Matthews, Michael (1950-)
Michael Matthews' music has been performed in countries around the world. Mr. Matthews has been the recipient of numerous commissions and awards including a Rockefeller Foundation residency at the Bellagio Center in Italy. Commissions have come from such organizations as the Carlos Chavez Orchestra, the Kiev Camerata Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Hilliard Ensemble, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, etc.
Michael Matthews is a conductor, a founding member of the chamber ensemble Thira and a founder and artistic director of the GroundSwell new music series. He is currently Professor of composition and co-director of the Computer Music Studio at the University of Manitoba.
For the past several years I have had a growing interest in the musical miniature. This has come about largely from my own experience as a listener, specifically my great love for the works of Austrian composer Anton Webern and Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag. Within the confines of the small form there is a certain rigor that is imposed by the need to be succinct in the expression of your musical ideas. You need to decide what you wish to get across and then do it quickly. The musical miniature is in many ways analogous to shorter poetic forms, especially those that are aphoristic in nature.
In these eleven short works for string quartet, I tried to create a series of little worlds, each with its own atmosphere and landscape, each with its own inner logic, its own melodic, rhythmic, harmonic and timbral language.
Looking at the set as a whole, I have chosen to arrange the pieces in an order that I believe has a certain emotional and dramatic effect. These works were written in Winnipeg during October and November 2000, and throughout the composition process, the knowledge that I was writing for an ensemble of the calibre of the Molinari Quartet was a continuous source of inspiration.
Quartet n° 3 (2005)