Fri., Sept. 27, 2019
Sat., Sept. 28, 2019
Sun., Sept. 29, 2019
Wagner | Tannhäuser: Overture and Venusberg Music
Barber | Toccata Festiva
Debussy | Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Dvořák | Symphony No. 7
John DeMain, Conductor
Grek Zelek, Organ
Read the Program Notes
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Enjoy a 30-minute talk by Randal Swiggum starting one hour before each concert in Overture Hall. Free to ticketholders.
Wagner and Debussy explored tonal sensuality, and Dvořák prayed that his paean to the Czech nation would “move the world” (it did). But Barber’s powerful Toccata will move you in Greg Zelek’s masterful performance on the Colossal Klais.
“Our opening concert is both festive and gorgeously romantic as we present our star organist Greg Zelek in his MSO concerto debut, playing Barber’s Toccata Festiva. We open with one of the most beautiful overtures ever written, Wagner’s Tannhauser Overture and after intermission the great seventh symphony of Dvořák. In between is the little jewel by Debussy, his quintessential impressionistic masterpiece, Afternoon of a Faun. All are favorites of mine, and I look forward to making them favorites of yours, if they are’t already. Doesn’t this sound like a perfect way to begin our season?” – John DeMain
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Madison Symphony Orchestra
222 W. Washington Ave. Suite 460
Madison, WI 53703
About Greg Zelek
Praised as “extraordinary in the classical music world” (Jon Hornbacher, PBS Wisconsin Life), Greg Zelek has been the Principal Organist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Curator of the Overture Concert Organ Series since September 2017. In addition to concertizing throughout the United States, Greg regularly performs with orchestras as both a soloist and professional ensemble member, including the Florida Orchestra, Ridgewood Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, MET Orchestra, and Miami Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, Greg 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. A recipient of the inaugural Kovner Fellowship, Greg received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, as well as an Artist Diploma, from the Juilliard School as a student of Paul Jacobs.
Our Orchestra is truly top notch — and when they play, you get the feeling that it is not just their job, it’s their passion. – John DeMain
‘Tis great when you can showcase our own talent! – MSO Subscriber
Zelek brings all the requisite qualities . . . he could charm an audience with his repartee as well as his repertoire. – Greg Hettmansberger
THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS
Major funding provided by
Carla and Fernando Alvarado
Elaine and Nicholas Mischler
Additional funding provided by
Jane Hamblen and
James and Joan Johnston
von Briesen & Roper, s.c.
with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts