About the Director
Dr. Cristiano Rizzotto came to us from the American Organ Institute at the University of Oklahoma. While pursuing doctoral studies, he served as Director of Music and Organist at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Duncan, OK. He has previous experience in church music and liturgy, including organ and piano accompaniment, choir directing, handbell ensemble, and orchestra.
Dr. Rizzotto is an active recitalist who has played organ concerts in Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, and 19 American states. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Magna cum Laude, 2010), a Master’s degree in Sacred Music from East Carolina University (2013), and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the American Organ Institute at the University of Oklahoma (2019).
His YouTube channel features nearly 300 videos of his performance as an organist, pianist, and choir conductor, and his recordings have been viewed over 1.3 million times. His doctoral dissertation was about the importance of music in the formation of the national identity of the Latvian people, focusing on organ compositions by Aivars Kalējs which represent the values and spirit of the Latvian heritage. It is titled Per aspera ad astra: Latvian National Identity Reflected in Selected Organ Works by Aivars Kalējs.
Cristiano became a published composer after his Toccata was released by Wayne Leupold Editions in March 2014. Cristiano was previously the organist at Benedictine Abbey in Rio de Janeiro, owner of one of the oldest organs in South America and where the Carioca monks have kept the tradition of the chants and liturgy alive since the 16th century.
Dr. Rizzotto believes that music ennobles the liturgy, expresses prayer in a more attractive way, and helps achieve the union of hearts in the sung celebrations through the union of voices. Additionally, he recognizes the great importance of fostering the congregation's singing of hymns and the Ordinary of the Mass. He works with our adult choir, our bell choir, and our children's choir, as well as with all of our school children, to help all of us serve and praise the Lord through music.
Cristiano and Clara Rizzotto married in Alaska in 2015 and are now the proud parents of Kristian Walter, born in June 2017.
You can contact him by e-mail or calling the Music Office at 763-544-0416 ext. 853.