A B O U T   M A T T H E W

Matthew Cannon has been a professional musician since the age of 18 when he won a contracted position as a percussionist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra. He maintained this position through his undergraduate studies in Percussion Performance at Louisiana State University under the instruction of Dr. John Raush. During his time there he became principle Percussionist with the Ohio Light Opera for its 1997 season and recorded the works Eileen and Veronique for the Newport Classics label.

He was active in the local theater scene being the percussionist for the Baton Rouge Little Theater and Gilbert & Sullivan Society, and was timpanist for the Natchez Opera for its 1998 and 1999 seasons. Matthew concluded his tenure at LSU with a performance of Keiko Abe's Prism Rhapsody for Marimba and Orchestra in February 2000 –the first percussionist to be selected winner of the Concerto Competition in ten years.

In May 2000, Matthew relocated to California to attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He studied with Jack Van Geem, principle Percussionist with the San Francisco Symphony. Through his participation in the New Music Ensemble, he was selected as a percussionist for Ensemble Parallele, the professional contemporary music ensemble consisting of faculty and alumnus of the Conservatory. He has recorded two albums with Ensemble Parallele on the MSR Classics and Albany Records labels.

Composer Elinor Armer conceived a chamber work in 2003 for Bettina Mussemili, violin, Jodi Levitz, viola, with Matthew in mind for the percussion part. The trio recorded the work, API (Bees) on the Kelos label. Also during this fruitful time, Matthew met the members of Cotton Candy and became their marimbist and keyboardist. He also met composer Alexis Alrich, and, after filling in at the last moment for a performance of her chamber work, Fuse, she was so pleased with his performance that she expressed an interest to Matthew in collaborating with him on a marimba concerto.

Over the next three years the concerto was completed and was performed by Matthew and the San Francisco Composer's Chamber Orchestra on the Old First Concerts series. He is looking forward to future performances of the work and is excited about having contributed to the marimba repertoire.

Following the completion of his Master's Degree in Orchestral Performance, Matthew became involved with the Music Genome project, an effort by Pandora Media to classify music by breaking it down according to the principles of music theory. He became one of the few music analysts to be selected as a Classical Music specialist, an achievement that required extensive testing of music history and theory.

In that same year, Matthew also became accompanist at Woodside Road United Methodist in Redwood City. He has maintained a reputation of sensitive musicianship and creativity during his time there. In 2007, he assumed Music Director responsibilities and oversees music selection and choral rehearsals. He has also arranged music tailored to the specific talents and size of his ensemble culminating in a special concert of selections for marimba, organ and chorus.


Hear samples of Matthew's performances
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