Matthews, Michael (Bass). Composer, teacher, conductor, b Gander, Nfld, 28 Aug 1950; B MUS (California State, Northridge) 1975, MA (California State, Sacramento) 1979, PH D (North Texas State) 1982. He studied composition with Larry Austin and Aurelio de la Vega and conducting with Anshel Brusilow and Lawrence Christianson. He was a lecturer in music at the University of Manitoba (1982-3; 1985-7), assistant professor of music at Mokwon Methodist U in Seoul, South Korea (1983-5), founding director of the Manitoba Institute for Music Technology, and in 1987 became assistant professor and founding director of the computer music studio in the School of Music, University of Manitoba. He founded and began to conduct the Winnipeg chamber ensemble Thira in 1987. He has won prizes from the Sigma Alpha Iota Composition Contest in Sacramento (Three Songs, 1978), the Texas Music Educators' Association (again for Three Songs, 1980), Music Inter Alia (Quis est Deus? 1984), and the Premio Musicale Città de Trieste in Italy (The Wind Was There, 1984). He was composer-in-residence at the Banff SFA in 1983 and was in residency at the EMS Studio in Stockholm in 1986. On an invitation from the Ukrainian Composers Union, he and fellow Manitobans David Scott and William Pura travelled to Kiev to hear performances of their works in 1989.
Matthews has received commissions from the ISCM, Korea Chapter (Five Poems of Walt Whitman, 1984), Music Inter Alia (Into a Long Moment, 1985), the Winnipeg SO (The Far Field, 1987), Winnipeg's Aurora Musicale (Wind Sketches, 1988), the Danish pianist Poul Rosenbaum (Of Time and Sky, 1990), and The Roseberry Orchestra of London (Landscape, 1990). His music has also been performed in the USA, Europe, the Soviet Union, the Far East, and South America. Many of his works, among them The Far Field and Wind Sketches, for wind octet, show a thorough command of instrumental colour and demonstrate an impressive dramatic flair.