The reviews are in and our 19–20 season premiere concerts, Love, Lust & Redemption, were a hit! Read more about our September 27–29 performances featuring Principal Organist Greg Zelek below.

Matt Ambrosio / Capital Times

“The work’s varied textures and tricky musical figures make this overture quite taxing on an orchestra. But the MSO performed exceptionally well, particularly the violin section, who remained in lockstep through twisting figures and difficult rhythms. Notably, Suzanne Beia, who took the helm of concert master for the evening, gave great expressivity to the violin solo in the middle of the work.”

“The sonic effect of the organ was matched by the visual show of virtuosity. This was especially true of the work’s “look mom, no hands” cadenza, where Zelek’s hands were relegated to stabilizing his body as his feat danced around his foot pedals, making for a standout moment that was alone worth the price of admission. A gracious performer, Zelek gave an equally impressive encore that closed the first act of the concert with a bang.”

“Likely representing the Faun, the flute features prominently in this work, especially the delicious opening solo arabesque melody, which was performed beautifully by principal flautist Stephanie Jutt. As the piece progresses, varied orchestral ensembles form a variety of lush sonorities, which whisk around the concert hall, an effect only produced by a live performance.”

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Bill Wineke / Channel 3000

“The guest artist for the concerts is Greg Zelek, the symphony’s organist, playing the Overture Concert Organ and he figuratively blew the place apart.”

“The Toccata Zelek played drew on every virtuoso talent the organist possesses, including something of a mini-performance played only on the foot pedals.”

“The orchestra didn’t disappoint. It seems in peak condition this fall, as does conductor John DeMain, who is beginning his 26th season with the MSO this weekend…”

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Greg Hettmansberger / What Greg Says

“Zelek, not surprisingly was the master of all required of him, including an extended section for just the pedals. It was a treat to once again see the organ front and center and be able to watch Zelek flit and stab at the stops in the blink of an eye, and work some dynamic magic when given the chance.”

“With a barely perceptible nod from DeMain, principal flutist Stephanie Jutt embarked on probably the most famous flute solo in the orchestral repertoire, and of course, even after the orchestra slips in, she gets plenty more time in the spotlight. Her tone and shaping of the languorous phrases were in top-drawer form. All the adjectives a critic would hope to use were in evidence: gauzy, wispy, shimmering, et al.”

“Clarinetist J.J. Koh, who had already had numerous moments to shine, continued to lead a luminous woodwind section, and the brasses, particularly the lower ones, were a thorough delight.”

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Jake Stockinger / The Well-Tempered Ear

“The virtuosic Zelek is simply so good that he managed to turn a second-rate piece by Samuel Barber into a first-rate crowd-pleaser that brought huge applause and a long standing ovation, then an encore and another standing ovation.”

“The balance among various sections proved ideal at expressing subtlety. You could hear everything combining to make a distinctive and atmospheric tonal color.”

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