Joseph Ripka

Joseph Ripka has earned national and international recognition as one of today’s finest young organ talents as the first prize winner of the 2008 Dublin International Organ Competition, the 2008 Fort Wayne National Organ Competition and the 2008 San Marino/Elizabeth Elftman National Organ Competition.

Joseph is in demand as a concert organist and has performed recitals throughout the United States. He received high praise in a review from the Boston Musical Intelligencer for his performance at Holy Cross College in Worcester Massachusetts on the renowned Taylor and Boody Opus 9 instrument. Joseph has performed with the New World Symphony, the Boston Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra under conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Benjamin Zander, and Alan Gilbert. Mr. Ripka’s recitals have been aired on American Public Media’s Pipedreams several times; he was invited by Michael Barone to be the featured artist for the 25th anniversary celebration of Pipedreams in 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During the summer of 2009, Joseph made his European concert debut with recitals at St. Sulpice in Paris, Bavo Kerk in Haarlem, Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, and Hooglandse Kerk in Leiden, Netherlands. Joseph has since played recitals at Westminster Cathedral in London, St. Michael’s Church in Dun Laoghaire, St Paul’s Cathedral in London, St Columb’s Cathedral in Derry, Noorderkerk in Amsterdam, and many more. Mr. Ripka is also a performing pianist, concertizing frequently with his wife violinist Erin Kathryn Ripka as the Ripka Duo.

Mr. Ripka received the prestigious Artist Diploma in organ from the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with James David Christie. He holds Master of Music degrees in piano and organ performance from the University of Kansas and Bachelor of Music degrees in piano and performance from Saint Cloud State University, MN. His previous teachers include James Higdon, Charles Echols, Jack Winerock, Carmen Wilhite, and Yakov Gelfand. He has coached with Olivier Latry, Marie Claire Alain, Wilma Jensen, Jean-Baptiste Robin, John Scott, and Phillipe Lefebvre.

Mr. Ripka is organist and choirmaster at Calvary Church (Episcopal) in Stonington, CT and artistic director of Calvary Music School. He was previously organ scholar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Fairfield, Connecticut, organist/choirmaster at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, and organist/choir director at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Parma, OH. During the 2006-2007 academic year, Joseph served on the piano faculty at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. Joseph was invited to serve as a jurist for the 2010 L. Cameron Johnson Memorial Competition for high school organ students and the North American round of the 2009 Tariverdiev International Organ Competition.

Joseph recently completed further graduate studies at the Yale Institute of Sacred music, where he studied organ with Martin Jean and organ improvisation with Jeff Brillhart. At Yale, he was the recipient of the Robert Baker stipend, which is given to a student deemed to be among the top 1 or 2 percent of the young organists in the country, the 2010 Charles Ives Prize by the Yale School of Music as the most outstanding organ student, the 2010 Mary Baker scholarship in organ accompanying by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and the 2011 Alumni Prize awarded by the Yale School of Music.

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