As the first prize winner of the 2008 Dublin International Organ Competition, the 2008 Fort Wayne National Organ Competition and the 2008 San Marino/Elizabeth Elftman National Organ Competition, Joseph Ripka has earned national and international recognition as one of today’s finest young organ talents. Joseph was awarded first prize at the Dublin competition by a unanimous decision of all five international jurors.
Joseph is in demand as a concert organist and has performed recitals throughout the United States. He received high praise in a review from the Boston Musical Intelligencer for his performance at Holy Cross College in Worcester Massachusetts on the renowned Taylor and Boody Opus 9 instrument. Joseph has performed with the New World Symphony, the Boston Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra under conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Benjamin Zander, and Alan Gilbert. Mr. Ripka’s recitals have been aired on American Public Media's Pipedreams several times; he was invited by Michael Barone to be the featured artist for the 25th anniversary celebration of Pipedreams in 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During the summer of 2009, Joseph made his European concert debut with recitals at St. Sulpice in Paris, Bavo Kerk in Haarlem, Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, and Hooglandse Kerk in Leiden, Netherlands. Joseph has since played recitals at Westminster Cathedral in London, St. Michael’s Church in Dun Laoghaire, St Paul's Cathedral in London, St Columb's Cathedral in Derry, Noorderkerk in Amsterdam, and many more.
Mr. Ripka is also a performing pianist, concertizing frequently with his wife violinist Erin Kathryn Ripka as the Ripka Duo. Mr. Ripka received the prestigious Artist Diploma in organ from the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with James David Christie. He holds Master of Music degrees in piano and organ performance from the University of Kansas and Bachelor of Music degrees in piano and organ performance from Saint Cloud State University, MN. His previous teachers include James Higdon, Charles Echols, Jack Winerock, Carmen Wilhite, and Yakov Gelfand. He has coached with Olivier Latry, Marie Claire Alain, Wilma Jensen, Jean-Baptiste Robin, John Scott, and Phillipe Lefebvre.
Mr. Ripka is the Director of Music at All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School in Phoenix, AZ. He is the former organist and choirmaster at Calvary Church (Episcopal) in Stonington, CT and artistic director of Calvary Music School. At Calvary, he directed an active music program, including adult and children’s choirs and a music school with over 100 students and a faculty of 14. During the summer of 2016, the Calvary Choir (RSCM) under Mr. Ripka’s direction, toured the UK singing nine services in seven days at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland and Lichfield Cathedral in Lichfield, England. Joseph was also consultant for a new organ by the Richards-Fowkes Co. of Ooltewah, TN that was installed in August of 2017. He later returned to play the dedication recitals in January of 2018.
Joseph was previously organ scholar at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Fairfield, Connecticut, organist/choirmaster at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, and organist/choir director at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Parma, OH. During the 2006-2007 academic year, Joseph served on the piano faculty at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. Joseph was invited to serve as a jurist for the 2010 L. Cameron Johnson Memorial Competition for high school organ students and the North American round of the 2009 Tariverdiev International Organ Competition.