Father Sean Brett Duggan, 0. S. B., monk of St. Joseph Abbey near Covington, Louisiana, was born on October 11, 1954 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He attended Loyola University in New Orleans, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance. Upon graduation he also received the University's Male Student of the Year award and the College of Music's Most Valuable Graduate award. After obtaining the Master of Fine Arts degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1979, he was employed by the Pittsburgh Opera Company for three years as its pianist and assistant chorus master. He also taught piano at Carnegie Mellon and was a member of the Carnegie Mellon Trio. In 1982 he entered the Benedictine order at St. Joseph Abbey. In September, 1983 he won first prize in the Johann Sebastian Bach International Competition for pianists in Washington, D. C., which entitled him, among other honors, to give various concerts around the country and a two-month tour of Germany. In the Bach Year, 1985, he gave complete performances of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier in New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Birmingham to critical acclaim. In 1991 he participated again in the Bach Competition in Washington, D. C.; this time he was one of three first-place winners, which entitled him to another round of concert engagements and a second tour of Germany.
Father Duggan has studied piano with Barbara Heartz, Maryanne Nagy, James Bastien, Joan Purswell, Nelson Whitaker, William Masselos and Paul Maillet. He has appeared with various orchestras including the Louisiana Philharmonic and the American Chamber Orchestra. Guest performances at various summer festivals have included the piano and chamber music festival in La Gesse, France, the Villa Chopin near Malaga, Spain, and the Taubman Institute in Amhurst, Massachusetts. He continues to give concerts regularly in the New Orleans area and elsewhere. In the year 2000, which will be the 250th anniversary of Bach's death, he plans to perform the complete cycle of Bach's keyboard works in a series of fifteen recitals. He was a solo winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society in 1978 and a winner as part of a trio in 1979.