Conductor GREGORY WOLYNEC is realizing an impressive achievement for orchestral excellence in an unlikely setting. Merging his passion for energetic and captivating performances with a committed ensemble of world-class artists, he founded Gateway Chamber Orchestra in 2008 in Clarksville, Tennessee. In a short span of years, they have been featured on a GRAMMY award winning recording, created a major festival dedicated to the music of Haydn, expanded their performance season to serve multiple communities throughout Tennessee, and been recognized by prestigious granting organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts.
Wolynec has positioned Gateway Chamber Orchestra to become the model more communities seek: one that keenly assesses and then serves its community’s cultural needs. During the ongoing pandemic, he has overseen the development of Magical Music & Timeless Tales, which pairs GCO musicians with area teachers to create valuable streaming content for young minds. He will also conduct the GCO’s first streaming concert – Beethoven @250: Humanity in 2020.
Wolynec focuses programming for Gateway Chamber Orchestra on sharing rediscovered musical gems, partnering with contemporary and underrepresented composers, and delivering distinctive reading of classic works. The orchestra has been touted as "world class," "flawless," and "big, bold, American.” Wolynec has been recognized for his sensitive balance between lyrical intimacy and symphonic drama. A diverse roster of composers including Cristina Spinei, Jeffrey Wood, Kareem Roustom, Conni Ellisor and Judd Greenstein have praised his interpretations. Gateway has also collaborated with internationally acclaimed musicians such as William Bennett, Boris Allakhverdyan, Lorna McGhee and Jeffrey Biegel.
Wolynec has conducted and overseen three recordings with the Gateway Chamber Orchestra in its young life. Two of the recordings, Wind Serenades and Chamber Symphonies (Summit Records) received GRAMMY nominations for producer 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.
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 a performance with the Karlovy Vary Symphony.