Matthew Pierce

Composer/Violinist Matthew Pierce is celebrated for his new classical scores commissioned and performed by American ballet companies.

Born in Brooklyn in 1968, Pierce grew up in Seattle, studied violin performance with Shirley Givens at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and moved to New York where he began writing music for the theater. Pierce has a special aptitude for dance, his brother Benjamin is a retired principal dancer for the San Francisco Ballet.

Alice (in wonderland), with choreography by Septime Webre has been produced by 13 companies with more than 100 performances across the United States and the world traveling to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Perth, Australia in 2019. Sarah Kaufman of the Washington Post called this 2012 score for the Washington Ballet, "The cherry on top: Pierce’s visionary result, a shimmering landscape that weaves together bits of our own world — Asian, Middle Eastern, pop riffs, jazz — with a contemporary edge and a spirit of discovery. And, yes, wonder."

The Wizard of Oz is the fifth full length production with longtime collaborator Septime Webre. Robert Trussell of Kansas City Studio said “From the opening moments, Pierce’s lush score hooked me. He suffuses the early Kansas sequence with Americana themes reminiscent of Aaron Copland, but as the show progresses the music becomes more inventive and unpredictable as the composer incorporates elements of jazz and pop music." "It’s the dreamy poppy field sequence," said Brandon Tietz of In Kansas City, "that best showcases Pierce’s musical acumen—a true standout that I wish I could purchase on iTunes and play on repeat." In 2019 Pierce was invited to the stage of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia as a nominee for the Prix Benois de la Danse (International Ballet Prize) as composer of this ballet.

Other dance and theater collaborators include Julia Adam (San Francisco Ballet), Stanton Welch (Houston Ballet), David Palmer (Washington Ballet), Yanis Pikieris (Miami Youth Ballet), Christopher Stowell (National Ballet of Canada), Charles Moulton (Ballpassing), Janice Garrett (Janice Garrett & Dancers), Matthew Neenan (Ballet Memphis), Robert Dekkers (Post:Ballet), Melissa Barak (School of American Ballet), Brooke Nicholson (Ballet Coeur d’Alene), Janet Stanford & Kathryn Chase Bryer (Imagination Stage), Kristin Marting & Tim Maner (HERE Theater), Ruth Margraff (Opera Projects) and Tanya Barfield (P.S. 122).

John Schaefer featured Pierce's work with the guitarist Byron Estep in their new music duo The Unsung String Duo on the National Public Radio show New Sounds. As a violinist he toured with the Mark Morris Dance Group and performed on recordings by pop artists Jewel, Sheryl Crow and Suzanne Vega and on Philip Glass' score, Kundun. He shares a home and studio with ballet costume designer Christine Darch in East Northport, NY.