The former Curator of Musical Arts returns to CMA to perform on the recently refurbished McMyler Memorial Organ for the first time since the renovation of Gartner Auditorium and the instrument. On the occasion of the annual meeting of the Musart Society—a longstanding sponsor of live musical performances in the museum, and the group whose generous gift made the organ's reinstallation possible—Mr. Paukert will play a 45-minute program without intermission. Admission is FREE.
From 1974 to 2004, Karel Paukert was Curator of Musical Arts at the Cleveland Museum of Art, where he directed the year-round performing arts series and played numerous organ and keyboard recitals each season. He has performed more than 800 recitals and organ demonstrations at the museum, for young and old alike. Born in the Czech Republic, Karel Paukert is a graduate of the Prague Conservatory and the Royal Conservatory in Ghent, Belgium. His teachers included organists Jan Bedrich Krajs and Gabriel Verschraegen. After leaving his native country, he was principal oboist with the Iceland National Symphony Orchestra, and later a deputy organist of St. Bavon Cathedral in Ghent. He then immigrated to the United States and became a US citizen in 1972. Paukert has taught at Washington University in St. Louis, Northwestern University in Evanston, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the University of Kansas at Lawrence. He continues to concertize extensively in prestigious venues in the US and abroad, and his performances have been acclaimed internationally for their perception, vibrancy, and excitement. Among the venues at which he has performed are the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (New York), Riverside Church (New York), the National Cathedral (Washington DC), the Alice Millar Chapel (Evanston), Davies Hall (San Francisco), Royal Festival Hall (London), Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris), Saint Eustache (Paris), Gasteig (Munich), Saint Stephen's (Vienna), Smetana Hall (Prague), Rudolfinum (Prague), Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Oskar Kyrka (Stockholm), Uppsala Cathedral, as well as at the Prague Spring Festival and the Festival of Flanders, and Festival Musica Sacra in Nuremberg. In addition, he is in constant demand as a judge for international organ competitions. Since 1979, he has held the position of organist and choirmaster of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights.