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Music Director & Conductor

Music Director & Conductor

John Zoltek is an accomplished conductor and composer whose innovative programming and dynamic performances have earned him accolades and notoriety as an important cultural asset to our community. His contribution to the success of the musical arts continues to have significant impact with regard to the advancement of symphonic music in Montana. Zoltek, currently in his 14th season, continues to help guide the GSC towards significant artistic and organizational development. He is an engaging and inspirational performer, an active composer and an innovative concert programmer treat- ing audiences to a wide range of symphonic, world music, and pops repertoire in addition to performances of his own works. Under Zoltek’s artistic leadership, the Glacier Symphony continues to perform dynamically inspired concerts of a wide range of repertoire at an artistic caliber not often found in regional community based orchestras. John is founding director of Festival Amadeus, currently in its 4th season – an accomplishment of which he is especially proud.

A musician of varied musical interests, Zoltek’s conducting experience had led him to many places and interesting projects. From his travels to Riga, Latvia, where he led the National Latvian Symphony Orchestra in recording sessions with solo- ists from China and Vietnam playing traditional folk instru- ments, to his performances with the Vancouver CBC Orches- tra at the International Du Maurier Jazz Festival where he premiered three works by Canadian composers, all of which featured solo improvisations, to his recent work with the combined forces of the progressive Now Orchestra and the world music ensemble Vancouver Inter Cultural Orchestra. Zoltek has worked with notable composers including Sofia Gubaidulina, R. Murray Schafer and Alan Hovhaness.

Maestro Zoltek was born in Rhode Island and began studying both piano and guitar at the age of 7. He was fascinated when first hearing the Rhode Island Philharmonic in an elementary school concert. Thus began his life long pursuit of music and conducting and his fascination with the orchestra and great music. John Zoltek holds degrees in composi- tion from The University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Masters of Music) and Berklee College of Music in Boston, (Bachelor of Music, Cum Laude). While attending Berklee he studied both classical and jazz composition and was awarded the prestigious “Youth Concerts at Symphony” prize for classical composition. He was also awarded the Paul Jones Bursary Scholarship. He studied conducting privately with Attilio Poto a legendary conducting mentor at the Boston Conservatory. He was selected to attend the Pierre Boulez Carnegie Hall Foundation program in New York for composers and conductors and has twice attended the Inter- national Conductor’s Workshop in Zlin, Czech Republic. As a clinician he has conducted the Southwestern Honors Orchestra in Knoxville, Tennessee. Notable teachers include Alvin Pulley, Kirk Trevor, Zdenek Bilek, Tsung Yeh, Jorma Panula, John Bavicchi and George Monseur.

Recent orchestras conducted include: Vancouver CBC Orchestra (CN), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra (CZ), National Latvian Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Now (CN), Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra and the Altoona Symphony (PA). Zoltek made his European conducting debut with the Philharmonic Bohuslav Martinu in Luhachovice, Czech Republic. Mr. Zoltek appears as conductor with that same orchestra on “The Spirit Emerges”, a CD featuring music of Canadian composer Mark Armanini. More recently, Zoltek appears as conductor of the Latvian National Sym- phony Orchestra on a Centerdiscs CD “Rain in the Forest, a collection of diverse concerti for Asian instruments and sym- phony orchestra composed by Armanini. Other recordings include: The Music of Diane Thome on the Opus One label and five live CD concert recordings of the Montana Summer Symphony where he conducts the music of Rossini and Dvorak and others. He recently traveled to South America to lead the Orquesta Sinfonica de Guayaquil of Ecuador. His latest working “Going To The Sun” was premiered this past July by the Glacier Symphony in recognition of the Glacier Park Centennial celebration.

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