Marek Rachelski enjoys a rich variety in his musical life as conductor, pianist, harpsichordist, organist and as collaborative artist in recital. He has appeared with orchestras in the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Canada and the USA. Mr. Rachelski has served on the faculties of Loyola University and De Paul University.
He is the Resident Conductor of the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra, now in its 34th season, and leads the preparation of the orchestra for all of their concerts. His performance repertoire this season includes Howard Hanson’s Symphony No. 2, Smetana’s Bartered Bride Overture, Dvorak’s Czech Suite, Chopin’s Piano Concert No. 1, Beethoven Mass in C, Shostakovich Symphony No. 9 and Handel’s Messiah.
He is the Artistic Director of the Musica Lumina Orchestra and Conductor/Founder of the Niles Metropolitan Chorus (2013). In seven seasons the NMC/ML has performed major works of the repertoire: Requiems of Cherubini, Mozart, Faure, Rutter; the Magnificats of Pärt, Bach and Pergolesi; Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass & selections from Faust and Romeo & Juliet, Haydn’s Creation, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Lobgesang, Op. 52, a yearly Handel’s Messiah conducted from the harpsichord, the St. Matthew Passion and the St. John Passion of J. S. Bach; this season includes Bruckner’s Mass No. 2 in e minor, Missa Popularis by Marten Jansson; Benedictus by Karl Jenkins; A Little Jazz Mass by Chilcott; Britten’s The Company of Heaven; Rutter’s Hymn to the Creator of Light; Gjeilo’s Luminous Night of the Soul and a program dedicated to music of Beethoven.
As Music Director of Opera Las Vegas he conducted complete staged performances of Puccini’s La Bohème, Donizetti’s L'elisir d'amore, Mollicone’s The Face on the Barroom Floor, a Puccini 150th Retrospective and accompanied numerous aria recitals. While in Nevada he was also the founder and conductor of the Las Vegas Peoples Valley Chorus in Requiems by Faure, Rutter and Brahms, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Vespers, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans, Handel’s Judas Maccabeus and Messiah and various Bach Cantatas.
As Assistant Conductor at the Prague Ballet Theater he prepared the world premiere choreographed version of Smetana’s tone poem Ma Vlast. As Assistant Conductor of the Elgin (IL) Symphony he conducted Young People’s Concerts, Holiday Concerts and performed with Victor Borge at the Poplar Creek Music Theater; he was also Music Director of the Valley Civic Orchestra and conducted the Elgin Area Youth Orchestras.
A composer and arranger of over 100 works, Marek is published with World Library and M Gerard Publications. He was commissioned for a setting of Psalm 145 for the Papal Mass in Detroit, a Magnificat by the Lira Singers for their 25th Anniversary and more recently an Anima Christi and Dwa Serduska for chorus and orchestra. With RA Editions, he released a series of technical studies for double bass and cello and is completing editions for violin and viola. In addition to awards from the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, he was presented with the Pulaski Award for his contributions to Polish American Culture.
As the first Director of Recordings for World Library Publications, he produced and directed recordings with members of the Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Choruses. As Music Editor for J. S. Paluch Company, he was a featured presenter of new music and editor/contributor of three hymnals and a five-volume series of psalm settings.
Marek holds degrees from Northwestern University, Wayne State University and the Academy of Music in Prague HAMU. He has studied conducting with Jiri Belohlavek (12th Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic), Frantisek Vajnar (Conductor of the National Theatre in Prague and Principal Conductor of the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra), Kenneth Keisler (Conductor Laureate of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting, University of Michigan), Robert Harris (Director of Choral Organizations, Northwestern University), Dennis Tini (Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music, and former Senior Associate Dean, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts at Wayne State University in Detroit), Joseph Labuta (Professor Emeritus of Music and former Associate Chair of the Music Department and Director of Music Education at Wayne State University), and in masterclass with Jo-Michael Scheibe (USC), Mark Gibson (CCM), John Nelson, Gustave Meier, Jorge Mester, Daniel Lewis, Leonard Slatkin and Lorin Maazel.
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