John Gauder

Praised as “extraordinary in the classical music world” (Jon Hornbacher, PBS Wisconsin Life) and a “musical star” (Bill Wineke, Channel 3000), Greg Zelek (29) is the Principal Organist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra and Curator of the Overture Concert Organ, where he oversees all of the MSO's organ programming. Since September 2017, Greg has proudly held the Elaine and Nicholas Mischler Curatorship. 

Greg concertizes with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and throughout the United States. In addition, Greg regularly performs with orchestras as both a soloist and professional ensemble member. Highlights of the upcoming 2019–2020 season include three performances of Barber’s Toccata Festiva with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, recitals at the Oregon Bach Festival and the Kimmel Center in Verizon Hall, a return appearance with the Jacksonville Symphony as the featured guest soloist, as well as performances at venues in Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and Kentucky. Greg will also collaborate in a number of concerts with fellow Juilliard alum and cellist Thomas Mesa. Most recently, Greg was featured with the Jacksonville Symphony, performed with the Florida Orchestra and was the featured guest soloist with the Ridgewood Symphony. 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 conducted by 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.

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 (where he was also awarded the “Bach Prize”). Greg was selected as a 2010 NFAA YoungArts Silver Medal Winner and was a prizewinner in the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival. Most recently, Greg was the Audience Prize winner and finalist in the 2016 Longwood Gardens International 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. Before moving to Madison, Greg was most recently the Music Director and Organist at the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew and St. Timothy in New York City. A Cuban-American and native Spanish speaker from Miami, FL, Greg 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.