Matthew Barnson composes for orchestras, choirs, string quartets, voices, chamber ensembles, dancers, and computers. Recently, his music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Centre Pompidou, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kennedy Center, the Aldeburgh Festival, the Royal Academy of Music, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, ISCM World Music Days, MATA, Wigmore Hall, Aspen, Heidelberger Frühling, ManiFest, the San Francisco War Memorial, and other venues throughout the United States and Europe. His work has been recognized with awards and commissions from the Barlow Endowment, Aaron Copland House, NewMusicUSA, Jerome Foundation, Yale University, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among others and in addition to residencies at a number of artist colonies in the United States and abroad.
He studied at Eastman, the University of Pennsylvania, IRCAM, and Yale with Christopher Rouse, Joseph Schwantner, Steven Stucky, Augusta Read Thomas, Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman, Ingram Marshall, and David Lang. Studies with Wolfgang Rihm at Acanthes were brief but important and influential. Large-scale works have been commissioned by, and performed in recent seasons by Third Coast Percussion, the Yale School of Music, the JACK Quartet, Volti and Heidelberger Frühling. He is currently composing works for the Dublin Laptop Orchestra, the Mivos Quartet, DuoZwei, and New Morse Code.
In February, Tzadik released his album of string quartets performed by the Arditti and JACK Quartets.
Barnson teaches composition, electronic music, theory, and the history of music after 1945 and has taught at Yale College, chaired the composition and theory department at New York’s Third Street Music School Settlement, and served as assistant professor of composition at Trinity College Dublin.