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Madison Symphony organist to give free recital

November 3, 2017 GMT

Madison Symphony Orchestra’s new principal organist and organ curator, Greg Zelek, will perform a free public organ recital on Nov. 14 as part of the 180th anniversary celebration of the First United Methodist Church as well as the 25th anniversary of the church’s Austin organ.

Zelek’s performance will begin at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Ave., and will feature work by Bach, Mendelssohn and Guilmant.

A meet and greet reception will follow the recital. Audiences are encouraged to stay, converse about the program and take the opportunity to meet Zelek.

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In a statement Zelek spoke of the importance of engaging with the audience.

“I speak to the audience in between pieces,” he said in the statement. “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 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 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.”

While the recital is free to attend, donation envelopes will be available. Donations will support the church’s arts programming.