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

5 Nov 2020

between systems and grounds with Olivia Valentine to be featured as part of the Acoustic+ Series hosted by Mise-En_Place. Event begins at 2:30 p.m.

1 Oct 2020
Antenna Studies!

Splinter Reeds gathers together for an online celebration of the video release of Antenna Studies filmed by Tom Snelgrove. The evening will be joined by Tung-Hui Hu, who wrote original poetry for the work. Event begins at 8pm!

26 Jun 2019
Charlotte New Music Festival

Excited to be one of the guest artists at this year’s Charlotte New Music Festival!

11 Jun 2019
Divergent Studio

Am excited to be a guest composer at Longy’s Divergent Studio! Excited for a portrait concert in the evening featuring students and Loadbang!

2 Jun 2019
Chunky in Heat

Experiments in Opera‘s fabulous production of Chunky in Heat continues!

1 Jun 2019
Chunky in Heat

Experiments in Opera‘s fabulous production of Chunky in Heat continues!

31 May 2019
Experiments in Opera!

Delighted to be included in the line up for Chunky in Heat, featuring composers Jason Cady, Paula Matthusen, Erin Rogers, Aaron Siegel, Shelley Washington and Matthew Welch, with a libretto by A. M. Holmes.

18 May 2019
Queens New Music Festival

Kathleen Supové will perform …by the inexplicabilities we call coincidence at the Queens New Music Festival.

13 May 2019
Tigue: This New Forest

The amazing trio Tigue presents the NYC premieres as part of This New Forest, featuring Gravity Studies, and a premiere by Elori Kramer. Show starts at 8:00 p.m. at Roulette!

19 Apr 2019
Lathyrus at University of Virginia

The MICE Ensemble will perform Lathyrus on the Telemetry Music Series.

13 Apr 2019
Spacepants at the California Institute for Abnormal Arts

Spacepants will perform Mysteries, Yes at the California Institute for Abnormal Arts.

12 Apr 2019
Antenna Studies in Miami

Splinter Reeds will perform Antenna Studies at the Center for Visual Communication in Miami.

11 Apr 2019
Redactions at Human Resources

Looking forward to performing Redactions with Abigail Levine at Human Resources!

2 Apr 2019

RighteousGIRLS will perform in absentia at the Metropolis Ensemble Gallery.

31 Mar 2019
Lathyrus at Rutgers University

Rutgers Interactive Music Ensemble (RIME) will perform Lathyrus.