Free Public Organ Recital with Greg Zelek

Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Location: Sanctuary, 203 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison, WI US 53703

Coordinator: Ross Cowing |

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Organ Recital and Meet the Artist

Greg Zelek Featured at Free Public Recital

The Principal Organist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Curator of the Overture Concert Organ and Series, Greg Zelek, will present a free public organ recital on Tuesday, November 14, at 7 p.m. at First Church. The evening’s program will include works by Bach, Mendelssohn and Guilmant. A public reception in Fellowship Hall will follow the recital where people can share their thoughts about the program and meet the artist.

Zelek relishes the creative aspect of playing the organ. Because no two instruments are alike, every time he sits down at a new console he reinvents the repertoire that he has played thousands of times for that specific instrument and that specific space. He says, “It gives me the opportunity to be as creative as possible when it comes to the selecting of different sounds and colors for each individual instrument and composition.”
The First Church organ console, as well as the one at the Overture Center, is in front of the audience, offering the organist opportunities to interact and engage with them. “I speak to the audience in between pieces,” Zelek explains. “Having a greater understanding of the music sheds light onto its immense beauty and enhances the listener’s appreciation of the performance. The organ is also such a physical instrument. When the audience can see what the organist is doing, it draws everybody in. There is so much going on. It’s not just the hands and the feet, but also the different buttons we’re pushing and sounds we’re generating from the instrument. It is a full body workout when I play! The audience should never be bored.”

Zelek’s recital is part of the 180th anniversary celebration of First Church as well as the 25th anniversary of its Austin organ. Admission for the recital is free with donation envelopes available to support The Arts program at First Church. The church has a deep tradition in featuring varied musical offerings and provides much needed rehearsal and performing space for local music and performing arts groups.