Presenters & Performers
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Solena Rizzato is a shop technician at the Red River Pipe Organ Company in Norman, Oklahoma, Interim Organist at Wesley United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City, and a non-degree-seeking graduate student at Oklahoma City University, where they study with Dr. Melissa Plamann. Prior to their studies at OCU, Solena graduated in May of 2020 from the University of Oklahoma where they earned dual bachelor’s degrees in organ performance and viola performance, as well as the organ technology emphasis and a history minor. In the summer of 2019, Solena pursued an internship with Messrs. Czelusniak et Dugal Pipe Organ Builders of Northampton, Massachusetts, working on the restoration and maintenance of pipe organs in the New England area.
As an organist, Solena began their formal keyboard studies at the age of eighteen with Dr. Adam Pajan at the University of Oklahoma, coming to the instrument with over thirteen years of experience as a violist. Because of this, Solena enjoys transcribing orchestral works for the organ. This past March, Solena was named as a recipient of the Diapason’s “20 under 30,” a national award “recognizing young talents in the fields of organ and harpsichord performance, organ and harpsichord building, carillon, and church music.”
In August, Solena will begin pursuing a Master of Music degree in organ performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music, as a student of Mr. Todd Wilson. They will also assume the role of Organ Scholar at Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Solena continues to remain active as a professional violist and enjoys cooking, weightlifting, and long-distance running. Solena also has a particular passion for education and outreach and hopes to be in a teaching role in some capacity.