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

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 the Heat

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

1 Jun 2019
Chunky in the Heat

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

31 May 2019
Experiments in Opera!

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

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!

16 Jun 2018
Longy’s Divergent Studio

of minutiae and memory to be performed at Longy’s Divergent Studio Summer Program! More details to come.

15 Jun 2018
CT Summerfest Contemporary Music Festival

Delighted to be serving as part of the composition faculty for the 2018 Connecticut Summerfest Contemporary Music Festival!

14 Jun 2018
Of Serra @ Fridman Gallery: June 11 – 14

Live-electronics performance for Abigail Levine‘s Restagings # 2: Of Serra (to movement) runs at Fridman Gallery from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.!

9 Jun 2018
Vocal Constructivists tribute to Pauline Oliveros

The Vocal Constructivists perform within the fricative light of intention as part of their tribute concerts to Pauline Oliveros at Lumen Church (Bloomsbury, UK).

7 Jun 2018
Sonic Innovations @ Caramoor

A new sound installation to open as part of Sonic Innovations at Caramoor!

1 Jun 2018
Restagings No. 2: Of Serra (to movement)

Performing live-electronics for Abigail Levine‘s newest work, Restagings No. 2: Of Serra (to movement) at Vox Populi. The opening reception runs from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

30 May 2018
Loadbang Record Release Party

The fabulous Loadbang Ensemble celebrates the release of their newest CD which includes old fires catch old buildings on it in addition to works by Taylor Brook, Reiko Füting, Angélica Negrón, Scott Wollschleger, Jeffrey Gavett and William Lang at Arete! Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

11 May 2018
Ladies First

ins frische Segensspruch performed by the Kathleen Supové and Sharon Harms as part of Ladies First at the National Opera Center. Show begins at 7:00 p.m.

29 Apr 2018
Anticausal Systems Kickoff Party

Performing live-electronics as part of the celebration for the launch of the Anticausal Systems Label, spearheaded by Philip White! Show is at JACK and begins at 7 pm.