"And all the trees of the field will clap their hands" reviewed in Sundsvalls Tidning

"John Frost grew up partly in Sundsvall. Shi-Yeon Sung is in the world elite of female conductors. But the surprise was the winner of Uppsala composer competition 2014: Matthew Peterson's "And all the trees of the field will clap their hands".

It is inspired by the prophet Isaiah, who said: "so is the word that comes from my mouth, it will not return to me empty." Matthew Peterson thought of echoes; he painted an unruly nature, snorting with life and power, making the echo into a compositional technique.

Here the echoes result in a piece that seems to sound in several horizontal layers, cut into parallel realities. It trembles like oscillating mirrors, vibrating in glittering threads; as if nothing is fixed and everything is just possibility, the innermost spirit of material. A fine-sounding, suggestive, innovative piece, which I hope the orchestra takes up again."

-Susanne Holmlund, Sundsvalls Tidning, Apr 18 2015 (translation by the composer)

"Johan fröst är delvis fostrad i Sundsvall. Shi-Yeon Sung finns i världstoppen av kvinnliga dirigenter. Men överraskningen blev vinnaren av Uppsala tonsättartävling 2014: Matthew Petersons "And all the trees of the field will clap their hands".

Den är inspirerad av profeten Jesaja, där det också sägs: "så är det med ordet som kommer ur min mun: det vänder inte fruktlöst tillbaka". Matthew Peterson tänkte på ekon; han målade en bångstyrig natur, frustande av liv och kraft och gjorde ekot till en egen kompositionsteknik.

Här verkar ekona som om stycket spelas i flera horisontella lager, klyvs i parallella verkligheter. Det dallrar som av svängande speglar, vibrerar som av glittertrådar; som om inget är fast och allt bara sannolikhet, som materiens innersta väsen. Ett skönklingande, suggestivt, nydanande stycke, som jag hoppas orkestern tar upp igen."

-Susanne Holmlund, Sundsvalls Tidning, Apr 18 2015



Föreningen Svenska Tonsättare elects Matthew Peterson

FST (Föreningen Svenska Tonsättare, Society of Swedish Composers) has elected composer Matthew Peterson to membership effective 2014.


The Society of Swedish Composers represents professional composers who are active in the field of contemporary classical music composition. It was founded in 1918 by some of the most renowned Swedish composers of the day – people like Kurt Atterberg, Hugo Alfvén, Oskar Lindberg, Wilhelm Peterson-Berger, Ture Rangström, Wilhelm Stenhammar and others.

FST has today 366 members, of whom 343 are composers. The other members are either elected as associate members or as honorary members, meaning that in their professional lives they have in various ways supported and encouraged contemporary Swedish music.

FST’s objective is to look after the artistic, financial and social interests of its members, to help spread Swedish music nationwide as well as worldwide, and generally to promote Swedish musical culture.

Professional composers working in Sweden's contemporary art music scene can become members. For more information about election criteria, etc, please see this page (in Swedish only!) or contact the FST office.

You can listen to Swedish contemporary classical music at Composer’s Radio.

You can find composer biographies, books, scores and parts and more at Svensk Musik (Swedish Music Information Centre).



Matthew Peterson wins 2014 Uppsala Tonsättartävlingen with "And all the trees of the field will clap their hands"

Thursday, March 2014, Uppsala konserthus:

Matthew Peterson, awarded first prize by the jury of the 2014 Uppsala Tonsättartävling, received a cash prize of 50,000 Swedish kronor and his winning work "And all the trees of the field will clap their hands" will be performed by ten professional orchestras in Sweden and Estonia (Göteborgs symfoniker, Västerås Sinfonietta, Svenska Kammarorkestern, Dalasinfoniettan, Gävle Symfoniorkestern, Nordiska Kammarorkestern, NorrlandsOperans Symfoniorkester, Jönköpings Sinfonietta, Vanemuine Symfoniorkester).

The work also received the most votes from audience members and radio listeners, and received the "Public Prize." As a result it will be rebroadcast on Sweden's Radio P2 on April 23rd.

