Composer, conductor, guitarist and enthusiastic advocate of new music and young performers, Matthew Cmiel is the director of the John Adams Young Composers program, the founder and co-director of the new music ensemble After Everything and was a founder and co-director of the San Francisco Conservatory's Hot Air Music Festival, and Formerly Known As Classical, a new music ensemble entirely made up of and run by teenagers. He also served as Director of Orchestras at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts.
A featured composer at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and composer-in-residence at the Banff Centre, Matthew’s compositions have been performed by The Berkeley Symphony, Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Composers Inc., the Del Sol String Quartet, The Mobius Trio, the Marin Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra and the San Francisco Saxophone Quartet. His work has won prizes from ASCAP, the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society, the National Federation of Music Clubs, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Pacific Musical Society and the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra and he was nominated for the Presidential Scholars in the Arts Award administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
An accomplished guitarist who has won prizes for his playing from the American String Teachers Association and Downbeat Magazine, Matthew was given a special award from Downbeat for founding and organizing Formerly Known As Classical, a new music ensemble made up of and organized entirely by teens, specializing in performing music written in their own lifetime; creating what they believe to be new classics as well as advocating for younger people.
As a conductor, Matthew has worked extensively with Marin Alsop, Gustav Meier, and Edwin Outwater. He has worked with and conducted numerous ensembles and youth groups, including The Cabrillo Festival Symphony Orchestra, The San Francisco Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, The San Francisco Symphony Preparatory Division Chamber Orchestra, The Hot Air Festival Orchestra, and the San Francisco School of the Arts Orchestra.
Matthew is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, and the Crowden School. His primary teachers have been: John Adams, Alexis Alrich, Dan Becker, Scott Cmiel, Jennifer Higdon, Otto Werner Mueller, Edwin Outwater, Belinda Reynolds, David Tanenbaum and Benjamin Verdery, and he has worked closely with Marin Alsop, Antigoni Goni, David Lang, and Gustav Meier.