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

30 Jun 2013
AEG at Napa Valley Opera House

The Estonian National Ballet continues their tour of AEG, with a performance at the Napa Valley Opera House! Show starts at 4:00 p.m.

28 Jun 2013
AEG comes to San Francisco!

The Estonian National Ballet performs AEG, with original choreography by Tiit Helimets and text by Abi Basch at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco! The original score features performances by Kathleen Supové, Yvonne Troxler, Tiit Helimets, and Molly Shaiken.

25 Jun 2013
Other Minds Festival

A series of works will be featured as part of the Other Minds Festival, including an improvisation with Pamela Z! Show starts at 8:00 p.m.!

24 May 2013
“in absentia” at Tangents Guitar Series

James Moore and Andie Springer perform “in absentia” at the Tangents Guitar Series in San Francisco. Composers featured include John Zorn, Lainie Fefferman, Larry Polansky, and Ken Thomson. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

16 May 2013
3 Nights!

Mantra Percussion performs a series of new pieces alongside Jamie Jordan, Kathleen Supové, Wil Smith, and Aaron Meicht as part of their fabulous series Three Nights at Music at First. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.!

25 Apr 2013
New Music Miami ISCM Festival

“eden’s arch of promise bending” documenting sounds collected within the ventilators of the Old Croton Aqueduct to be featured at the New Music Miami ISCM Festival. Show is at the Spanish Cultural Center and starts at 7:30 p.m. Special thanks to the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct and EMF.

14 Mar 2013
Premiere of “the ontology of an echo”

The Bang On A Can All-Stars premiere “the ontology of an echo” as part of the People’s Commissioning Fund and the Ecstatic Music Festival! Show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Merkin Concert Hall and features new works by Anna Clyne, Dan Deacon, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Tyondai Braxton, and Fay Kueen Wang.