Matthew Peterson (photo: Johan Bergmark)
Matthew Peterson (photo: Johan Bergmark)

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson was born in 1984 in the US state of North Dakota and was a composition student of Sven-David Sandström at Indiana University. His music ranges from lyrical choral works, to colorful orchestral scores, to socially-critical chamber operas. 2014 was Peterson's breakthrough year, when several of his works were awarded prizes in both the US and Sweden.

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Raised in a musical family, Peterson also studied double bass and was active in orchestras and choirs during his studies. He began composing at age 19 and earned early success with his choral music, which was performed by ensembles such as Chanticleer and VocalEssence. After studies with Sven-David Sandström at Indiana University he was a 2008 Fulbright Fellow at Gotlands Tonsättarskola, where he focused on opera and orchestra music. A resident of Sweden, he is a member of STIM and was elected to the Swedish Composers Association in 2015. From 2017-18 he was the chairman of the board of Samtida Musik (the Swedish association for contemporary music).

Peterson’s music has been performed by ensembles including Washington National Opera. Gothenburg Symphony, Gustaf Sjökvists Chamber Choir, Sofia Vokalensemble, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Uppsala Vokalensemble, Minnesota Orchestra, and Stockholms Saxophone Quartet. 

His works have received numerous awards in both Sweden and the US, including the 2014 Uppsala Composer Competition, where And all the trees of the field will clap their hands received both the grand prize and the audience award. The same year, Peterson resumed his dedication to choral music, singing tenor in Gustaf Sjökvists Chamber Choir and then composing a series of new choral works. Works published with Gehrmans include Ave Maris Stella, Adoramus te and Cantate Domino, all for mixed choir a cappella. Lux Aeterna will be published spring 2019.

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