Biography

Concert organist Susan Jane Matthews has performed throughout the United States and in Europe, including solo organ recitals at St. John the Divine Cathedral, New York City; St.-Sulpice, Paris; and the Himmerod Abbey, Germany. She has been featured on the American radio programs Pipedreams, Organ Loft, and With Heart and Voice.

Since October 2005, she has been Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Burlingame, California where she is organist, director of the Chancel Choir, and founding director of the St. Paul’s Choir School for boys and girls. She previously served as Director of Music at St. Michael’s Episcopal Cathedral, Boise, Idaho, and as Principal Organist of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, where she recorded the solo organ CD Chosen Tunes for the Gothic label.

Dr. Matthews completed a Bachelor of Arts Phi Beta Kappa at Haverford College (Haverford, PA) with honors in chemistry, and Masters of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in organ performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY) as a student of David Higgs, serving for two years as his teaching assistant. Her DMA lecture recital was entitled “Improvising on the Great Hymn of Thanksgiving: Jeanne Demessieux’s Te Deum, Op. 11.” The winner of the 1998 John R. Rodland Memorial Scholarship Competition in New Jersey, she also received First Place in the 1993 American Guild of Organists Region III Competition for Young Organists in Wilmington, Delaware.

Dr. Matthews has served as Dean of the San Francisco and Les Bois Chapters (Boise) of the American Guild of Organists, and as a faculty member at the San Francisco Chapter 2005 Pipe Organ Encounter. She has performed and presented choral and organ workshops at American Guild of Organists Conventions and chapter programs, including several lecture recitals on the life and organ works of Jeanne Demessieux. She has served as an organist and as junior girls headmaster at the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) training course at King’s College in her hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Illustration
Illustration by Bill Russell, ©2005, San Francisco Chronicle