COMPOSER | CONDUCTOR
READ ABOUT MATTHEW BELOW
Avid vocal composer, Matthew Recio recently finished his post as Vanguard emerging opera composer with Chicago Opera Theatre. During his residency he developed operas with librettists Royce Vavrek (2021) and Stephanie Fleischmann (2020). The concert presentation of his work with Royce, “The Puppy Episode” was premiered in March of 2021 through the Chicago Opera Theater and is pleased to work on a co-production with Opera Columbus and Oberlin Conservatory for the staged premiere.
"For me, writing is a direct reflection of what I observe in society & the world."
While at Oberlin he worked with the composition and poetry students as well as gave a lecture entitled “When Words Meet Music: The Collaborative Process”. He is a resident artist with the West Edge Opera Aperture Program developing his new opera with Stephanie Fleischmann, L’autre Moi. This May he looks forward to his Carnegie Hall debut with the MYO choir, performing his newest choral work, Bone Cathedral (poetry by Jenna Lanzaro). Most recently, he collaborated with Chicago based choir Stare at the Sun on an immersive choral cantata, The Hollow, performed at the Linne Woods forest preserve that explores themes of isolation, depression, emergence and renewal with a libretti by Alejandra Villareal Martinez. This past Spring he was thrilled to present Touch the Water with the Chicago Fringe Opera Series “A City of Works” that featured text by Chicago based writer Anna Gatdula. This collaboration was written for Chicago based artists Keanon Kyles and David Sands. As a performer/composer his collaboration on How We Hush (poetry by Jenna Lanzaro) with tenor Michael Day earned him a winning prize with Fourth Coast Ensemble’s 2021 Chicago SongSlam. He looks forward to a new collaboration with Chicago based librettist Jerre Dye on a new song that will be produced on a new album, 40x40 by Grammy nominated soprano, Laura Strickling, featuring the work of 40 different leading composers of the art song genre. This Fall he will be collaborating on a unique project by Queer In(n) to create a vocal work inspired by the life of trans Chicago icon Mama Gloria. This will feature an adaptive libretto by Dr. Marquese Carter and featuring the talents of upcoming trans singer Jalissa Spell.
In addition to his work with COT and LMC he was selected as the first commissioned composer for the CincinnatiSong Initiative 2018-2019 season. He is a published artist under the Dale Warland Series under G.Schirmer/Hal Leonard. As the 2018 Georgina Joshi vocal prize commission winner, Recio received a premiere of his work “In the Desert” for mezzo-soprano and sinfonietta with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble. Recio was recently named the 2017 American Prize winner in choral composition and was a featured composer with Beth Morrison Projects as an operatic composer at the National Sawdust theatre in Brooklyn, New York. The New Voices Opera Company commissioned him for his one-act opera, “In Memoriam” in 2017 (Libretto: Molly Korroch).
Recio is a humble winner of the Cincinnati Camerata Competition, two-time winner of the NOTUS Composition Competition, finalist in the Young New Yorker’s Choral Competition, and a finalist in the Morton Gould Awards and BMI Awards. William Stowman's CD, A Timeless Place (Klavier Records Label) features Recio's song cycle Chronology of Storms, with poetry written by Jenna Lanzaro.
With equal passion for instrumental composition, Recio has been represented at the Midwest Composer Symposium, the UNK Music Festival and the Hammer and Nail Dance collaboration. His chamber works received recognition at the IMTA young artist composition competition and the Quartet Nouveau Competition. Recio is a proud alumnus of the IMANI Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, Valencia International Performing Arts Program, Norfolk Chamber Series and Donald Nally’s Grammy award winning choir, “The Crossing”.
A summa cum laude graduate and Charles F. Hockett Scholarship winner of Ithaca College (B.M. Composition), Recio is completing his Doctorate in music composition at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music as a Jacobs fellowship recipient and associate instructor in aural skills. His principal teachers include Dana Wilson, Claude Baker, Aaron Travers, Don Freund, David Dzubay, Eric Ewazen, P.Q. Phan and Sven-David Sandström.
Read Matthew's "Composer Spotlight" interview from the Imani Winds Festival on his music & compositional style.
MATTHEW IN REVIEW
Read full interviews and press coverage of Matthew's ‘The Puppy Episode’ premiere at Chicago Opera Theatre.
Roundtable With the Creators & Performers of Chicago Opera Theater’s ‘The Puppy Episode’
Chris Ruel || OperaWire
Coming out in the 20th century
M.L. Rantala || Hyde Park Herald
"Recio has the lush beauty of Debussy, the deft orchestration of Ravel, and the muscular power of Britten, all with his own contemporary fingerprints."
How I Got Here: Matthew Recio
IU Jacobs School of Music || Entrepreneurship & Career Development
bass-baritone & violin
Tales of Imagination
I. James & the Giant Peach
soprano & piano
Chronology of Storms
I. Hurricane A-Comin'
II. The Shell Collector
bass, trumpet, piano
SSAATTBB choir, flute
soprano & piano
SATB choir, piano, oboe
Game of Characters
violin, viola, cello, bass, harp, piano, percussion
flute, clarinet, violin, cello, harp, percussion
flute, clarinet, trombone, percussion, viola
Clutch of Venus
I. Velvet Teeth
II. Lull & Lure
flute, clarinet, trombone, violin, percussion
clarinet in b-flat
I. Lamplit Shuffle
II. Reflection in the Ripples
III. Submerged As One
trumpet in b-flat (flugelhorn)
II. Pompeii in Dust
III. Roman Skylines
trumpet and piano
I. Starvation and Thirst
III. Hallucination and Enlightenment
wind quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, french horn)
III. In Darkness
flute & marimba
flute/piccolo, oboe/english horn/, clarinet, bass clarinet, violins 1& 2, viola, cello
III. Taking flight
flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion
flute, cello, piano
violin & piano
alto saxophone & piano
Watch performances of Matthew's works below.