Mathew Rosenblum

Fellow: Awarded 2013

Field of Study: Music Composition

Competition: US & Canada


Mathew Rosenblum’s music is filled with diverse musical elements derived from classical, jazz, rock, and world music traditions. The Boston Globe called his music “an ear-buzzing flood of sound, rich in unusual overtones,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described his work Mobius Loop as “richly layered" and stated that it “shimmered with vibrancy.” A wide array of groups have commissioned, performed, and recorded his music, such as the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Harry Partch Institute, the American Composers Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, the Calmus Ensemble of Leipzig, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and Sequitur. Using a variety of tuning systems, his work does not live within traditional boundaries, creating a compellingly fresh landscape.

Rosenblum’s works have been performed throughout the United States, South America, and Europe, including at the ISCM World Music Days in Oslo, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, De Ijsbreker in Amsterdam, the Tonhalle in Düsseldorf, the Bing Theater in Los Angeles, Sala Nezahualcóyotl in Mexico City, and at the Sonic Boom Festival, the Kitchen, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, the Guggenheim Museum, and Miller Theatre in New York City.

In the fall of 2001 Rosenblum was a core participant in the American Composers Orchestra’s Orchestra Tech Festival and Conference in New York City where his piece Nü kuan tzu, for singers, samplers, and chamber orchestra, was one of twenty works featured in the festival. In 2009 he was a Senior Faculty Composer at the June in Buffalo Festival. Other honors include four Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Music Fellowship Grants, a Heinz Endowments Creative Heights Award, two Fromm Foundation Commissions, a National Endowment for the Arts Music Fellowship Grant, a Barlow Endowment Commission, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists Fellowship Grant. He has also received awards and fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Institute of Contemporary American Music, the Rockefeller Foundation, BMI, the MacDowell Colony, the Djerassi Foundation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo.

Rosenblum received degrees in composition from the New England Conservatory of Music and Princeton University and is currently Professor of Composition and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Pittsburgh where he also co-directs the Music on the Edge new music series. His works have appeared on the MODE, New World Records, Albany, Capstone, Opus One, and CRI Emergency Music labels and is published by C. F. Peters Corporation and Plurabelle Music (distributed by Subito Music Corporation).

Current projects include a commission from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a compact disc release on the BMOP/sound label featuring the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet, and a Barlow Endowment commission written for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and Lindsay Kesselman based on the James Dickey poem “Falling” that traces a flight attendant’s fall from an airplane (based on an actual New York Times article) and kaleidoscopically details her intense psychological and physical journey to the ground.



"Yonah?s Dream"(2008)

Commissioned by the Harry Partch Institute at Montclair State University and was written for the MSU Harry Partch Ensemble featuring flute soloist Stefani Starin. This excerpt is from a recording on the New World Records label (CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS, New World Records 80736-2) by Newband (Stefani Starin, flute; Dean Drummund, conductor). "Yonah’s Dream" was composed for the exotic home-made instruments created by the American experimentalist composer Harry Partch (1901-74). Partch

"Double Concerto" (2010) for Baritone Saxophone, Percussion, and Orchestra

Commissioned by the Fromm Foundation for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (Gil Rose, conductor; Kenneth Coon and Lisa Pegher, soloists). This excerpt is from an upcoming release on the BMOP/Sound label.

"Two Harmonies" (movement II, "Fantasy for Roberta Liss") (2011) for viola, percussion, and keyboards

Commissioned by landscape architect and visual artist Andrew Zientek for a video he created with Francis Bitonti.  "Fantasy for Roberta Liss" is dedicated to my dear cousin (long-time Upper East-Sider and self described "tough broad from the Bronx"). The work incorporates a microtonally altered digital keyboard that uses a 19 note-to-the-octave, ‘equal beating minor third’ tuning that adds a large amount of just-third intervals to the texture. This excerpt