COMPOSER | AUTHOR | ORGANIST
PLAYWRIGHT | SPEAKER
Dorothy J. Papadakos is a Juilliard trained performer, composer, playwright and author internationally renowned as one of the great organ improvisers of our time. From 1990 to 2003, she was the first and only woman Cathedral Organist at the world’s largest gothic cathedral, New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Prior to her appointment she served as the Cathedral’s Organ Scholar and Assistant Organist and joined the 6-time Grammy Award winning Paul Winter Consort, the Cathedral’s iconic Artist-in-Residence internationally renowned for their groundbreaking fusion of jazz, world music, improvisations with animal song (esp Humpback Whales & Timber Wolves) and environmental advocacy.
Dorothy is celebrated for her silent film screenings, improvising on the world’s great pipe organs. Her Halloween Horror Tour is an annual autumn tradition in many venues such as SF Jazz at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Kansas City Symphony's Kaufmann Center and other spectacular churches and halls around the world from Singapore to Finland to Germany, Japan, Norway and England. She especially loves improvising to the silent horror classics Phantom of the Opera (1929), Nosferatu (1922), Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1920), Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and Charlie Chaplin comedies (1917).
Her musical UNCORK'D (former title POMPEII), the first musical about wine, smashed historic box office records in its first production and is now in development for an exciting new production. Her first novel, The Kingdom of Winter, is now a STEM middle school curriculum in her acclaimed Climate Science Adventure Series for kids, The Kingdoms of the Seasons. Endorsed by the International Honour Society in Education, the book is Climate Science made fun, cool, epic. A featured 2022 pick by Dell Technologies, the book draws us into Earth’s most powerful realms, the Four Seasons, telling the inside story of Climate Change from nature’s point of view through Sir Windham the North Wind and Earth's own Superheroes working 24/7 to keep it all in balance. Book #2, The Kingdom of Spring, is coming out in 2023 soon to be followed by book #3, The Kingdom of Summer!
As guest speaker and teacher, her most recent events include Dell Technologies on Climate Science Education and Improvisation Masterclasses around the country.