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Fri., Sept. 27, 2019
7:30 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 28, 2019
8:00 p.m.

Sun., Sept. 29, 2019
2:30 p.m.

Music Program:
Wagner | Tannhäuser: Overture and Venusberg Music
BarberToccata Festiva
Debussy | Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Dvořák | Symphony No. 7

John DeMain, Conductor
Grek Zelek, Organ

Read the Program Notes
Click here to read.

Prelude Discussion
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 Tannhäuser 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


Buy single tickets

Overture Center Box Office
201 State St.
Single Tickets: (608) 258-4141
Ticket Office Hours:
Mon. – Fri., 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sat. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Additional hours on Sunday event days.

It’s quick, easy and secure.

New Subscribers

Renewing Subscribers

(608) 257-3734
Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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


Major funding provided by


Diane Ballweg


Carla and Fernando Alvarado 


Elaine and Nicholas Mischler 

Additional funding provided by


Jane Hamblen and
Robert Lemanske


James and Joan Johnston


Skofronick Family
Charitable Trust


von Briesen & Roper, s.c.

with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts


Event Category:


Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703 United States