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

31 Jul 2016
Guest lecture at the Walden School

Giving a guest lecture on recent compositions and projects as Composer-In-Residence for the Young Musicians Program at The Walden School.

29 Jul 2016
“of whole movements and migration” at Walden!

The Walden Chamber Players perform of whole movements and migration for piano, percussion, clarinet, flute, and live-electronics as part of the fabulous series of events of the Young Musicians Program at the Walden School.

28 Jul 2016
Hambidge Residency!

Working on a new project with the amazing Olivia Valentine from July 5th – July 28th at Hambidge!

27 Jul 2016
ACRE w/ Olivia Valentine

Performing a version of the collaborative work for improvisatory live-electronics and lace making developed with Olivia Valentine at in the grain silo at ACRE (Steuben, WI). Performance runs from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

25 Jul 2016
Salonathan @ ACRE

Performing a very short set at ACRE (WI) as part of an off-site and itinerant version of Salonathan!

3 Jul 2016
GVSU New Music Ensemble + National Parks

Premiere of a new work written for Wind Cave National Park by the GVSU New Music Ensemble! The group will premiere a series of new works written for selected National Parks, with contributions from Betsy Biggs, Rob Deemer, Alexandra Gardner, Patrick Harlin, Jeff Herriott, Molly Joyce, & Phil Kline.

13 Jun 2016
Charlotte New Music Festival

Will be a guest composer at the Charlotte New Music Festival this June! As part of this, Iktus Percussion will perform so much of any year is flammable.

8 May 2016
Premiere with Metropolis Ensemble

New work to be performed by the Metropolis Ensemble at the Phillips Collection (D.C.) alongside works by Chris Cerrone and Jakub Ciupinski! Show is at 4:00 p.m.

2 May 2016
Premiere of new piece for Loadbang

The Loadbang Ensemble premieres a new piece alongside new works written by David Bird, Per Bloland, Christina Green, Gary Philo and Beth Weimann as part of their Premieres (Volume 5). Show starts at 7:30 p.m. The National Opera Center (NYC).

22 Apr 2016
MEME Colloquium at Brown

Giving a colloquium on recent works through MEME at Brown!

21 Apr 2016
Ben Munisteri @ BAM

Choreographer Ben Munisteri includes of memory and minutiae in the premiere of his new work Antimony (51) at BAM! Show runs from April 21 – 23.

9 Apr 2016
Uncertainty Music Series

Performing alongside Terri Hron and Dana Jessen for the Uncertainty Music Series in New Haven! Show starts at 8:00 p.m.

12 Mar 2016
Collaboration with Olivia Valentine

Performing some newly developed work with textile artist Olivia Valentine in Budapest. Please email for more details!

10 Mar 2016
Escola Superior De Música De Catalunya

Performing a of live-electronics concert with Juraj Kojs at ESMUC ! Concert starts at 7:30 p.m., with a master class preceding it at 6:00 p.m.

9 Mar 2016
Guest Lecture

Giving a guest lecture on recent works alongside Juraj Kojs at the IE School of Architecture and Design, in Segovia, Spain!