Brennan Sweet

Born in New York City, Brennan Sweet began violin studies at two years of age in Edmonton, Alberta. Settling in the St. Louis area, he became at age ten the youngest member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin.  In 1977 he studied violin for six months at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, where he also played occasionally with gypsy bands at famous restaurants such as the Marvanymenyasszony and Mátyás Pince.
 
Sweet began performing professionally in the St. Louis metropolitan area at age 16, including engagements with well-known local musical organizations such as the Muny Opera, Kammergild Chamber Orchestra, Nelson Riddle Orchestra and the Veiled Prophet Ball.  While beginning his college education as an engineering student at Washington University in St. Louis, Sweet became concertmaster of the St. Louis Youth Symphony under Gerhardt Zimmerman and was a founding member of the St. Louis Chamber Chorus and Orchestra. 
 
Sweet later transferred to Indiana University in Bloomington where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree and was accepted into the graduate level Artist Diploma program, eventually serving for three years as teaching assistant to Josef Gingold and then joining the faculty for another two years as a Lecturer.  While attending Indiana University, Sweet won a concerto competition featuring Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy and served as concertmaster of several university orchestras, also touring to France and performing for the re-opening of the Opera Bastille in Paris. He also had the honor of performing the Schubert Quintet with Joshua Bell and Stephen Isserlis on stage and was featured playing the concertmaster solos from Ein Heldenleben in a CBS Sunday Morning documentary with Eugenia Zuckerman on the teaching and influence of Josef Gingold.
 
Concertmaster of several orchestras including the Richmond Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic and Owensboro Symphony Orchestras, Sweet was also a founding member of the Evansville String Quartet and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.  He performed two seasons as Assistant Concertmaster of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder and toured with the Chicago Sinfonietta to Vienna, Austria.  
 
Sweet joined the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra in 1994 as Associate Concertmaster and subsequently led the orchestra for three seasons as Acting Concertmaster under the baton of Zdenek Macal. He also led the orchestra in the widely televised concert with Andrea Bocelli at New Jersey’s Liberty State Park as well as the 9/11 memorial concert featuring Verdi’s Requiem.  Sweet served for four years as concertmaster of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and appeared on the David Letterman show during his term.  He has also been invited to lead other orchestras as guest concertmaster including the New York Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Gerard Swartz, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, with whom he performed Ein Heldenleben to critical acclaim, and the Westfield Symphony among others. He has also played with the American Symphony, Bard Music Festival and the Merce Cunningham Ballet. Sweet has also performed in the Broadway productions of Crazy For You, High Society, and Candide
 
As solois Sweet has appeared with the Evansville Philharmonic, Owensboro Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Bloomfield Symphony, and recently performed the Sibelius Concerto with the Society of the Musical Arts in Maplewood under Stephen Culbertson.  
 
For the documentary film The Resurrection of Gustav Mahler, Sweet was chosen  to perform Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony under the direction of Neemi Jarvi for a benefit concert of the 75th anniversary of Riverside Church in New York City.
 
Sweet is a founding member of the Mostly Mozart at Monteux Festival in Hancock, Maine, and has served as coach and performer at the Raphael Trio Chamber Music Workshop in New Hampshire. In 2007 he joined the faculty of Kean University as a Concert Artist, teaching students and performing chamber music concerts regularly throughout the year. As a teacher Sweet has helped students win positions in leading orchestras including Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony, and New York Philharmonic. Sweet also performs recitals with acclaimed pianist Jenny Lin in the New York metropolitan area.
 
 
  • Education

    Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana,   Bachelor of Music degree and Artist Diploma. Teaching Assistant to Josef Gingold and faculty  for another two years as a Lecturer.

  • Subjects Taught

    Chamber Music
    Private violin instruction