Classical Award-winning Organist to Perform on Historic Instrument
Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present “IN RECITAL” featuring organist Gregory Zelek’s on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in The University of Scranton’s Houlihan-McLean Center. Admission is free and the performance is open to the public.
Zelek performed Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the Miami Symphony Orchestra in 2011 and played Strauss’s Alpine Symphony with the Metropolitan Opera (MET) Orchestra in Carnegie Hall conducted by Semyon Bychkov in 2012. Most recently, Zelek was the organist in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Faust.
Born and raised in Miami, Fla., Zelek is a fourth -year undergraduate organ student at The Juilliard School, and is a student of Paul Jacobs, chairman of Juilliard’s Organ Department. He was the first-prize winner in both the 2012 Rodgers North American Classical Organ Competition and the 2012 West Chester University Organ Competition. He was selected as a 2010 NFAA Young Arts Silver Medal winner, and won first prize, as well as the “Bach Prize,” at the East Carolina University Organ Competition. He was also a prize winner in the Albert Schweitzer National Organ Festival.
Zelek is currently the music intern at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, N.Y., under the direction of John King. A Cuban-American and a native Spanish speaker, Zelek was the music director of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Miami, Fla., and has served as the summer organist for San Pedro Apostol Church in Ramales de la Victoria, Spain.
Zelek will perform on the University’s historic Austin opus #301 symphonic organ, a classic 20th century pre-WWII symphonic organ. The rebuilt instrument contains 3,178 pipes, 45 ranks, and 4 manuals. Cheryl Y. Boga, conductor and director of performance music at the University, served as on-site project manager for the re-building of the organ, a process which – from initial feasibility study, pursuit of funding and research of rebuilders, to contracting, the re-build process itself and completion – took more than a decade. The restoration by Patrick J. Murphy & Associates, Stowe, Pa., was completed in January of 2005, and the instrument was re-dedicated in a recital by Thomas Murray, head of the organ program at Yale University.
According to Boga, Scranton alumni who participated in performance music ensembles during their years at the University have begun a campaign to raise funds to endow the maintenance of the instrument. Contributions toward the fund can be made at www.scranton.edu/givemusic.
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