Reviews

 Reviews and Articles

                    

 

 

 

Reviews and Articles


Guzasky's playing exhibited maturity and depth. His Rheinberger performances were especially nuanced and conveyed his deep knowledge and love of that composer's work. His registrations were imaginative and colorful.

- Holy Trinity Church, New York City

 

...his performance was notable with technical freedom and bright, varied and interesting registration. Very fresh and original.
       
- Glinka Kapella, St. Petersburg, Russia


If the organ could come to life and play itself, it would play the way Guzasky plays it. It's as if the organ gave birth to a son.

- Chicago concert review



Dr. Guzasky's mastery of the organ is complete pedal work that was exemplary. His clean and precise playing is truly a joy to hear.
                   
- Grace Church, Oak Park, IL

...making a Sunday afternoon a real sparkling memory.

   -   Sunday Concert Series


With his flattop buzz-cut, wire-rims, and stocky gait, when Guzasky walked on stage in his tux, he looked like a motorcycle cop on his way to the Policemen's  Ball, but when he started the Back Toccata in F Major, the hushed audience was transported into another realm.

   -  Concertgoer's Review

                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Stephen's Organist is a Real Classic
By Mary Ford
Friday, March 11, 2005  - The Patriot Ledger

    A cool guy with a great sense of humor, who plays the church organ - no way, you say? Better think again. Although, no one could describe G. Fredrick Guzasky as an ordinary organist, or St. Stephen's organ with its 3,108 pipes as typical, either.

     

    But the two have made the perfect match, teaming up for the past 10 years to create music that reaches into your soul. "It takes your breath away," says Fran Burnham of Atlantic Avenue, who is a member of St. Stephen's.

    Guzasky is unapologetic about not having kept up with the times. Case in point, he proudly holds a music book, "Original Compositions for the Organ," in the photo on the homepage of his Web site.

     And Guzasky talks about renowned, classical composers, such as Mozart and Bach, as if they are right in the room. He bemoans that "easy listening dribble," which masquerades as music, has filtered its way into automobiles, homes and yes, even churches.

     In fact, it was because Guzasky wasn't up-to-date enough that led him to St. Stephen's in the first place when the church where he worked previously wanted to go with more "user-friendly" music, for want of a better term.

    "I came to St. Stephen's 10 years ago now," says Guzasky, who is music director at the church. "It's a good environment in which to play classical music and do good choral music."

     As he reads text from an old hymnal, Guzasky explains church music has moved away from being God-centered to the more folk-like, person-centered variety. "It's more modern, more subjective, more easy-listening style," he says, explaining the change in focus of music was seen as a way, although misguided in his view, to drive up attendance.

     "In the Russian Orthodox tradition, music and liturgy are one," explains Guzasky, whose grandparents were born in Russia. "In our church, everything is sung - nothing is spoken." 

      To understand Guzasky's passion, one only has to go as far as St. Stephen's sanctuary on a Sunday morning during worship services. The 106-year-old gothic-style church building provides the perfect home for the 58-rank Aeolian-Skinner organ. (A rank is a set of pipes representing a particular sound). But the organ - which can best be described as majestic - could not come alive the way it does without the Guzasky's superb skill honed over a lifetime focused on classical music.

     "I'm not just playing - it's an act of worship," Guzasky explains. "It's giving back to God in a very special way." 

      Guzasky, himself, is the best salesman for experiencing classical music, which he notes is under appreciated in this part of the world.

      He explains people in Eastern Europe can be starving but they will still pay to go to a classical concert. After a concert at the Cathedral in Riga, Latvia, Guzasky recalls a woman saying the experience moved her deeply. "She said, 'I don't know what to do with the rest of my life after hearing your music.'"

     Guzasky, who also gives concerts in England and Russia and is working on a trip to Poland, knows well how great music can be life altering. He became serious about music as a six-year-old growing up in the Chicago area. His father played the mandolin and saxophone and his mother played the organ and wanted to be a ballerina.

     "I didn't have anything else," he says about his interest in music. "But I knew it was something I wanted to do and nothing could take the place of that." At seven, Guzasky began his musical training at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago

     Guzasky, who is also a teacher of classical music and a composer, says children today are over scheduled. 'My advice to children is, do a few things and do them well."

     An adjunct professor at Bridgewater State College, Guzasky, who holds a D.M.A., has attended Harvard, Millikin University, Northwestern and Eastern Illinois University, completing his formal training with doctoral studies at Boston University.

    In addition to writing and performing classical music, he is the author of the "Gregorian Chant Handbook," and two mystery novels. One, "Murder at Jordan Hall" is in the works, and  the other that is a thriller involving the Boston Police Department has been published in 2005 and is on sale though Amazon and Borders.

     Guzasky, who lives in Malden, says his commute to Cohasset is worth it. "Now I need a life preserver in addition to a seatbelt," he quips about the struggles of the Big Dig.

     "In my experience, there is nothing to replace the spirituality of music in one's life," he says. "Dostoevsky said, 'Beauty will save the world.'

     "Music is my offering to God, an expression of the composer's wishes and emotions which lead people to a place beyond words and verbal explanation."

 

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