Matthew Ricketts, composer
Matthew Ricketts (b. 1986, British Columbia) is a Canadian composer currently based in New York City. His music moves from extremes of presence and absence, from clamor to quietude, at once reticent and flamboyant. Matthew’s music has been called “lyrical, contrapuntal, rhythmically complex and highly nuanced” (The American Academy of Arts and Letters) and is noted for his “effervescent and at times prickly sounds,” “hypnotically churning exploration of melody” (ICareIfYouListen) as well as its “tart harmonies and perky sputterings” (The New York Times). He is a 2020 Gaudeamus Finalist and a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow.
In 2018 Ricketts’ multilingual opera Chaakapesh: The Trickster’s Quest (written in collaboration with renowned Cree playwright Tomson Highway) opened the Montreal Symphony’s 84th season to great critical acclaim and went on to tour Indigenous communities throughout Québec.
Matthew is the recipient of fellowships from Civitella Ranieri (2020/2021), The American Academy of Arts and Letters (2020), MacDowell (2019), the Tanglewood Music Center (2018 Elliott Carter Memorial Fellowship) and the Aspen Music Festival (2017), in addition to the 2016 Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Prize, the 2016 Jacob Druckman Prize (Aspen Music Festival), the 2016 Mivos/Kanter Prize, the 2015 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award, a 2013 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award and eight prizes in the SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Composers.
Matthew holds degrees in music composition and theory from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music (B.Mus. 2009) and Columbia University (DMA 2017). Matthew’s principal mentors include Brian Cherney, John Rea, Chris Paul Harman, George Lewis and Fred Lerdahl. He was a Core Lecturer at Columbia University from 2017-2020.
Adrift (2020), concerto for clarinet and orchestra
Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
Rupert Wachter, clarinet
Kent Nagano, conductor
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