College Faculty Co-Head of the Contemporary Performance Program, Co-Artistic Advisor of the TACTUS ensemble
Percussionist Matt Ward is dedicated to performing and commissioning new music and has been cited by the New York Times as “a fine soloist”. Specializing in contemporary chamber music, he is a principal member with American Modern Ensemble, Talujon, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Ensemble IPSE and is the Manager of Percussion and Co-Chair and Co-Artistic Advisor of the Contemporary Performance program at the Manhattan School of Music. Dr. Ward also performs regularly with groups such as The Albany Symphony, Talea Ensemble, SEM Ensemble, The Orchestra of the League of Composers, Sequitor, Riverside Symphony and has played on numerous Broadway shows including Light in the Piazza, How to Succeed in Business, and An American in Paris, among others. Dr. Ward was the recipient of the Ridley-Tree Fellowship at the Music Academy of the West in 1998, and in 1999 he participated in the Tanglewood Music Center under the direction of Seiji Ozawa and George Benjamin and returned the following year for the American Premiere of Pierre Boulez’s Sur Incises at the 60th Anniversary TMC Alumni Concert. Recent performance highlights include the American Premieres of works by Elliot Carter, Charles Wuorinen, Bernhard Lang, Georg Friedrich Haas, Philippe Hurel and Wolfgang Rihm.
Matt Ward began studying conducting as the student director of the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players and in residence at the Bang On a Can Summer Institute. Since then, he has premiered new works by Phillipe Manoury, Lawrence Moss, Ross Bauer, Meyer Kupferman, Barbara White, Sebastian Armoza and many other young composers. He has also worked as guest conductor with Camerata Nova, Ensemble IPSE, The International Contemporary Ensemble, Wet Ink, Ensemble Inc., DaCapo Chamber Players, New York New Music Ensemble, and Tactus Ensemble, premiering dozens of new pieces by young composers every year.
Dr. Ward holds a BM degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a MM and DMA degree from SUNY Stony Brook. He is on faculty at Queens College, The Aaron Copland School of Music and Brooklyn College. Through organizations such as Midori and Friends, 92nd Street Y, Westchester Philharmonic, Marquis Studios, and Carnegie Hall, Dr. Ward has worked with elementary school children throughout New York City and the surrounding area.
He can be heard on the recording labels Aeon, Argo, Cantaloupe Music, Capstone Records, Newport Classics, Soundspell, Naxos and Albany Records. Dr. Ward is a performing artist and clinician with Black Swamp Percussion, Vic Firth and Sabian Cymbals.
In the summer, Dr. Ward performs with Classical Tahoe and is also the Percussion Director for the Mostly Modern Festival. In his free time, Matt is an avid gardener and enjoys hikes with his dog Arlo and anyone that can keep up.
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