Arranged back in 2018, my reworking of melodies and passagework from Thomas Adès’s 2004 opera, The Tempest, will finally see its world premiere. Two stunning up-and-comings take the stage in this furious yet intimate rendition of Mr Adès’s music. Ms. Thomas and Ms. Smith are members of Concept Ensemble, a Brisbane based contemporary-experimental chamber ensemble hailing from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music at Griffith University.
Keeping the Midwest tradition of words and music class alive, the University of Indianapolis music composition and creative writing departments invite current students and alums to write new art songs together. Matthew teams up with poet, Ms. Raines (Class of 2019), and his wife and vocalist, Mrs. Bridgham (Class of 2013) in a new song for voice and piano. Pain is as much a song about adversity as it is about hope.
What started as a “Hey write me a short piece for this casual performance” turned into a five-movement statement for two unlikely but beautifully complementary instruments. Ms. Ratdke and Ms. Ajango will premiere Partita at Arizona State University as part of the North American Saxophone Alliance 2020 Biennial Conference – that’s a mouthful! And so is Partita , which follows the typical structure of a baroque suite, beginning with a Prelude, alternating fast and slow dance movements, culminating in a blisteringly quick and humorous Giga in a Spanish/Italian style. Reeds be damned!
Three Salon Pieces for septet (wind quartet plus piano trio) serves as a set of light-hearted thank-you notes to Ronen’s three co-creative directors, Greg Martin (piano), David Bellman (clarinet), and Ingrid Fischer Bellman (cello). In 2018, I wrote them a challenging piece for clarinet plus piano trio called Avon Yard. This piece was very personal for me, but also more of a concept than outright music. It might not have been exactly the kind of music they expected from me, but nevertheless they premiered it with such refinement and beauty. I wanted to say thank you for their flexibility. Let me put it this way: if Avon Yard was a big dinner with a healthy portion of greens, Three Salon Pieces is a light yet indulgent dessert.
I wrote my first nocturne as a freshman at the University of Indianapolis. My piano teacher, Dr. Ratliff, mentored me through the process of learning it and performing it. Skip ahead ten years. Here I am again. Back home in Indiana and I have this new nocturne based on a song I wrote at Yale (not unlike Liszt’s Petrarch Sonnets). It feels like a fitting and touching bookend to our time as student and teacher. I wish him luck on his retirement and hope he will keep in touch.
Variations on a Theme by Eric Adamshick (2018) for cello solo | Eric Adamshick | Score
Avon Yard (2017) for clarinet and piano trio| Ronen Chamber Ensemble
Sonata for violin and piano (2016-17) | Elly Toyoda & Matthew Bridgham | Score
Fantasy (2017) for marimba | Doug Perry | Score
Variations (2015) for ob, bsn, and pno | Pam Ajango, Mark Ortwein, and Matthew Bridgham
Sweetfeather (2014-15) for voice and piano | Shea Owens and Michael Barrett
Pas de Deux (2014) for two cellos | Eric Haugen and Victor Minke Huls
For more music including video game music arrangements, visit Matthew’s YouTube Channel