About this Artist
A true star among young classical musicians, Monica Czausz Berney has quickly made a name for herself as one of the finest organists on the scene today. Known for her creative programming and innovative use of the organ, she was recognized as one of the top 20 organists under 30 in the May 2016 issue of The Diapason. She has received first prize in numerous competitions, including the 2015 American Guild of Organists Regional Competition for Young Organists (Region VII: Southwest), the 2015 Schweitzer Competition in the Young Professionals’ Division, the 2013 William C. Hall Competition, the 2012 L. Cameron Johnson Competition, and the 2011 Oklahoma City University Competition.
Ms. Berney has performed at significant venues across the United States, including Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Merrill Auditorium in Portland (Maine,) the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Spivey Hall in Morrow (Georgia), the Eccles Festival at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Fresno State University for the International Philip Lorenz Keyboard Festival, and a mini concert tour in Hawaii. Monica’s performances have been broadcast on Pipedreams, WRTI Philadelphia, 91.7 Houston, and KTRU Rice Radio.
She has performed widely at conventions of the American Guild of Organists including the guild’s most-recent 2021 online OrganFest, the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Regional convention in southern New Jersey, the 2017 Southwest Regional Convention in Dallas, the 2017 Northeast Regional AGO/National RCCO Convention in Montréal, and the 2016 National Convention in Houston, where she performed both for Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral, and as a “Rising Star,” where she gave “a fabulous performance that displayed artistic mastery far beyond her years” according to The American Organist. She has appeared at three conventions of the Organ Historical Society: 2017 in Minneapolis/St. Paul, 2016 in Philadelphia, where at her performance in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, she was said to have “played with great flair” (The American Organist), and 2015 in western Massachusetts. She also performed at the East Texas Pipe Organ Festival in Kilgore (Texas) where The Tracker reported, “this young lady just blew us all away.” During the summer of 2016, she accompanied the Christ Church Cathedral (Houston) Choir on their tour of England where they fulfilled residencies at the Cathedrals of St. Paul’s (London), Durham, and Bristol.
Monica graduated from The Curtis Institute of Music in May of 2019 with an Artist Diploma in Organ Performance and a Performer’s Certificate in Harpsichord Performance, where she studied with Alan Morrison and Leon Schelhase, respectively. In May of 2017, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas, where she completed a five-year combined Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree program in Organ Performance. At Rice she studied with renowned professor Ken Cowan and, upon graduation, was awarded the Undergraduate Distinction in Research and Creative Work.
Monica currently serves as Director of Music and Artistic Ministries at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Dallas, Texas. Prior positions held include Cathedral Organist at Houston’s Christ Church Cathedral under the leadership of acclaimed director Robert Simpson, and Assistant Organist at The Parish of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Catherine of Siena in New York City.