Thomas Schuster is currently the director of music and organist at Epiphany Catholic Church in Miami, FL, where he oversees a large music program with several choirs. Their repertoire is focused on restoring the rich heritage of sacred music from Gregorian chant to the present, including regular performances of orchestral Masses by Mozart, Schubert, Rheinberger, and others. He also directs the annual concert series, Music at Epiphany, and is the founder / artistic director of the Miami International Organ Competition, recognized as one of the major events in the United States for young organists.
Mr. Schuster received his Masters degree from the organ studio of Robert Bates at the University of Houston, and also holds a Bachelor of Music degree, Summa cum Laude, from Wayne State University in Detroit, with a double major in piano (Pauline Martin) and organ (Ray Ferguson) performance. Mr. Schuster has also attended music academies in Israel and Europe, and participated in masterclasses with Simon Preston, David Palmer, Jean-Bernard Pommier, David Craighead, and Vadim Monastirsky. He began his study of the organ with Fr. Eduard Perrone at age 14, and served as organist under him for 8 years- the majority of that time at Assumption Grotto Church in Detroit. He began his piano study at age 11; his early instructors included George Le Blanc, and Thomas Green at the Academie Ste. Cecile, Ontario, Canada Mr. Schuster served as Professor of Organ at Florida International University in Miami from 2003-2006, and currently teaches privately.
A winner of numerous piano and organ prizes, he was named the first-place winner of the 2011 North American Classical Organ Competition, the 2001 Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival/USA and the 2001 AGO/Quimby Region V Young Organists Competition. Thomas received prizes at the Wells Competition for Young Organists in Lubbock, TX and Shandon Competition in Columbia, SC, and was also a finalist in the Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition and the 2009 Jordan International Organ Competition. He has appeared at prestigious venues throughout the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean, including recitals at Stanford University and at the 2002 National AGO Convention in Philadelphia. Mr. Schuster was a recently a featured performer at the 2012 conference of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies. He has been privileged to play the organ for important dedications, including the Casavant at St. John Cantius in Chicago, and Mother Angelica’s Chapel in Birmingham, AL. His performances and recordings have been broadcast throughout the United States and Canada on National Public Radio’s Pipedreams, and CBC Radio II.
Thomas has publicly performed much of the standard repertoire for organ and orchestra, and has also released a critically acclaimed compact disc of twentieth-century organ concertos by Anton Heiller, Walter Braunfels, and Max Baumann. He resides in Florida with his wife, Erica, and their nine children.