A Visionary Conductor
American conductor Gregory Wolynec is realizing an impressive achievement for orchestral excellence. Merging his passion for energetic and captivating performances with a committed ensemble of world-class artists, he founded and has led the Gateway Chamber Orchestra since 2008. In the short span of years, they have developed pioneering approaches to programming and audience engagement recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, been featured on a GRAMMY award-winning recording and expanded the performance season to serve multiple communities throughout Tennessee. Wolynec has positioned the Gateway Chamber Orchestra to become the model that more communities seek: one that keenly assesses and then fulfills its community's cultural needs, taking music into the community and surrounding region via innovative venues and multi-media programs. Wolynec fosters a unique approach within the ensemble where the skills of each musician are able to be heard, the true character of a chamber orchestra.
Capitalizing on the Gateway Chamber Orchestra’s celebrated approach to works by classical master Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolynec launched America’s Haydn Festival in 2019 with multiple programs dedicated to the father of the string quartet and the symphony. He has spearheaded the creation of the Sounds of Home Chorus that brings together active duty military, veterans and their families in the shared art of music making as at outlet for expression, opportunity for socialization and vehicle for healing. He has also pioneered the casual BBQ, Brews and Beethoven series of performances in unusual settings to better engage new listeners. Wolynec has conducted and overseen three recordings with the GCO. Two of the recordings, Wind Serenades and Chamber Symphonies (Summit Records in SACD format), received GRAMMY nominations for audio engineer Blanton Alspaugh and Chamber Symphonies garnered a GRAMMY (Classical Producer) in 2013 for Alspaugh. The third recording, Reinecke: Cello Concerto with emerging soloist and Gateway principal player Michael Samis, was picked up by Delos in 2014. All recordings have received critical acclaim in the American Record Guide, Fanfare, The Instrumentalist and additional online sites and have been featured on numerous public radio broadcasts in the United States and abroad.
A Creative Director
Wolynec focuses programming on sharing rediscovered musical gems, collaborating with contemporary composers, and delivering distinctive readings of classic works. Performances have been touted as "world class," "flawless," and "big, bold, American." Wolynec has been praised for his interpretations by a diverse list of leading American composers including Lee Hoiby, Conni Ellisor, Jeffrey Wood, Cristina Spinei and Kareem Roustom. He has also collaborated with internationally acclaimed soloists such as flutist William Bennett, clarinetist Charles Neidich and pianist Jeffrey Biegel as well as principal players from the world's leading orchestras such as the Pittsburgh Symphony's Lorna McGhee, flute and Los Angeles Philharmonic's Boris Allakhverdyan, clarinet. This vision also includes innovative family concert collaborations with visual artists, authors, and other collaborators with the orchestra to reach new audiences and listeners.
A Dedicated Educator
Since 2003, Wolynec has served as a professor of conducting at Austin Peay State University, where he oversees the graduate program in Instrumental Conducting and directs the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Opera Theatre performances. He holds degrees from SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music and Michigan State University. The sole musical recipient of a Fulbright Grant in the 2001-2002 academic year to Prague, Czech Republic, Wolynec studied conducting at the Prague Conservatory. His success there resulted in an acclaimed performance of Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun" with the Karlovy Vary Symphony.