Internationally acclaimed marimba virtuoso Matthew Coley has distinguished himself as one of the country’s most versatile percussion artists and educators. Performing on marimba, percussion, cimbalom and hammer dulcimer, he has performed as a soloist and collaborator with orchestras and ensembles throughout the US and abroad including the Millennium Chamber Players, San Francisco Sinfonietta, Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, and Moldavian Philharmonic and Teleradio Symphony Orchestras. He has also been featured three times on Chicago’s WFMT Classical Radio Station and in a feature article in Time Out Chicago Magazine. Additionally, Matthew is currently serving as Lecturer in Percussion at Iowa State University.
Released in 2012, Matthew’s second album "Souvenirs" establishes him as one of the most innovative and exciting artists of his kind. T. Adam Blackstock wrote of it in the July 2012 Percussive Notes, “If you are in search of a disc with great recording quality, a high level of performance, and an eclectic collection of tracks, this title should be added to your iTunes wish list. Matthew Coley’s 'Souvenirs' delivers 80 minutes of diverse works for solo marimba, marimba and piano duo, and percussion ensemble.”
In 2008, he placed third in the prestigious 5th World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart, Germany. He is the only American ever to place. He also placed third in the 2005 WAMSO/Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition. He was a finalist in the 2004 Houston Symphony Orchestra Ima Hogg Young Artist Competitions, and he won first place in the 2000 Music Teachers National Association Solo Percussion Competition, the 2000 Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Marimba Concerto Competition, and the 1999 Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award.
Matthew has performed as a soloist at three PAS International Conventions (2000, 2002, and 2007) with the Northwestern University and University of North Texas Percussion Ensembles and makes another solo appearance at the convention in 2012 on the New Keyboard Literature Concert. Other solo and chamber music performances include Southern Utah University and Brigham Young University, University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and Louisiana State University. Matthew has also appeared as soloist and clinician at Days of Percussion in Indiana, Oregon, Minnesota, and Nebraska.
In 2008, Matthew played the world premiere of "Tides and Riptides; Concerto for Marimba, Woodblocks, and Orchestra" written for him by Bjorn Berkhout with the Sherwood Symphony Orchestra of Chicago. In 2009, he did the world premiere of "The Breeze of South Latitudes Marimba Concerto" by Ghenadie Ciobanu in Chisinau, Moldova and the US premiere of "Concerto Rustico for marimba and string orchestra" by Marcin Błażewicz in Chicago, which was recorded for his first solo album, "Circularity".
While pursuing music in Chicago, Matthew also maintained a professional modern dance career. His combined talents make him widely sought after to collaborate in the dance, new music, and electronic scenes. He is founding artistic director of SONIC INERTIA (dance + electronic media + live music), and works frequently in many other chamber music settings with performers across the nation.
Matthew is a published composer with Innovative Percussion and Edition Svitzer and a clinician in a diverse field of percussion performance topics, as well as dance and multi-media collaboration. Matthew is frequently presenting concerts and master classes at universities, and has visited universities and other institutions in over 20 states, as well as Denmark, Germany, Moldova, and Sweden. He has created works for and collaborated with Thodos Dance Chicago New Dances, Evanston Dance Ensemble, and Co’Motion Dance Theatre.
He holds percussion performance degrees from Northwestern University and the University of North Texas, and has studied with Michael Burritt, Christopher Deane, Mark Ford, James Ross, Leigh-Howard Stevens, and She-e Wu. Matthew is endorsed by Innovative Percussion, Marimba One, Evans Drumheads, and Sabian Cymbals, and can be contacted on the web through www.hearMatthewColey.com.