New Tabernacle Organist Appointed
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir announced Monday, January 22, 2018, that Dr. Brian Mathias has been appointed a full-time Tabernacle organist. Mathias joins a long line of distinguished musicians who have served as organists on Temple Square, continuing a tradition that stretches back to early pioneer days. The renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir organists are key members of the Choir’s musical family and perform at the highest professional standard of artistry as they bring the sound of the iconic Tabernacle organ to life for tens of thousands of fans throughout the world. The organists perform in daily organ recitals as well as performances with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in telecasts, recordings, tours, concerts, and other appearances. With Dr. Mathias’s appointment, there are now four full-time Tabernacle organists—Richard Elliott, Clay Christiansen, and Andrew Unsworth—with two part-time organists, Bonnie Goodliffe and Linda Margetts.
Mathias is very excited to serve with the Choir organization. “I have been an avid fan of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir since I was a teenager, and it is a dream come true for me to have the opportunity to be a part of what they do. The conductors and organists are musicians of the highest caliber, and I am thrilled to work alongside them.”
Mack Wilberg, music director of the choir, looks forward to the addition of Mathias to the artistic staff on Temple Square. “We are extremely pleased to have Brian join us. He is a gifted musician who will add to the excellent tradition of the Choir family.”
Prior to his appointment as a Tabernacle organist, Dr. Brian Mathias served as an adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. He also served as associate organist at Country Club Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri.
Among Dr. Mathias’s recent solo performances are recitals at the Salt Lake Tabernacle and the LDS Conference Center (Salt Lake City, Utah); the Cathedral of the Madeleine (Salt Lake City); Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.); BYU–Idaho (Rexburg, Idaho); and Texas A&M International University (Laredo, Texas). He has competed on the international stage in a number of prestigious international organ competitions, including the 2011 and 2014 Canadian International Organ Competitions and the 2010 Grand Prix de Chartres International Organ Competition.
Mathias earned the doctor of musical arts degree at the University of Kansas, where he studied organ with James Higdon and carillon with Elizabeth Berghout. He received bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Brigham Young University, studying organ with Don Cook and Douglas Bush and carillon with Don Cook.
It has been 10 years since auditions were held for a Tabernacle organist. As such, Mathias joins an elite group of organists such as Joseph Daynes, Frank Asper, Alexander Schreiner, Robert Cundick, and John Longhurst. More information about the Choir’s organists and organs can be found here.