Brian Swager

Curriculum Vitae

Brian Swager is a distinguished concert organist and carillonneur from San Francisco.  He holds the Doctor of Music Degree in Organ Performance from Indiana University where he was a student of Larry Smith.  His other organ professors were Richard Shirey (University of Akron), Flor Peeters (Belgium), and Marie-Claire Alain (Paris).  Study with the latter culminated in a Premier Prix in organ from the Conservatoire National de Région, after a year of study on a scholarship from the French government.  Brian is currently organist at Immanuel Lutheran Church in San Jose. He was most recently featured as a recitalist for the American Guild of Organists Regional Convention in San Francisco.  He "plays from the heart". Swager teaches private music lessons: harp, piano, and organ.

Swager received the Final Diploma with great distinction from the Royal Belgian Carillon School after two years of study on a Fulbright-Hays grant.  He won the silver medal in the 1990 Queen Fabiola International Carillon Competition in Mechelen, Belgium.  In 1996 Swager was awarded a research fellowship in the Anton Brees Carillon Library at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida, where he was in residence as a Carillon Scholar.  He was Assistant Professor of Music and University Carillonneur at Indiana University where for nine years he taught carillon, piano, and organ, and played weekly recitals on the Arthur R. Metz Memorial Carillon.  He is the carillon editor for The Diapason.



1994 Doctor of Music, Organ Indiana University
1987 Premier Prix, Organ Conservatoire National, Rueil-Malmaison, France
1986 Diploma w/ great distinction Royal Belgian Carillon School, Mechelen
1984 Master of Music, Organ Indiana University
1982 Bachelor of Music, Organ University of Akron



2011- Director of Music, Immanuel Lutheran Church, San Jose
2003-2009 Organist, Fourth Church of Christ Scientist, San Francisco
1998-2000 Organist, St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park CA
1991-1992 Assistant Organist/Director, Trinity Episcopal Church, Indianapolis
1987-1991 Organist, St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Bloomington IN
1988/1989 Summer Director /Organist, Church of the Ascension, Clearwater FL
1986-1987 Assistant Director /Organist, St. Michael's Anglican Church, Paris


1996-1997 Carillon Scholar, Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, Florida
1987-1996 University Carillonneur, Indiana University
1994-1996 Assistant Professor of Music
1990-1994 Lecturer
1987-1990 Associate Instructor


  • Carillon Scholar Fellowship, Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, Florida, 1996-1997
  • Queen Fabiola International Carillon Competition, Mechelen, Belgium, 1990, Silver Medal
  • French Government Scholarship for study with Marie-Claire Alain, 1986-1987
  • Fulbright Grant for study at the Royal Carillon School in Belgium, 1984-1986
  • American Guild of Organists, Chicago Chapter, 1984 Competition, First-place winner


  • "The Rockefeller Legacy: 'Leave no stone unturned'," Congress of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, Iowa State University, Ames, June, 1999
  • "Gustaaf Brees and the Antwerp Carillon: Mirror of a Nascent National School and an International Stage for 19th-Century European Musical Culture," in Jubileumboek, Royal Carillon School, Mechelen, 1998
  • "The Antwerp Carillon Repertory of Gustaaf Brees," World Carillon Congress, Louvain, Belgium, August, 1998
  • "Baroque Performance Practice," Congress of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, University of Kansas, Lawrence, June, 1997
  • "Two North American Chronicles: Carillon Console Design, and A School of Carillon Composition," Tenth World Carillon Congress, Aschaffenburg, Germany, August, 1996
  • "The Evolution of the Carillon Art in America and Its Netherlandic Heritage," in Bulletin of The Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, 1995
  • "De evolutie van de beiaardkunst in Amerika en de Vlaamse erfenis," Comité Toren en Beiaard, Mechelen, Belgium, July, 1994
  • "A New Perspective on the Evolution of the American Carillon Art," Ninth World Carillon Congress, Chambéry, France, July, 1994
  • "Carillon: The Origins and Evolution of a Netherlandic Musical Instrument," Seventh Interdisciplinary Conference on Netherlandic Studies, Bloomington, IN, June, 1994


  • American Guild of Organists
  • American Harp Society
  • Guild of Carillonneurs in North America
  • Carillon Editor, The Diapason


ORGAN Larry Smith, Indiana University
Marie-Claire Alain, France
Flor Peeters, Belgium
Richard Shirey, University of Akron
CARILLON Jo Haazen, Mechelen, Belgium
Linda Pointer, Indiana University
HARPSICHORD Elisabeth Wright, Indiana University
HARP Linda Rollo, Saratoga, California
Dorothy Henschen, University of Akron



  • St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York
  • St. Thomas Church, New York
  • Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
  • Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
  • St. Mary's Cathedral, San Francisco, California
  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco
  • St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Berkeley, California
  • National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, San Francisco, California
  • Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, San Francisco, California
  • St. John's Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, California
  • First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, California
  • Trinity Episcopal Church, Reno, Nevada
  • St. Bede's Episcopal Church, Menlo Park, California
  • Collégiale Ste. Gertrude, Nivelles, Belgium
  • Mol, Belgium
  • Lake Wales, Florida
  • Methuen Memorial Music Hall, Methuen, Massachusetts
  • First Christian Church, Columbus, Indiana
  • Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis
  • Chapelle St. Louis, Paris, France
  • Vaals, The Netherlands
  • St. Michael's Anglican Church Paris, France
  • St. Rombout's Cathedral, Mechelen, Belgium


  • University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (GCNA Congress)
  • Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Houston, TX (taped performance for George Crumb celebration)
  • Princeton University
  • Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, CA
  • Culver Military Academy, Culver, IN
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL
  • Springfield (IL) International Carillon Festival
  • Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
  • Bok Tower Gardens, Lake Wales, Florida
  • University of California, Berkeley, California
  • Riverside Church, New York City
  • Church of the Ascension, Clearwater, FL
  • National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.
  • Washington Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
  • BELGIUM: Mechelen, Louvain, Nivelles, Ghent, Antwerp, Peer
  • DENMARK: Copenhagen, Brøndby Strand, Vejle
  • FRANCE: Selongey, Dijon, Chambéry (World Carillon Congress), Douai
  • GERMANY: Wiesbaden, Eppingen, Aschaffenburg, Berlin
  • THE NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam, Enkhuizen, Haarlem, Utrecht, Gouda, Dordrecht

Home: AllegroFuoco

  updated   21 JULY 2011   (B. Swager)