Six composer finalists competed for the prize: Peterson, Molly Kien, Kristofer Morhed, Christos Ntovas, David Riebe, and Andreas Zhibaj. The works were performed on Thursday, March 13 by the Uppsala Kammarorkester, cond. Paul Mägi, at a free public concert at Uppsala konserthus.

Second prize was awarded to David Riebe's "Geopoliticus Child," and third place to Molly Kien's "Pyramid."

The jury consisted of composers Sven-David Sandström and Mirjam Tally; musicians Christoffer Thorsell, Bernt Lysell, and Daniel Frankel; and conductor Paul Mägi. 

The Uppsala tonsättartävling has quickly established itself as one of the most important opportunities for young composers. This was the third competition, and it was open to composers born 1978 or later. The earlier winners have become established professional composers: Andrea Tarrodi (winner 2010), Jonas Valfridsson (co-winner 2010), and Daniel Fjellström (winner 2012). 

Article by Sverige's Radio P2
Article by Sweden's Television SVT



"Näcken" to be performed at Mise-En Music Festival 2014

"Näcken" (2011, solo violin) will be featured as part of the mise-en music festival 2014. 

Mise-en music festival 2014
Thursday, June 19 – Sunday, June 22, NYC.

-ensemble mise-en (
-The Momenta Quartet (
-Ensemble Paramirabo (

Ensemble mise-en is an innovative and versatile New York-based contemporary music collective led by composer Moon Young HA. With over fifteen of New York’s most talented musicians, our multi-national personnel strive to bring a repertoire of challenging, new sounds to diverse audiences. The ensemble wishes to impart an experience that is simultaneously multi-cultural, intellectually stimulating, and aesthetically pleasing (“mee” in Korean means “beauty”, and “zahn” means “to decorate”), promoting large-scale composition projects and intense performances of contemporary music with programs featuring the works of many established and budding composers alike.

More information HERE.



Rain Dances (2012) wins 2nd place in Frame Dance Composition Competition

Frame Dance Productions has selected three compositions by three composers to be the basis of their next live performance.  They also selected a composition for the score of our upcoming dance film to premiere this summer.  Details and updates on these premiers will be here on the Frame Dance blog.  The winners are:

First Place: Robert Honstein, an index of possibility, for percussion trio

Second Place: Matthew Peterson, Rain Dances, for quadrophonic mixed media

Third Place: Jonathan Russell, Five Two Tango, for two violins

Film Score Winner*: D. Edward Davis, cliff nesting, for alto saxophone with the sounds of Black-legged Kittiwakes near Seward, Alaska

*Frame Dance is currently in production for an upcoming film, and has selected cliff nesting, as the musical score for the film

More information HERE.



Matthew Peterson named finalist in 2014 Uppsala composer competition

Matthew Peterson's And all the trees of the field will clap their hands will compete alongside six other works in the 2014 Uppsala tonsättartävling. A panel of judges will choose the winner after a free public concert March 13 2014, 7PM, Uppsala Konsert och Kongress, Stora Salen.

The finalists are:

Molly Kien (f. 1979) från Årsta: Pyramid
Kristofer Morhed (f. 1987) från Piteå: Lingering Regrets
Christos Ntovas (f. 1989) från Brønshøj, Danmark: Nepheles for Orchestra
Matthew Peterson (f. 1984) från Stockholm: And all the trees of the field will clap their hands
David Riebe (f. 1988) från Lund: Geopoliticus Child
Andreas H. Zhibaj (f. 1980) från Uppsala: Be reborn. Die again

Full press release HERE and concert information HERE



Matthew Peterson receives ASCAP Foundation Nissim Prize for Hyperborea

New York, NY, January 13, 2014: The ASCAP Foundation President, Paul Williams, is pleased to announce that Matthew Peterson has been named recipient of the 34th annual ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize. The Prize was awarded for Hyperborea, an 11-minute work for orchestra. Selected from nearly 270 entries, the Nissim Prize honors the memory of Dr. Rudolf Nissim and his dedication to ASCAP’s Concert Composers by hosting this annual competition, for which a panel of conductors awards a prize of $5,000 to the best score submitted.

