multi-instrumentalist from Middleboro, Massachusetts, who started playing
trombone when he was nine years old and graduated to the bass trombone at
He might have been
a football player, but when he broke his collar bone and fractured his left
arm, he decided that the musical life was for him.
accepting a scholarship to the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, he
enrolled in Boston
University as a music
major and Russian language minor.
His time at B.U. allowed him to work with Empire Brass and become a
member of the Epic Brass Quintet.
to the New England Conservatory, where he studied under Norman Bolter and
Douglas Yeo, and received his Bachelor of Arts
degree in 1986. In 1988, he
graduated from NEC with his Master’s of Music degree, won the Donald Yaxley Scholarship, and continued his studies at Tanglewood.
He also studied at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute.
professional experience included stints with the Boston Ballet, Boston
Pops, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Opera Company of Boston. He appears on the BSO’s 1988 album, R. Strauss: Elektra.
April 1989, he performed Vivian Fine’s “Discourse of Goatherds”
University as part of
Vivian Fine Appreciation Week.
He landed a
full-time job with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and that led to work
with the San Francisco Symphony.
Stage and screen were not far off for Matthew, who went on tour with
a Broadway touring company production of Les Miserables in the Northwestern United States. In 1990, he appeared on the
soundtrack of Predator 2, which
was recorded at Skywalker Ranch.
He aced an
audition for the National Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich hired him as their bass
trombonist in 1991. Other
groups with whom he has performed comprise the Baltimore Symphony, Chicago
Chamber Musicians, The Guarneri String Quartet, the Harvard University Band,
the Krakow Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the New York
Philharmonic, the U.S. Army Band, the U.S. Army Orchestra, and the
Washington Trombone Ensemble.
In 1993, he
began teaching at the University
of Maryland in College Park. He has also taught at Bethel College, the Catholic University of
America, the Eastern Trombone Workshop, the National Orchestral Institute,
the International Trombone Festival, and the Manhattan School of Music.
He appeared on
a handful of CDs in the 1990s, including Dmitri Shostakovich/Mstislav Rostropovich: Complete Symphonies, Glennie/Schwantner/Slatkin/Jordan,
Of Rage and Remembrance, and Sing Noel!!. Of
Rage and Remembrance won a Grammy award in 1997 in the category of Best
and 16th November 1998, the Chicago Chamber Musicians
interpreted Giovanni Gabrieli’s “Canzon in Double Echo a12” from his Sacrae Symphoniae
and “Sonata pian’ e
forte”. It barely
interrupted his recording career.
In the late
‘90s and early 2000s, he appeared on Ancient Airs for Brass & Organ, Christmas with the Master Chorale of Washington, Melodious Accord, Michael Kamen: The New Moon in the Old Moon’s
Arms, Piano Grand! A Smithsonian Celebration, Slatkin/Prokofiev: 6th Symphony and Music
From A Love for Three Oranges,
and Stabat Mater.
He started his
own business in 2004, the National Music Management Agency, which contracts
musicians in the nation’s capital and beyond. Groups who have used his services
include The Choral Arts Society of Washington, The John F. Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts, The Master Chorale of
Washington, NASA, The Smithsonian, The Washington Chorus, and Washington
was getting off the ground, so was a brass trio with the catchy name, Tres Bone.
Matthew also started this enterprise, along with co-founders,
Christopher Dudley and Ken Wolff.
They made their debut on 19th February 2006, at one of
Matthew’s faculty recitals at U of M-College Park. Around this time, they were also
working on their debut album, Bach and Forth. On 17th March 2006, they
appeared at Loboda Studio at Fort Myer, Virginia,
in a program of Johann Sebastian Bach’s My Spirit Be Joyful, BWV 146 (arranged by Matthew),
“Prelude IX” from The
Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, “Trio from Sonata No. 2, BWV
1015” and “Trio Sonata”, the world premiere of Joseph
Lawson’s “Snap Crackle Pop”, Mark O’Connor’s
“Appalachia Waltz”, and Raymond Premru’s
“Two Pieces for Three Trombones”.
back at Loboda Studio for a performance of Tommy
Pederson’s “Blue Topaz” at the Eastern Trombone Workshop
on 15th March 2008.
March 2009, he and trombonists Barry Hearn and Craig Mulcahy
and tuba player Stephen Dumaine gave
demonstrations and master classes at Henderson
and Ouachita Baptist University
in Arkadelphia, as part of the NSO’s
Trombone Ensemble appeared at St.
John’s Episcopal Church on 15th
November 2009 in a recital that included Bach’s “Passacaglia in
C minor”, Franz Biebl’s “Ave
Maria (Angelicus Domini)”, Norman
Bolter’s “Fanfare to the Rising Phoenix” and “Peri-dots”, the second movement from Johannes
Brahms’ “Symphony No. 3”, Rob Deemer’s
from Gustav Mahler’s “Symphony No. 2”, a reprise of Tommy
Pederson’s “Blue Topaz” (with Matthew as soloist), and
the prelude to Act III of Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin.
Matthew was an adjudicator at the ITA’s
George Roberts Bass Trombone Competition.
Trombone Ensemble premiered James M. Stephenson’s “The Road Not
Taken” at the Eastern Trombone Workshop on 20th March
October 2010, Albany Records released Brass
Trios, featuring Matthew with French horn player Gregory Miller and
trumpeter Chris Gekker interpreting works by
Lauren Bernofsky, Eric Ewazen,
Alan Hovhaness, Vaclav Nelhybel,
Anthony Plog, and David Sampson.
participated in the sixth annual BrassWorks at
of Puget Sound on 23rd
October 2010. The very full
Saturday included equipment displays, workshops, and a concert by Brass Ensemble,
John Falskow, Matthew, Gerald Morris, Puget
Brass, Judson Scott, Wind Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble Brass. The last week of October included a
concert entitled “A Year with Frog and Toad” at Tacoma Musical
Playhouse and the University of Puget Sound Schneebeck
February 2011, Matthew and pianist Sophia Kim Cook and trombonist Craig Mulcahy appeared in concert with the University of Maryland
Trombone Choir at Gildenhorn
Recital Hall in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Their program included: Franz Biebl’s
“Ave Maria”; Derek Bourgeois’s
“Scherzo Funebre, Op. 86”; Charles
Small Craig’s “Conversation”; Edvard
Grieg’s “Landkjending, Op. 31”;
James Kazik’s “The Hex Files”
and “Mini Overture”; Richard Peaslee’s
“The Arrows of Time”; and, Henri Tomasi’s
“etre ou ne pas etre (monologue d’Hamlet)”.
Then he had to
hot-foot it to the Bluegrass
State for the NSO’s Kentucky Residency. The tour included stops in Florence, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro, Paducah and Somerset
for performances of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 4 in B
flat major, Op. 60”, Aaron Copland’s suite from Appalachian Spring, Michael
Daugherty’s “Route 66”, and selections from Maurice
Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe.
February 2011, the Washington Trombone Ensemble reprised James
Stephenson’s “The Road Not Taken” at Capitol Hill United
Methodist in Washington,
D.C. They immortalized it on CD in March
Paul Hill Chorale recordings
O Come All Ye Faithful (Frederick
Oakeley/John Francis Wade)
Arranger – Jackson Berkey
Conductor – Paul Hill
Organist – Sondra Proctor
Capital Brass and Percussion Ensemble