THOMAS BROWN enjoys an active and varied career as soloist, chamber musician and collaborative artist as both pianist and organist, occasionally as harpsichordist, and as church musician.
He gave us playing in the sweeping manner of the full-blown German romanticism ... marked by a large, deeply colored piano sound, wrote Robert Marsh in the Chicago Sun-Times after Thomas Brown's second appearance on the prestigious Allied Arts Piano Series in Chicago's Orchestra Hall. And in Chopin's F minor Fantasy, he threw caution to the winds. The notes were all there, though, and so was plenty of fire and passion added Musical America magazine.
Thomas Brown made his critically-acclaimed debut two years earlier on the same series, whose other artists that season included Artur Rubinstein, Alfred Brendel, Alicia de Larrocha, and Vladimir Horowitz. He was likened to "the young Josef Hoffman" and reengaged on the spot.
Since that triumph, audiences around the world have heard the impossible thus triumphantly carried off (Emporia Gazette) by a dazzling technique singularly devoid of mannerisms (Kansas City Star) both with orchestra, including the Jerusalem Symphony during its first tour of North America, and in concert halls and on college campuses as recitalist and master-class clinician. He regularly participates in music festivals and chamber music events and occasionally teaches and serves as adjudicator.
Following a concert in The Philippines, a critic from the Manila Bulletin praised the evening by writing Thomas Brown belongs to the top ten organists in the world. His technical mastery of the instrument is only servant to his artistry, a superb one.
Thomas Brown has appeared on many of the important recital venues and at conventions of the American Guild of Organists and The Organ Historical Society. During his third tour to Southeast Asia, he was the featured soloist at the International Bamboo Organ Festival in The Philippines and was the first American ever invited to record on the famous Bamboo Organ there. He is an award-winning improviser and composer; his hymn-tune Spes won first prize in an international hymn-tune competition and was coupled with a new text by Brian Wren. His articles have appeared in The American Organist, The Diapason, The Herald and The Northeast Organist magazines. His keen interest in organ design has taken him to Germany, Holland, France and England on numerous occasions where he has inspected and performed on many important and historic instruments.
Scott Cantrell, Music Critic for the Kansas City Star, wrote: Organists rarely play whole recitals from memory. Even more rarely do they do so with the cool-as-a-cucumber technical assurance - indeed, brilliance - displayed Sunday afternoon by Thomas Brown. Maurice Durufle's Suite was composed for precisely these kinds of sounds - purring foundation stops and blazing reeds. And the composer, himself a fastidious virtuoso, surely conceived the work for organists with Brown's spit-shine brilliance. At a hair-raising tempo, the Suite's notoriously difficult Toccata was tossed off as if child's play!
As Church Musician
Why, one is tempted to join Brown's congregation just in order to hear him play every Sunday! (Danbury (Connecticut) News-Times)
For over forty-five years, Thomas Brown has been associated with church music and has served congregations in the Southern Baptist, Methodist, United Church of Christ, Episcopal, Disciples of Christ, Community of Christ and Presbyterian faith traditions. For nearly two years he was the organist for New York City's First Church of Religious Science which met in Alice Tully Hall; he coordinated a music program which juxtaposed classical music and professional soloists with well-known jazz musicians, popular vocalists and liturgical dance. He remains the youngest-ever-appointed staff organist of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now Community of Christ) in Independence, Missouri, where he began his duties as weekday recitalist on the Auditorium Organ at fifteen. He currently serves University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as Minister of Music. He trains and conducts the Chancel (Senior) Choir, leads worship on the church's pipe organ and directs a comprehensive music program. Please visit him there at www.upcch.org.
Thomas Brown is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and is a recipient of the University's Alumni Achievement Award. He also holds the Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in New York City and, while a student there, was named an Outstanding Young Artist of America by the Editors of Musical America magazine. He is the recipient of a number of musical awards, honors and prizes, and he can trace his musical tutelage directly to Beethoven through six generations of important student/teacher relationships. His performances have been heard on NPR and the CBC, and he has recorded for The Repertoire Recording Society, RBW Records, Viennola Gramophone Austria and Raven Recordings.