Dr. Rudolf Nissim, former head of ASCAP's International Department and a devoted friend of composers, established this annual prize through a bequest to The ASCAP Foundation. The Prize is presented annually to an ASCAP concert composer for a work requiring a conductor that has not been performed professionally. A jury of conductors selects the winning score.

Official press release HERE



Fort Worth Opera chooses Peterson's Voir Dire for 2014 Frontiers Showcase

Fort Worth Opera (FWOpera) revealed today the names of the eight composer and librettist teams from the Americas whose works have been selected for participation in the second season of the company’s critically-acclaimed, annual new works program, Frontiers, taking place May 8 – 9, 2014, during the last week of the 2014 Opera Festival. These eight selected works will be presented in the intimate theater-in-the round style setting of the McDavid Studio across from Bass Hall in downtown Fort Worth. The 20-minute excerpts, sung by artists from the 2014 Fort Worth Opera Festival with piano accompaniment, will be offered in two separate showcases of four works each on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 6:00 – 8:00 pm, and Friday, May 9, 2014 at 3:00 – 5:00 pm.

Building on the success and popularity of the last year’s inaugural season, Frontiers has been expanded with the goal of seeking out works for future production in FWOpera's alternative venue series Opera Unbound. The program includes a distinguished panel of collaborative partners who will play a critical role in the long-term development of the Frontiers works beyond the Festival showcase. (Panel members listed below).

In announcing the selected works, Fort Worth Opera General Director Darren K. Woods, chair of the Frontiers panel, stated, “Frontiers has evolved in just one year to more of a developmental program than last season. Of the eight selections, there are some which are completed and ready to find a home with an opera company, while others are just at the beginning of the compositional process. By expanding the program and collaborating with people who specialize in the development of new pieces, we are able to move these works along a dedicated road to, hopefully, a full production somewhere.”

FWOpera Producing Director and Frontiers Curator Kurt Howard, commented on the newly expanded program, saying, “Our 2013 Showcase taught us all a lot about the lack of community among America's upcoming composers and librettists, and we have increased our efforts to help that community connect to each other and to our audiences. The works that are being presented in 2014 are a broader range of works in progress, from composers looking for guidance in the craft to teams that are ready to have their works presented to the public. We have also brought more of our colleagues within the industry to join us in the process and further open doors for these creative teams.”

The eight operas selected for the 2014 showcase were culled from 30 submissions, including two from Canada and one from Mexico, FWO says. They are:

•  In a Mirror, Darkly, by composer Christopher Weiss and librettist S. O’Duinn Magee.

•  Fertile Ground, by composer David Vayo and librettist Nancy Steele Brokaw

•  Precari, by composer Brent Straughan

•  Something to Live For, by Ronnie Reshef

•  Voir Dire, by Matthew Peterson and Jason Zencka

•  Safe Word, by composer Robert Paterson and librettist David Cote.

•  Alex in Transition, by Anthony Green

•  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, by Grammy-winning composer and librettist Herschel Garfein

Read more HERE and HERE.



Peterson's Hyperborea receives Honorable Mention in 2013 ASCAP Morton Gould Awards

New York, NY, March 28, 2013: ASCAP Foundation President Paul Williams has announced the recipients of the 2013 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. The young composers will be recognized at the annual ASCAP Concert Music Awards at Merkin Concert Hall in New York on May 17th, 2013.

Congratulating the Award recipients, Paul Williams said, "The ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards program provides recognition and cash awards to gifted young composers of Concert Music. This year, our dedicated jury selected 28 composers between the ages of 8 to 30 years of age from nearly 600 submissions. We thank our ASCAP composer judges for their efforts to select these talented young creators, who represent the bright future of American Concert Music."

The ASCAP composer/judges were: Derek Bermel, Lisa Bielawa, Steven Burke, Chen Yi, Doug Geers, Yotam Haber and Aleksandra Vrebalov.

Full press release HERE.



