January 26th concert features Matthew Barnson’s three violin sonatas
13 Jan 2012
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“His work is fresh and arises from a distinct personality.”
– San Francisco Classical Voice

The Yale School of Music presents a concert featuring the music of Matthew Barnson on Thursday, January 26, 2012. The concert, which is Barnson’s Doctor of Musical Arts recital, will feature his three sonatas for violin and piano, performed by violinist Ari Streisfeld and pianist Jessica Osborne.

Streisfield is one of the violinists in the JACK Quartet, considered one of today’s “young, brilliant” groups by the New Yorker. Osborne, a graduate of the Yale School of Music, was praised by the Washington Post as a pianist “with a refreshing mellowness and poetic touch” after her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra.

The San Francisco Classical Voice calls Barnson’s work “fresh” and notes that it “arises from a distinct personality.” Barnson’s first violin sonata, written in 2008, takes inspiration from the composers Berio and Britten. Listen to a recording of the sonata on Barnson’s website.

“Fixity and motion were my two principal concerns in composing my second violin sonata,” writes Barnson of his two-movement piece from 2009. “If my piece were a city, it would have three subway lines that intersect in various places that allow the music to transfer and travel smoothly in various directions.”

The third sonata was written in 2011; this concert will be its world premiere.

The performance is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit

About the Composer

The music of Matthew Barnson has been celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic. His work has been featured at the ISCM World New Music Days in Stuttgart and New York’s MATA and Sonic Festivals, and at the Aspen Music Festival, Centre Acanthes, Ostrava Days, and June in Buffalo. In 2002, he became the youngest recipient of a Barlow Commission, and he received a second in 2007. Other honors include awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Benjamin Franklin Fellowship (UPenn), and the Aaron Copland Prize. He has studied at the Eastman School of Music, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Yale School of Music. Barnson’s vocal works have been performed by Erin Morley, Ian Howell, and Nicole Cabell, and by Seraphic Fire and the New York Virtuoso Singers. Peter Erös, Sarah Hicks and Jacque Mercier have conducted his instrumental music; the Arditti and JACK Quartets play his three string quartets; and Third Coast Percussion commissioned his percussion quartet. Barnson is the chair of the theory and composition department at the Third Street Music School Settlement and is on the faculty of Rocky Ridge Music Center.

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