-The American Organist Magazine
"Mr. Ripka is a player with a gift for dramatic rhetoric and constant registrational inspiration"
Boston Musical Intelligencer
"Flawless and seemingly effortless technique, great musicality, sensitivity and command of performance practices, and the ability to make the printed page come alive were all present in abundance. Mr. Ripka is also the kind of organist who can get the very best out of the organ on which he is performing. "
Winchester Chapter AGO
“Joseph Ripka is an impressive musician who plays with authority, enthusiasm and a sure sense of style."
Thomas Trotter, Organist
Joseph Ripka is an internationally respected and acclaimed organist, recognized for his virtuosity and expressiveness. He was the first-prize winner of the Dublin International Organ Competition, the Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition, and the San Marino/ Elizabeth Elftman National Organ Competition.
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. Joseph’s acclaimed YouTube videos have received hundreds of thousands of views and have earned rave comments from around the world.
Joseph holds bachelor’s degrees in both organ and piano performance from St. Cloud State University, masters degrees in organ and piano performance from the University of Kansas, the Artist Diploma in organ performance from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in organ performance from Yale University. His principal teachers were James David Christie, Martin Jean, James Higdon, Charles Echols, Jack Winerock and Carmen Wilhite, and Yakov Gelfand. He has coached with Olivier Latry, Marie Claire Alain, Wilma Jensen, Jean-Baptiste Robin, John Scott, and Phillipe Lefebvre as well.
Mr. Ripka is the Director of Music at All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School in Phoenix, AZ. At All Saints’ Church, Joseph leads the Adult Choir, Chamber Choir and RSCM Choir. He founded the All Saints’ Church chorister program in 2017 and is also director of the All Saints’ Day School chorister program. The highly regarded All Saints’ choirs sing for services, evensong, lessons and carols and special presentations of choral masterworks with orchestra and tours nationally and abroad on a regular basis. 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 has also served as a jurist for the L. Cameron Johnson Memorial Competition for high school organ students, the North American round of the 2009 Tariverdiev International Organ Competition, and the AGO/Quimby RCYO competitions.