic vocal monologue ''The MsTaken Identity'' (Adelaide Festival of Arts/Australian String Quartet). Future projects include two libretti, and a book.

Xenia is a music and opera critic for the London Financial Times, The Log Journal (National Sawdust), and Music and Literature, (USA) among other literary and scholarly journals.

As an operatic soprano, Xenia has given world premiere performances in several countries including Australia, Denmark, Canada, USA, Singapore, Italy, China and Korea. These performances have included works by Kaija Saariaho, John Harbison, Elena Kats-Chernin, Zhang Xiaofu and Cecilia Heejong Kim.

Xenia is committed to the development of international relations and the exchange of ideas through arts and culture. She believes that cultural narratives promote not simply a greater understanding of the arts but an important cognition of a nation’s values and ways of thinking. In diplomatic positions including most recently as Manager of Cultural Relations for the Australian Consulate-General (New York), Xenia continues to create dynamic programs that transcend geographical borders to connect the United States of America, Asia, Europe and Australia for governments, festivals, cultural societies and independent artists.

Xenia’s representational skills in literature, music, museum practice and cultural engagement have led to invitations as a sought-after speaker at events such as the 2017 International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy (United Nations).

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