Matthew Dewey

Matthew Dewey


Matthew Dewey was born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1984.

His music focuses on the expression of potent emotions through clear musical emblems and structures. He is passionately focussed on film, theatre and concert music (both chamber and symphonic).

Dewey’s passion for dramatic music has led him to compose extensively for the theatre. He has written numerous incidental scores and a growing repertoire of chamber operas including A Priest’s Passion (2004), The Death of Chatterton (2005), the largely improvised satirical opera 15 Years on Hold (2007) and most recently, The Buzz of the Sea (2008).

2008 saw the premiere of Dewey’s Symphony No. 1 Port Arthur 1996. The work, which was commissioned by Damien Holloway for the Hobart Chamber Orchestra, explores the intense emotional effect that the 1996 Port Arthur massacre had on the Tasmanian community. In 2009 both the first symphony and the newly composed Orchestral Suite No.1 were recorded by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra at the Moscow Radio House.

In November 2006, Dewey’s miniature for solo clarinet, Ecstatic Visions, was performed by Joshua Rubin from the New York Miniaturist Ensemble at the Lincoln Centre in New York.

Dewey studied composition under Douglas Knehans and Constantine Koukias at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music where he received the Don Kay Scholarship for Music Composition, was accepted onto the Dean’s Roll of Excellence for the Arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree. He also holds a Master of Music Technology from the University of Newcastle.

He has been the recipient of a number of grants and awards, including the Don Kay Scholarship for Music Composition, IHOS Music Theatre and Opera Young Artist Bursary, an International Arts Mentorship (funded by the Australian Foundation for Young People and Ars Musica Australis), a Buzz Grant from the Australian Council for the Arts, Individual Artist Grants (Arts Tasmania) and an Arts Bridge International grant.

As a singer/actor, Matthew has been a principal performer in more than 20 premiere performances of operas and experimental music theatre works, including works by Philip Glass (Hydrogen Jukebox, Australasian premiere), Constantine Koukias, Maria Grenfell, Claudio Pompili, Hugh Covill, Christopher Williams, Joe Bugden and Raffaele Marcellino.

Dewey has previously lectured in composition at the University of Tasmania, worked as a presenter on ABC Classic FM and is the founder and director of the Tasmanian Composers Collective.

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