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    Organ Virtuoso to Perform Oct. 12 Recital

    Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present a recital by acclaimed organist Greg Zelek on Friday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the Houlihan-McLean Center. Admission is free.
    October 3, 2018

    On Friday, Oct. 12, Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present a recital by acclaimed organist Greg Zelek. The recital will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the University’s Houlihan-McLean Center, Mulberry Street and Jefferson Avenue. Admission is free, with seating on a first-come, first-seated basis.

    The recital was originally to be performed by Australian organist Alessandro Pittorino, but international travel complications interfered with his scheduled appearance.

    Zelek will perform on the University’s fully restored Austin Opus 301 organ. Performance Music Conductor and Director Cheryl Y. Boga said she’s very impressed with the 27-year-old organist, who played at Scranton a few years ago as a student of Paul Jacobs at The Juilliard School.

    “We’re very fortunate to have him return,” said Boga, noting she first met Zelek through her friendship with acclaimed organist David Ball. “Greg is one of the most accomplished young organists around.”

    Praised as “extraordinary in the classical music world” (Jon Hornbacher, PBS Wisconsin Life), Zelek is the principal organist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and curator of the Overture Concert Organ Series. Since September 2017, he has held the Wayne Curtis and Maybelle Slavens Hall and Francis Vincent and Lettie von Kalweit Dunnebacke Curatorship, which is endowed by anonymous friends of the Symphony.

    Zelek concertizes with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and throughout the United States. In addition, he regularly performs with orchestras as both a soloist and professional ensemble member. Highlights of the upcoming 2018–2019 season include recitals at the Abingdon Arts Series in Virginia and Wingate University in North Carolina, as well as performances at venues in Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Houston, and New York City. Zelek will also be the featured organist with the Jacksonville Symphony in October. In 2017, he performed with the Florida Orchestra and was the featured guest soloist with the Ridgewood Symphony in 2016. He was the organist in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2014 production of Faust. He also performed twice that year with the New World Symphony, including in a performance of Lukas Foss’s Phorion conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2012, Zelek played Strauss’s Alpine Symphony with the MET Orchestra in Carnegie Hall conducted by Semyon Bychkov and performed Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the Miami Symphony Orchestra in 2011.

    In 2016, Zelek was chosen by The Diapason magazine as one of the top “20 Under 30” organists, a feature which selects the most successful young artists in the field. He was the First Prize winner in the 2012 Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition, the 2012 West Chester University Organ Competition and the 2010 East Carolina University Organ Competition (where he was also awarded the “Bach Prize”). He was selected as a 2010 NFAA YoungArts Silver Medal Winner and was a prize winner in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival. Most recently, he was the Audience Prize winner and finalist in the 2016 Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition.

    A recipient of the inaugural Kovner Fellowship, Zelek received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as an artist diploma, from the Juilliard School as a student of Paul Jacobs. Before moving to Madison, Zelek was most recently the music director and organist at the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in New York City. A Cuban-American and native Spanish speaker from Miami, Florida, Zelek became the music director and organist of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Miami at age 15, and has served as the summer organist for San Pedro Apostol Church in Ramales de la Victoria, Spain.

    Built in 1910, the University’s 3,178-pipe Austin Opus 301 organ is one of very few authentic examples of a fully restored early 20th-century American symphonic organ. Since the organ's restoration and re-dedication in 2006, Performance Music has hosted numerous recitals by internationally renowned organists, student ensemble performances of significant instrumental and choral works with organ accompaniment, and even a national radio broadcast featuring the instrument.

    For further information on the recital, call 570-941-7624, email music@scranton.edu or visit scranton.edu/music. For more information on Zelek, visit gregzelek.com.

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