Mr. Jeffrey Panko
Coordinator of Piano Faculty at New Music School
Minister of Music, Bethel United Church of Christ
Solo and Collaborative Pianist
Pianist Jeffrey Panko is a musician whose versatility of style and genre, encompassing repertoire from Bach to the contemporary, is presented with poetic grace, technical aplomb and a large color palette. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Panko began his formal musical education at the age of six with his grandmother, Lorraine Jagodzinski. Receiving degrees in Piano Performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the DePaul University School of Music, he was also selected as a scholarship student to the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
He has earned top prize awards in competitions including the Society of American Musician's Piano Competition (Chicago) and the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition (New York). Following a concert tour of Poland where Panko was honored by the United States with the title of Cultural Ambassador, Panko was asked by the City of Chicago to present a Chopin recital for the visiting Lech Walesa and other Polish dignitaries, culminating with two Command Performances for Polish Prime Ministers visiting the United States. Panko has also been featured in performances at Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Lincoln Center Library, WQXR Radio (New York), is a frequent performer on WFMT Radio (Chicago), and has appeared in Symphony Center playing the music of Steven Sondheim for Mr. Sondheim. Panko has performed in concert with internationally acclaimed artists Denyce Graves, Christopher Robertson, Mary Stolper, members of the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, the Washington Opera Orchestra.
Panko served as Musical Director for the Primavera Singers at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. Currently he serves as Minister of Music and Artistic Director of the Monday Evening Concert Series for Bethel United Church of Christ in Elmhurst, Illinois and Piano Faculty Coordinator at New Music School in Chicago.