Organ & Cello
Tues., Apr. 16, 2019
Beethoven: 7 Variations from Mozart’s The Magic Flute
Debussy: Beau Soir
Bach: Prelude from Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
Bach: “Fiddle” Fugue in D minor, BWV 539
Tchaikovsky: Pezzo Capriccioso, Op. 62
Widor: Toccata from Symphony for Organ, No. 5, Op. 42
Thomas Mesa, Cello
Greg Zelek, Organ
Cuban-American cellist, Thomas Mesa, has quickly established himself as one of the most charismatic performers of his generation. He joins me in a concert of arrangements of music for cello and organ, including Tchaikovsky’s flashy Pezzo Capriccioso, that will demonstrate Thomas’ tremendous virtuosity, as well as the versatility of the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s great Overture Concert Organ.
– Greg Zelek
About Thomas Mesa
Thomas Mesa, Cuban-American cellist, is the winner of the 2017 Astral Artists Auditions and the 2016 Sphinx Competition. He has performed in a wide variety of solo engagements across the United States including with The Cleveland Orchestra and the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl as well as at the Mainly Mozart Festival, Carnegie Hall, The Supreme Court of the United States, and at the International Beethoven Project.
As an enthusiastic interpreter of music for choir and cello, Mr. Mesa was one of the featured instrumentalists on The Crossing Choir’s album called “Bonhoeffer” that was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2017. As a chamber musician, Mr. Mesa has toured with Itzhak Perlman both nationally and internationally and is a member of St. Petersburg Piano Quartet who are in high demand for the most important series in America.
Mr. Mesa received his Bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School and his Master’s degree from Northwestern University where he was the recipient of the Richard and Helen Thomas Fellowship and Graduate Program Honors for extraordinary contributions to the String Department. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
“A listener with closed eyes would have been hard pressed to distinguish the 26-year-old’s (Thomas Mesa) shapely, expressive performance with that of another gifted artist two or three times his age.”
– The Plain Dealer
About Greg Zelek
Praised for his “effortless facility on the instrument” (South Florida Classical Review), Greg Zelek (26) is increasingly recognized as one of the most exciting young organists in the American organ scene. Greg has been the Principal Organist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Curator of the Overture Concert Organ Series since September 2017. Greg holds the Wayne Curtis & Maybelle Slavens Hall and Francis Vincent & Lettie von Kalweit Dunnebacke Curatorship, which is endowed by anonymous friends of the Symphony.
In addition to concertizing throughout the United States and with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Greg regularly performs with orchestras as both a soloist and professional ensemble member. In 2017, he performed with the Florida Orchestra and was the featured guest soloist with the Ridgewood Symphony in 2016. Greg 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 under Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2012, Greg 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.
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. A native of Miami, Florida, Greg was most recently the Music Director and Organist at the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in New York City. Greg, who is Cuban-American and a native Spanish speaker, 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.
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