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Director of Music Greg Banaszak Performs in Finland During Historic Trump/Putin Summit

Jessica Miller | Monday, August 13, 2018
CathedralLutheran West Director of Music, renowned saxophonist Greg Banaszak, has returned to Northeast Ohio after a two-week performance tour throughout Finland. Performing several concerts in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, Banaszak served as a representative of the United States during the historical July 2018 summit between Representative between President Donald J. Trump and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
The two-week concert tour with the Finnish-American Saxophone Quartet included a number of performances in Lutheran churches including Turku Cathedral, the oldest Lutheran church in Finland.
Additional performances were held in the cities of Porvoo, Espoo, Turku, Kuhmoinen, and Liperi.greg-finland
Churches that hosted concerts included Meilahti Church, Leppävaara Church, Kakskerta Church, and Liperi Church. The repertoire performed ranged from romantic classical works of Tchaikovsky and Florio to the pop repertoire of the Beatles.
All of the concerts were sold out performances with record attendance.
Banaszak stated, “It was very humbling and an honor to be a part of a concert tour that created wonderful collaborations between two countries so far apart.”
Banaszak has sent his college students from the newspaperCleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University to also perform and tour in Finland in past years. His current music students are now in preparation for a tour of Finland in March 2019. 
Banaszak is a well-known musician, having performed as an orchestra member, concerto soloist and recitalist in concert halls around the world. A 16-year member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a voting member for the Grammy Awards. He is a Vandoren Performing Artist, Selmer Saxophone clinician, and Royner Products consultant. He has performed as a saxophonist for the Cleveland Orchestra. Banaszak is a B.M. cum laude graduate of the Hartt School of Music, holds a M.M. degree “with distinction” from Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, and has an Artist Diploma from the Centre Musical d’Annecy in France.
In addition to working on the faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University, he directs the instrumental music program at Lutheran West and works with young musicians at Royal Redeemer Lutheran School (North Royalton) and St. Paul School (Westlake).
Photos (courtesy Greg Banaszak):
 Top: Turku Cathedral, the oldest Lutheran church in Finland; Middle: Greg performing in Finland; Bottom: Turku newspaper article covering the performance.

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