Minnesota Orchestra selects Matthew Peterson for 2013 Composer Institute

Seven emerging composers have been selected as participants in the Minnesota Orchestra’s 12th annual Composer Institute.  They are:

  • Canadian-born Kati Agócs of Boston, Massachusetts
  • Latvia native Eugene Birman of Oxford, England
  • South Korean-born Texu Kim of Bloomington, Indiana
  • Loren Loiacono of Ithaca, New York
  • Evan Meier of College Park, Maryland
  • North Dakota native Matthew Peterson of Stockholm, Sweden
  • Michael Schachter of Ann Arbor, Michigan

Chosen from a pool of 165 candidates through a competitive process, the composers will be in Minneapolis from January 7-11, 2013, for rehearsals, seminars, and tutoring sessions, as well as a public “Future Classics” concert of their works on January 11, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä and held at Ted Mann Concert Hall on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank campus.

“I am absolutely delighted to say that the competition for the seven top spots was fierce, with many more imaginative and innovative pieces than would be possible to program on the upcoming season’s single Composer Institute concert,” says Institute Director Aaron Jay Kernis, who chaired the selection panel.  “Our jury noted that the number of works of excellent quality made the final choices of composers and works extremely difficult.”  Other panel members included composers Augusta Read Thomas, Kevin Puts, Minnesota Orchestra Principal Conductor of Pops and Presentations Sarah Hicks, and Sean Shepherd, the latter of whom is a 2006 Composer Institute alumnus.

In addition to the seven composers chosen to participate in the Composer Institute, the panel named the following composers as alternates: Alexandra Bryant, Saad Haddad, Michael Lee, Nicholas Pavkovic and Chris Rogerson.  In addition, these composers were designated as runners-up: Adam Zahller Brown, Hermes Camacho, Daniel Davis, Stephen Feigenbaum, Gregg Kallor, Jordan Kuspa, Tonia Ko, Yuan-Chen Li, Douglas Pew, Benjamin Sabey, Daniel Swilley, and Justin Tierney.  Cited for honorable mention are: Brian Baxter, Joshua Bornfield, Alican Camci, Stefan Cwik, Paul Dooley, Michael Djupstrom, Joshua Groffman, Mark Jacobs, Nicolai Jacobsen, Ji Young Kim, Grant Luhmann, Kenji Oh, Jim Peterman, Sidney Richardson, Leanna Sterio-Primiani, Phil Taylor, and Fay Wang.

More information HERE



Matthew Peterson receives 2010 BMI Student Composer Award for Reflections on the Death of the Beloved

Eleven young classical composers, ages 13 to 26, have been named winners in the 58th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards. Awards Chair Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, BMI President and CEO Del Bryant and BMI Foundation President Ralph N. Jackson announced the decisions of the jury and presented the awards at a reception held May 14 at the Jumeirah Essex House Hotel in New York City.

The award-winners for 2010 are:

Andrew S. Allen (age 24, studies at the University of California San Diego)
Paul Michael Dooley (age 26, studies at the University of Michigan)
Michael-Thomas Alexander Foumai (age 22, studies at the University of Michigan)
Eric Guinivan (age 26, studies at the University of Southern California)
Matthew J. Hatty II (age 21, studies at Hillsdale College)
Yeeren I. Low (age 13, studies at the Juilliard School, Pre-college Division)
Igor Maia (age 21, studies at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague)
Matthew Peterson (age 25, studies at the Gotland Tonsättarskola)
Subaram Raman (age 24, studies at the University of Michigan)
Derrick Wang (age 26, studies privately in New York City)
Nina C. Young (age 25, studies at McGill University)

The BMI Student Composer Awards recognize superior creative talent and winners receive scholarship grants to be applied toward their musical education. In 2010, more than 500 manuscripts were submitted to the competition from throughout the Western Hemisphere, and all works were judged under pseudonyms. Cash awards totaled $20,000. The Carlos Surinach Prize, awarded each year to the youngest winner in the competition, went to Yeeren I. Low.

The distinguished jury members for the 2010 competition were John Luther Adams, Richard Danielpour, Mario Davidovsky, Cindy McTee, and Christopher Rouse. The preliminary judges were David Leisner, Shafer Mahoney and Bernadette Speach.

BMI has given 543 scholarship grants to young composers over the years. Many of the most prominent and active classical composers in the world today received their first recognition from the BMI Student Composer Awards. The BMI Student Composer Awards competition is co-sponsored by BMI and the BMI Foundation, Inc.

Full press release HERE