skip to Main Content
Photo: Annette Hornischer

Composer, San Francisco, California

Inga Maren Otto Fellow in Music Composition - Class of Spring 2014

Matthew Goodheart, a composer, improviser, and sound artist from the San Francisco Bay Area, has gained an international reputation for his expansive approach. Following an early career as a free-jazz pianist, he has developed a wide body of work that explores the relationships between performer, instrument, and listener. His diverse musical creations range from large-scale microtonal compositions to open improvisations to immersive sound installations – all unified by the analytic techniques and performative methodologies he has developed to bring forth the unique and subtle acoustic properties of individual musical instruments. Goodheart’s approach results in a “generative foundation” for exploring issues of perception, technology, cultural ritual, and the psycho-physical impact of acoustic phenomena.


His works have been performed throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, and featured at the International Spectral Music Festival, June in Buffalo, Klappsthulfest, and The Illuminations New Music & Arts Festival, among others. He has received the Nicola DiLorenzo Award, the A.H. Miller Prize in Composition, the New Langton Arts Award, and a William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Honorary Fellowship. In addition to his solo recordings, musical collaborations include Zen Widow, the Glenn Spearman Trio, the Marco Eneidi Creative Music Orchestra, and Gino Robair’s “I, Norton: An Opera in Realtime.” He has also performed with such luminaries as Wadada Leo Smith, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros, Glenn Spearman, Gianni Gebbia, Vladimir Tarasov, Cecil Taylor, and Jack Wright, and cooperates frequently with the new-music ensembles SoundGroup. Goodheart has lectured and taught internationally, including at the University of California at Berkeley; Mills College; Eastman School of Music; Cal Arts; Institut Intermédií in Prague; the Conservatório de Música of Coimbra, Portugal; and the Istanbul Teknik Üniversitesi. He will spend the fall of 2013 in Prague as a Fulbright scholar to compose new music for the unusual quarter-tone pianos built for Alois Hába in the 1920s.

Back To Top