COMPOSER, CONDUCTOR, PIANIST, WRITER
Matthew Aucoin is an American composer, conductor, writer, and pianist. He is the newly-appointed Artist-in-Residence at Los Angeles Opera. This position fuses his work as composer and conductor, from conducting the LA premiere of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, to composing a new full-length work which will premiere in a future season, to serving as the company’s advisor on new music and working regularly with members of its opera studio.
In the 2014-15 season, Aucoin conducted the premieres of two of his operas: Crossing, at Boston’s American Repertory Theater (directed by Diane Paulus); and Second Nature, a chamber opera for the young, at Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is currently at work on a new opera for the Metropolitan Opera / Lincoln Center Theater’s New Works program.
In October 2016, pianist Conor Hanick and the Alabama Symphony gave the first performances of Aucoin’s first piano concerto, commissioned by The Gilmore Foundation. Last season, his song cycle Merrill Songs was premiered by tenor Paul Appleby at Carnegie Hall. Violinist Jennifer Koh commissioned and debuted Aucoin’s new solo violin work, resolve, for the New York Philharmonic Biennale and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Aucoin has recently made orchestral conducting debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; the Rome Opera Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (a special event featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma); opera productions have included Music Academy of the West (The Bartered Bride, as well as his own chamber opera Second Nature); Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Italy (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Juilliard Opera (Eugene Onegin).
Aucoin is a 2012 graduate of Harvard College, where he studied with the poet Jorie Graham; and a 2013 recipient of a graduate diploma in composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with composer Robert Beaser. Shortly before he graduated from Harvard, Aucoin was hired as the youngest Assistant Conductor in the history of the Metropolitan Opera, where he worked with Thomas Adès, James Levine, and Valery Gergiev.
Aucoin remains an active pianist and regularly collaborates with violinist Keir GoGwilt, as well as many of the world’s leading opera singers, including Renée Fleming, Paulo Szot, Rod Gilfry, and Anthony Roth Costanzo. An accomplished writer, Aucoin’s essays and poetry have appeared in The Yale Review, The Colorado Review, The Boston Globe, and The Harvard Advocate. He has served as guest lecturer for the New York Shakespeare Society and a guest host for New York’s WQXR.