Norman Mathews

Norman Mathews’ Rossetti Songs, to Christina Rossetti poetry for mezzo-soprano, piano, flute, and cello, was recorded by Navona Records (NV5827). His art songs have been performed at the Kennedy Center. Ye Are Many—They Are Few, Cantata for a Just World, for four singers and piano, received a Puffin Foundation grant and was premiered at The Chicago Cultural Center by Vox3 in May 2014. Sonnet No. 61 (part of a 3-sonnet cycle to Shakespeare, entitled Love’s Not Time’s Fool) for mixed choir, piano, and oboe obbligato is the winner of the American Composers’ Forum 2011 VocalEssence Award. In 2011, Mathews was composer-in-residence at Shorter University, where he was commissioned to write a chamber opera, Flights of the Heart, which was performed by faculty members on a concert devoted exclusively to his music.

Songs of the Poet, to Walt Whitman poetry, was premiered in Germany by Munich Opera’s Gregory Wiest, who recorded the work for Capstone Records (CPS 8646). The cycle was featured on an American Composers Orchestra program entitled Whitman and Music.

Mathews’ one-woman musical play about Dorothy Parker, You Might as Well Live, has been performed by Michele Pawk (Tony Award) and Broadway star Karen Mason (Drama-Desk Award). The work is a 2014 recipient of the Boston Metro Opera Merit Award and will be presented by that company. It has also been performed at the Harris Theatre of Music and Dance, as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. the Orlando Shakespeare Festival, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival.

Somebody Write Me a Song, a cabaret revue at New York City’s Arts and Artists Series, featured Debbie Gravitte (Tony Award) and Liz Callaway (Tony and Drama Desk nominees). His musical version of Lost Empires, J. B. Priestley’s novel about English music hall, was performed in concert version at Shorter University.

Mathews earned a B.A. in music from Hunter College and an M.A. Degree in music from New York University. His composition and orchestration teachers have included Richard Danielpour and Richard Hundley.www.normanmathews.com


Compositions by Norman Mathews

1: (Easy) No divisi in voice parts, accompaniment doubles or supports vocal parts, diatonic, symmetrical phrases, textures mostly homophonic, simple rhythms, stepwise voice leading (conjunct), moderate ranges, no extended techniques, and limited sustained singing.

2: (Medium Easy) Limited divisi, voices somewhat independent from accompaniment, some chromatics, phrases may be longer or more fragmented, mostly homophonic, moderate rhythmic complexity, some difficult intervals (disjunct motion), moderate ranges, extended techniques are simple, limited sustained singing.

3. (Medium) Limited divisi, unaccompanied, or with independent accompaniment (voice parts not doubled), many chromatics, phrases of varying lengths, more contrapuntal textures, moderately complex rhythms, some difficult intervals (disjunct motion), moderately difficult/challenging ranges, extended techniques are potentially challenging, and some sustained singing.

4. (Medium Difficult) Abundant divisi, unaccompanied, or accompanying instruments are fully independent from voice parts, many chromatics and/or key changes, long and/or broken phrases, potentially little homophony, complex rhythms, many difficult intervals (disjunct motion), difficult/challenging ranges, potentially difficult extended techniques, and a demand for sustained singing.

5. (Difficult) Adundant divis, unaccompanied, or accompanying instruments are fully independent from voice parts, many chromatics and/or key changes, long and/or broken phrases, potentially little homophony, complex rhythms, extreme ranges, use of challenging or unusual extended vocal techniques, abundant sustained singing.