John R.S.Walko, Accompanist

John R.S. Walko

John studied Theory and Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and Huntingdon College; he studied piano with Annette (Trofimov) Freeze, Andrius Kuprevicius, TatianaTsukanova, and Liliane Quéstel; he was an organ and harpsichord student of Dr. Harald Rohlig and Gene Jarvis, and an organ student of John Balka.

John performed on location with the symphony orchestras of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Havana, Cuba, in performances of the five-hour silent film Napoleon, to audiences of 30,000 people.  John played the American première of the long-lost original score to F.W. Murnau’sFaust.  He worked with composer Carmine Coppola and director Francis Ford Coppola in the preparation of numerous film scores, and was the organist accompanying the San Francisco Symphony Chorus in the Oscar-nominated film Godfather III.

A recipient of San Francisco Focus and San Francisco Cable Car awards, John wrote and performed a revue of Harold Arlen's music in Amsterdam and in the U.S.  He has done well over 100 musical theatreproductions and served as Music Director for the Lamplighter DinnerTheatre and Maxwell Playhouse in Montgomery, Alabama.

John has performed with the Masterworks Chorale, Cantare Con Vivo, Baroque Choral Guild, Contra Costa Chorale, Berkeley Community Chorus, and WomenSing.  He currently accompanies the San Francisco City Chorus, San Francisco Boy’s Chorus, and Voices of Music Sacra.  He is organist at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley and has served as the Artistic Director of the Lenten Organ Recital Series since 1994.  John has performed solo organ recitals in Paris, Prague, and on the famed Riga Dom organ in Latvia.  In 2009 he was selected as the sole American adjudicator for the London Bank District English/American Organ Festival Playing Competition.