Hailed as “un jeune chef très talentueux” by Radio-Canada, Kevin Zakresky is a choral and orchestral conductor living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has recently been appointed Touring Conductor of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, a company that has seen him conduct orchestras throughout North America, South America and Europe.
In the Spring of 2016 the Zelda Symphony brought him to London to conduct the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra (in Wembley Arena) as well as Montreal, Philadelphia, Columbus, San Antonio, Charlottesville, Miami, Fresno, Vancouver, Calgary (with the Calgary Philharmonic) and Edmonton. 2017 dates bring him to many more cities including Santiago (Chile), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Birmingham (UK), Toronto, Dublin, San Fransisco, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. He will also guest conduct the Fort Worth Symphony in a performance of rePlay: Symphony of Heroes.
He is the past Music Director of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and Pacifica Singers (an ensemble affiliated with the Vancouver Chamber Choir) and has recently conducted the St Louis Symphony, Sudbury Symphony, and West Coast Symphony. Fall of 2016 saw him guest conduct the Vancouver Chamber Choir in two concerts: Festiva! in November and The Christmas Story in December.
In August 2017 Zakresky launched Players and Singers, a Vancouver-based ensemble that performs dramatic choral, orchestral and operatic works. Players and Singers will present John Blow's Venus and Adonis in January 2018 and Gian Carlo Menotti's The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore in June 2018.
During his tenure with the Prince George Symphony Zakresky presented soloists Jane Coop in Schumann’s Piano Concerto, and violinist Dale Barltrop in Ravel’s Tzigane and Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending. The Prince George Citizen called his performance of Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Vancouver Chamber Choir “the best show the PGSO had ever done... a rare and breathtaking night.” He also conducted symphonies by Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn, and premiered twelve works by young British Columbia composers. Another highlight of his time in Prince George was the establishment of a partnership between the Orchestra and the Khat’san First Nation drummers.
In December 2013 Zakresky made his CBC/Radio-Canada broadcast debut, conducting Monteverdi, with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, a performance held at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre. In the summer of 2014 Zakresky worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London on an informal mentoring project; he returned to London in August of 2015 for another residency with the BBC.
Zakresky received a Doctoral degree in Choral Conducting at Yale University in February 2012; his degree recital featured Cherubini’s rarely-programmed Requiem for male voices and orchestra. At Yale he won the prestigious Aidan Kavanagh Prize for Distinguished Intellectual Achievement, and was director of the University Chapel Choir and assistant conductor of the Yale Camerata. His major teachers were Marguerite Brooks and Simon Carrington, and he coached with Helmut Riling and Stephen Layton. Before studying at Yale he completed a master’s degree in conducting at the University of British Columbia, studying with Bruce Pullan.
He regularly offers master classes and workshops in Western Canada and is a recent winner of the BC Choral Federation’s Youth Music Award. From 2010 to 2012 he was assistant conductor of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, and the Founder-Director of Chor Leoni’s “MYVoice” program, a choral experience for young men in the Lower Mainland.
He is a past member of the faculty of the innovative Vancouver International Song Institute, served on the faculty of the BC Choral Federation’s Choral Directorship Course, and has held teaching positions at Douglas College and Simon Fraser University.
Since 2013 Zakresky has taught voice and music history at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music, in addition to directing their choral ensembles. He has sung in the Festivale de due mondi in Spoleto, Italy, volunteered for Musicians without Borders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and led choral workshops and clinics in Hong Kong.
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Kevin Zakresky - Conductor
Hailed as “un jeune chef très talentueux” by Radio-Canada, Kevin Zakresky is a choral and orchestral conductor living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is currently a touring conductor for Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, a production that has seen him direct orchestras in Philadelphia, Montreal, Quebec City, Charlottesville, Columbus, Miami, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Fresno, and London (with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in Wembley Arena). The 2017 season will see him conduct 20 performances of Zelda including shows in Seattle, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Portland, Birmingham UK, San Diego, Pittsburgh, and Dublin. He will also be guest conducting the Fort Worth Symphony in a performance of rePlay: Symphony of Heroes.
Zakresky is founder-director of Players and Singers in Vancouver, an ensemble that performs dramatic choral, orchestral and operatic works. In its inaugural season, Players and Singers is presenting John Blow’s Venus and Adonis in January 2018 and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Unicorn, Gorgon and the Manticore in June 2018.
He is past Director of the Pacifica Singers, an ensemble associated with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and past Music Director of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia. During his time with the PGSO, he worked with many soloists including Jane Coop, Dale Barltrop, Nadina Mackie Jackson and Lucas Wong. He has recently conducted the St Louis Symphony, Sudbury Symphony, West Coast Symphony and two concerts with the Vancouver Chamber Choir.
He has been a faculty member of the Vancouver International Song Institute, directed choirs at Douglas College and taught conducting at the School for Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University. He currently teaches at the Vancouver Symphony School of Music. He completed his Doctorate at Yale University in 2012.