-The American Organist Magazine

ROBERT BREWER

Concert Organist, Conductor, and Pedagogue

Robert Brewer, a native of Houston, Texas, is a recognized and celebrated musician. As an organist, pianist, conductor, and pedagogue- he enjoys a varied career, spanning more than 40 years. Described as a ‘Musician’s Musician’ by the Houston Chronicle, Robert built a nationally acclaimed music program at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston. Under his direction, the choir sang for multiple conventions of the American Guild of Organists, American Choral Directors Association, and other regional festivals. The 80-voice choir also served as choir-in-residence at Westminster Abbey, York Minster, Ely Cathedral, St. Alban’s Abbey, Southwark Cathedral, Thomaskirche (Leipzig), St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, and Washington National Cathedral. In addition to weekly services and concerts, the St. Paul’s Choir was the resident vocal ensemble of the Houston Ballet. Robert was Instructor of Organ at the University of Houston, and Instructor of Organ and Harpsichord at the University of St. Thomas. Other professional appointments included Conductor of the Concert Chorale of Houston, Artistic Director of the Houston Masterworks Chorus, as well as an Opera Coach for the internationally acclaimed Houston Grand Opera. 

In 2005, Robert joined the faculty of Rice University as Artist in Opera Studies. In 2006, he became the Organist and Choirmaster of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, where he built a comprehensive music program for children and adults utilizing the Royal School of Church Music curriculum. Additionally, he served as the principal accompanist of the Houston Children’s Chorus, primary organist of the Bach Society of Houston, and as an assisting organist of Temple Beth-Israel. 

From 2011-2018, Robert worked in San Antonio as Artist-in-Residence of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, accompanying the choir on three international English cathedral residencies, a live NPR broadcast, and organist for a nationally televised PBS Christmas service of Lessons and Carols. Alongside regular concertizing and teaching, Robert was Music Director and Organist of Temple Beth-El, conducting the professional choir for services and concerts. As a faculty member of the University of Texas (San Antonio) he taught in opera studies, organ, harpsichord, harp, and collaborative piano. Other regular engagements included guest Coach/Pianist for Alamo City Opera, and accompanist for the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. 

His discography includes organ, choral, and chamber music. Three recordings of note on commercial labels include ‘Echos of the American Cathedral’ with the St. Paul’s Choir, ‘Return- Art Songs from Carolina’ with North Carolina School of the Arts Soprano, Marilyn Taylor, and the ‘Chamber Music of Dan Locklair’. Currently, Robert is organist of the United Church of Chapel Hill, An Assisting Organist of Duke University Chapel, and maintains a private vocal, organ, and piano studio. 

Robert studied at the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music, Rice University, and the University of Houston. He received a Masters of Music in Organ Performance in 1992 from Indiana University, as a student of Marilyn Keiser. His piano teachers include the late Abbey Simon and Betty Ruth Thomfohrde.