Sean Priest


Sean teaches Trumpet and Brass Performance at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University.

He is a Fellow of Trinity College London and a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and holds postgraduate degrees in Music, Politics and Education. Key influences on his development as a musician and educator include Gordon Webb (former Principal Trumpet of the London Philharmonic), Valentin Malkov (former Principal Trumpet of the Leningrad Philharmonic), and International Baroque trumpet specialist Paul Plunkett.

Sean currently draws upon 20 years experience as an elite performer and tertiary educator. He began his professional career playing trumpet with the Tasmanian Symphony when he was 16. He continues to play guest principal trumpet with many of Australia’s professional State Orchestras, having previously held positions with Orchestra Victoria, as Associate Principal, and then Principal Trumpet with the West Australian Symphony for seven years.

His career spans symphonic orchestral, opera and ballet, and commercial styles. He has appeared as orchestral soloist with TSO and WASO, recorded for ABC Classics, and broadcast on ABC radio. Among many recordings for radio, cd, film, tv, and gaming, he can be heard on the Young Indiana Jones TV series, Dungeons and Dragons video games and recent movies such as the recent Death Defying Acts and The Bank Job.

Sean is committed to music and musicians that operate at a deeply human nexus of art and science. His teaching begins with the assumption that musicians are firstly people who wish to communicate and explore the tension between music as abstract and music as a cultural articulator.

His philosophy and approach constantly seek to integrate the performer, composer, musicologist and teacher within. Beyond orchestral, solo and chamber performance, Sean’s own research interests revolve around the evolution of trumpet and brass pedagogy and performance practice. His current focus is the emergence, evolution and influence of 19th century valved trumpet performance practice emanating from France.


Sean has lectured and conducted at the tertiary level since 1994 having held positions at the University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia, University of Tasmania, Edith Cowan University, Melba Conservatorium and now Monash. Along with his ongoing commitment to trumpet and brass performance, he has also taught brass pedagogy, brass orchestration and composition, music performance, chamber music and orchestral skills.

He is regularly sought after as a specialist teacher and examiner-adjudicator and has fulfilled these roles across the gamut of educational and community contexts including State Government Education Departments, and bodies such as the Australian Youth Orchestra and the Tasmanian Bands League.

Sean has also conducted research for the Global Terrorism Research Unit and Lectured in Politics for the School of Political & Social Inquiry both at Monash University.