It seems as though it was fate that brought Cuban-American phenom Greg Zelek to the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Just as an opening for a new player unfolded in the 2016–2017 Overture Concert Organ season, a young Juilliard School of Music student performed at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This concert happened to be attended by a member of the Friends of the Overture Concert Organ, who immediately contacted and urged Samuel Hutchison, first curator of the Klais, to book the 23-year-old organist. The two hit it off at once, and Hutchison was as impressed as audiences and critics had been everywhere Zelek performed. Therefore, when the only two “municipal organist” positions in the U.S. opened up and Zelek contacted Hutchison for a reference letter, Hutchison instead encouraged Zelek to apply for his job as he had just announced his retirement.
Today, Zelek still marvels at the contrast between Madison and New York City. “When I was living and studying in New York, there were hundreds of churches and cathedrals with incredible organs — and great organists would play and sometimes draw only a few hundred to hear them. Here I am in Madison, with a population a fraction of New York’s, and our Overture organ series draws a thousand or more every single time.”
You can experience Greg as the featured artist in our season-opening symphony concerts, “Love, Lust & Redemption,” September 27–29.
Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to our 2019–2020 Symphony Season!
For anyone who would like to become a new subscriber — subscriptions start at $60 for 5 concerts! Learn more about our 2019–2020 Symphony Season.