Competition: US & Canada
Matthew Ricketts (b. 1986, British Columbia) is a Canadian composer currently based in New York City. His music often engages with text-music relationships, quotation, impersonation and ekphrasis, moving from extremes of presence and absence, clamor and quietude. Matthew’s music has been noted for its “effervescent and at times prickly sounds” and “hypnotically churning exploration of melody” (ICareIfYouListen) as well as its “tart harmonies and perky sputterings” (The New York Times).
His works have been performed internationally by ensembles and soloists including JACK Quartet, Mivos Quartet, the Fromm Players, Quatuor Bozzini, the Chiara String Quartet; vocalists Margot Rood, Ellen Wieser, Tony Arnold, Sharon Harms and Ekmeles; Yarn/Wire, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), Wet Ink, TAK, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, Ensemble Paramirabo, Argento Ensemble, Talea Ensemble, Jean-Willy Kunz, Sara Laimon and Julia Den Boer, the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra (Robert Spano, cond.), Esprit Orchestra (Alex Pauk, cond.), the Minnesota Orchestra (Osmo Vänskä, cond.) and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (Kent Nagano, cond.). Matthew was Composer-Collaborator-In-Residence at East Carolina University from 2016-2018.
Matthew is the recipient of eight prizes in the SOCAN Foundation’s Awards for Young Composers, a 2013 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, the 2015 Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award, the 2016 Mivos/Kanter Prize, the 2016 Jacob Druckman Prize from the Aspen Music Festival, the 2016 Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Prize, the 2018 Elliott Carter Memorial Fellowship from the Tanglewood Music Center and a 2019 MacDowell Colony Fellowship.
Active as a writer as well as a composer, Matthew has published articles, reviews, poetry and libretti, and has worked closely with renowned authors and poets Lauren J. Rogener, Paul Legault and Tomson Highway on multiple collaborative projects. Other collaborative endeavors include recent works for dancer-choreographers Brendan Drake and Jennifer Nichols and scoring the forthcoming feature film Glob Lessons (dir. Nicole Rodenburg).
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 is currently a Core Lecturer at Columbia University.
Profile photograph by Michael Kuhn