Paula Matthusen is a composer who writes both electroacoustic and acoustic music and realizes sound installations. In addition to writing for a variety of different ensembles, she also collaborates with choreographers and theater companies. She has written for diverse instrumentations, such as “run-on sentence of the pavement” for piano, ping-pong balls, and electronics, which Alex Ross of The New Yorker noted as being “entrancing”. Her work often considers discrepancies in musical space—real, imagined, and remembered.

Her music has been performed by Dither, Mantra Percussion, the Bang On A Can All-Stars, Alarm Will Sound, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), orchest de ereprijs, The Glass Farm Ensemble, the Estonian National Ballet, James Moore, Kathryn Woodard, Todd Reynolds, Kathleen Supové, Margaret Lancaster and Jody Redhage. Her work has been performed at numerous venues and festivals in America and Europe, including the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the MusicNOW Series of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Ecstatic Music Festival, Other Minds, the MATA Festival, Merkin Concert Hall, the Aspen Music Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Institute of Music at MassMoCA, the Gaudeamus New Music Week, SEAMUS, International Computer Music Conference and Dither’s Invisible Dog Extravaganza. She performs frequently with Object Collection, and through the theater company Kinderdeutsch Projekts.

Awards include the Walter Hinrichsen Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Grant, two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers’ Awards, First Prize in the Young Composers’ Meeting Composition Competition, the MacCracken and Langley Ryan Fellowship, the “New Genre Prize” from the IAWM Search for New Music, and recently the 2014 Elliott Carter Rome Prize. Matthusen has also held residencies at The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, create@iEar at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, STEIM, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Matthusen completed her Ph.D. at New York University – GSAS. She was Director of Music Technology at Florida International University for four years, where she founded the FLEA Laptop Ensemble. Matthusen is currently Associate Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, where she teaches experimental music, composition, and music technology.

News archive

11 Sep 2015
“of an implacable subtraction” at Oberlin

Dana Jessen performs of an implacable subtraction along with new pieces for bassoon and electronics by Sam Pluta and Peter Swendsen at Oberlin College. Show starts at 8:00 p.m.!

1 Aug 2015
Bang On A Can Marathon @ MASS MoCA

ontology of an echo will be performed at this year’s Bang On A Can Marathon at MASS MoCA, as part of their fabulous yearly summer festival there!

17 Jul 2015
Festival Internazionale ArteScienza

Elena D’Alò performs forgiveness anthems at the 2015 Festival Internationale ArteScienza (Rome)! The evening will have numerous consecutive performances, with everything kicking off at 8:00 p.m.

21 Jun 2015
concerto for buildings

A new work written for Face the Music, Mantra Percussion, and the performance on different buildings as part of Make Music New York as part of their Concerto for Buildings project! This great initiative will be outdoors on Greene St between Grand St and Broome St, with performances at 3:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.

5 Jun 2015
American Academy in Rome

A series of recent works by myself and Andy Akiho will be performed at the Villa Aurelia at the American Academy in Rome.

29 May 2015
Glass Farm Ensemble at Symphony Space

The Glass Farm Ensemble performs in absentia at Symphony Space (2537 Broadway)! Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

4 May 2015
Alessandra Novaga at the Angelica Festival

The amazing Alessandra Novaga performs “collaborating objects” at the Angelica International Festival of Music (Bologna, Italy). Included in the line up are a number of pieces from her recent album LA CHAMBRE DES JEUX SONORES, including Travis Just, Sandro Mussida, and Francesco Gagliardi. Show starts at 9:30 p.m.!

22 Apr 2015
Shoptalk at the American Academy in Rome

Presenting recent work, as well as a discussion of showing and hiding / showing and vanishing, a recently completed work on the eleven ancient aqueducts of Rome written for Mantra Percussion, Dither Electric Guitar Quartet, Philip White, reel-to-reel performers, and fixed media. Lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. at the American Academy in Rome.

21 Apr 2015
Lecture at the American Academy in Berlin

Discussing recent works at the American Academy in Berlin.

20 Apr 2015
Scharoun Ensemble at the Watergate Club

The fabulous Scharoun Ensemble will perform a series of works for instruments and electronics along with recent works by Andy Akiho at the Watergate Club in Berlin! Show starts at 8:00 p.m.

9 Apr 2015
New Music Miami

“in absentia” featured as part of the 2015 New Music Miami ISCM Festival. This concert features the NODUS Ensemble and the Amernet String Quartet performing a series of new chamber works. Show begins at 7:30 p.m.

25 Mar 2015
Jessen, Splendor & Shackle

Dana Jessen performs “of an implaccable subtraction,” as well as pieces by Sam Pluta and Peter V. Swendsen. The evening includes improvisations with Shackle. Show will be performed at Splendor (Amsterdam)!

23 Mar 2015
“of an implaccable subtraction” + Rustik Haus

Virtuoso bassoonist Dana Jessen performs “of an implaccable subtraction” at Casa Rustica (as part of Rustik Haus Musik) at the American Academy in Rome as part of a series of new works she has commissioned, including pieces by Sam Pluta and Peter V. Swendsen.

14 Mar 2015
surface/resurface at O’

Performing alongside Abinadi Meza as part of the ongoing project surface/resurface at O’ in Milan! Opening for the great Ron Kuivila. Show starts at 7:00 p.m.!

11 Mar 2015

“Nocturne R6105″ co-created with Abinadi Meza premieres at Earfest at Stony Brook! Included in the fabulous line up are Eleonore Oppenheim, Florent Ghys, Lainie Fefferman, Jascha Narveson, Mats Lindström, and Vinny Metas. Show starts at 8:00 p.m. in the Staller Center Recital Hall.