John Zoltek - Music Director & Conductor


An artist of varied musical interests from classical to jazz and beyond, Maestro Zoltek holds degrees from University of British Columbia (M.M. composition) and Berklee College of Music in Boston (B.M. composition) where he studied both classical and jazz composition graduating with honors. While Berklee he was awarded the prestigious Youth Concerts at Symphony prize for classical composition. He studied conducting with Attilio Poto, a legendary conducting mentor at the Boston Conservatory, and was selected to attend the Pierre Boulez Carnegie Hall Foundation program in New York. He later studied conducting abroad in the Czech Republic. Notable teachers include Zdenek Bilek, Tsung Yeh, Jorma Panula, Kirk Trevor, John Bavicchi and George Monseur.

Orchestras conducted include the National Latvian Symphony Orchestra (Riga), Philharmonic Bohuslav Martinu (Czech Republic), Vancouver CBC Orchestra, Orchestra Now, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra, Vancouver Pro Musica Orchestra and the Altoona Symphony (PA). Zoltek made his European conducting debut with the Philharmonic Bohuslav Martinu in Luhachovice, Czech Republic. He has worked with notable composers Alan Hovhaness, Sofia Gubaidulina, R. Murray Schafer, Stephen Chatman and Mark Armanini. In 2009 he traveled to South America to lead the Orquesta Sinfonica de Guayaquil in Ecuador. Recording credits include three CDs of the symphonic music of Mark Armanini with the National Latvian Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonic Bohuslav Martinu. While living in Seattle he was the Music Director of the Renton Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Zoltek’s music has been performed in the US, Canada, Europe and South America. His recent compositions include: Trumpet Concerto, Clarinet Concerto, Going to the Sun (Fanfare for Orchestra) (that premiered in 2010 for 100th anniversary of Glacier Park) Hemispheres (2007) and Romantic Overture (2007) Processional (2005) and Celestial Lullaby Suite. His violin/piano piece By Dreaming Water was recently premiered by Tim Fain during Festival Amadeus in Whitefish where Polish violinist Kinga Augustyn gave the US premiere of his Rustic Suite for Solo Violin during August of 2014.

A native of Rhode Island, Zoltek began studying guitar at the age of seven in his home town of Woonsocket with traditional jazz master Alvin Pulley whom he studied with for 11 years until age 18. After playing in various rock and jazz groups during his high school years Zoltek auditioned and was excepted into Berklee College, one of his dreams. Thus began his academic career and serious music/artistic pursuits. While studying at Berklee he took a sharp musical turn towards classical composition and more importantly, conducting. While in Boston he studied privately with renowned conducting teacher Attilio Poto at the Boston Conservatory. Maestro Zoltek has been Music Director of the Glacier Symphony and Chorale since the 1996/97. He is creator and Founding Music Director of Festival Amadeus, the GSC’s summer classical music festival established in 2008.