John Zoltek

A native of Rhode Island, Zoltek began studying guitar at the age of seven with traditional jazz master Alvin Pulley whom he studied with for 11 years. After playing in various rock and jazz groups during his high school years, Zoltek auditioned and was accepted into the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. This began his academic life and serious career path in music.

Although Zoltek has immersed himself in the symphonic music world and his work with the Glacier Symphony he still keeps active as a guitarist and composer. He has written a number of orchestral works for and premiered by the Glacier Symphony as well as orchestras in Canada and South America. He also has various chamber pieces and original jazz/fusion compositions to his credit. Select orchestra compositions pieces include: Trumpet Concerto; Concerto Rustica; Going to the Sun- Fanfare for Orchestra (composed for the 100th anniversary of Glacier Park in 2010); Hemispheres and Romantic Overture (2007); Processional (2005); and Celestial Lullaby Suite (1994). Chamber pieces By Dreaming Water for violin and piano was premiered by violinist Tim Fain and Polish violinist Kinga Augustyn gave the premiere of his Rustic Suite for Solo Violin, both during Festival Amadeus.

Maestro Zoltek earned degrees from the University of British Columbia (M.M. composition) and Berklee College of Music, (B.M. composition), where he studied both classical and jazz styles graduating with honors. At Berklee he was awarded the prestigious Youth Concerts at Symphony prize for classical composition for his Sonata for Cello and Piano. He studied conducting privately with Attilio Poto, a legendary conducting mentor at the Boston Conservatory. He was also 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, George Monseur and Elliot Weisgarber.

Orchestras conducted include the National Latvian Symphony Orchestra (Riga, LV), Philharmonic Bohuslav Martinu (CZK), 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 was invited to South America to lead the Orquesta Sinfonica de Guayaquil in Ecuador.

Recent activities include conducting the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra during their Global Soundscapes Festival in Canada (6/18). In August Maestro Zoltek traveled to Amsterdam (NL), to conduct the recently formed AU Ensemble in a concert of new music by Canadian composers Rita Ueda and Mark Armanini. In September he again led the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra in Winnipeg, Manitoba. 2019/20 marks his 23rd season as Music Director.

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