Jeffrey Brillhart

Jeffrey Brillhart's picture
Lecturer in Organ Improvisation

Jeffrey Brillhart has performed throughout the United States, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico, Cuba, and Europe as conductor and organist and is known for his musical versatility. He was awarded first place at the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 1994. Mr. Brillhart is director of music and fine arts at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, where he oversees music, education, and arts programs that involve more than several hundred children, youth, and adults each week. He is also music director of Philadelphia’s acclaimed Singing City Choir, one of the first integrated community choirs in the United States. At Singing City he follows a distinguished line of conductors that includes Elaine Brown and Joseph Flummerfelt. Under his direction, his choral ensembles have performed with the Kronos Quartet, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Symphony in C, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Bobbie McFerrin, Dave Brubeck, Denyce Graves, Helmuth Rilling, and Rossen Milanov, and on tours to Cuba, Northern Ireland, Brazil, Germany, Russia, the Balkans, South Africa and Mexico. Mr. Brillhart maintains an active schedule as conductor, organist, competition adjudicator, and clinician, most recently at the Kimmel Center (with Canadian Brass and TenThing), Curtis Institute of Music, the Eastman School of Music, Westminster Choir College, Furman University, Walla Walla College, and Baylor University. His organ improvisation textbook, Breaking Free: Finding a Personal Language for Organ Improvisation through 20th-Century French Improvisation Techniques, was published by Wayne Leupold Editions in 2011. A second textbook, A World of Possibilities: Master Lessons in Improvisation was published by Wayne Leupold Editions in 2018. His choral and organ compositions are published by Hope Publishing and E.C. Schirmer. In 2016 he was awarded the  Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence, presented by the Pennsylvania American Choral Directors. This coming year he will present improvisation masterclasses at The Eastman School of Music and Syracuse University, conduct The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and appear with the Canadian Brass in Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, conduct the Philadelphia premieres of Paul Moravec’s “Sanctuary Road” and Joel Thompson’s “Seven Last Words of the Unarmed,” and conduct in Paris, Jerusalem and Amman, Jordan.


B.M. Drake University; M.M. Eastman School of Music

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Choral Conducting
Instrumental Conducting
Sacred Music