©Pathland Photography 2015

Matthew J .Pellegrino is an award-winning composer and classically trained oboist with a fascination for new timbral realms of expression, aural extremes, and visceral sonic imagery. He has enjoyed an eclectic musical upbringing; one which combines classical training, electronic sounds, and a brief stint in a metal band. Pellegrino seeks to create music that is, all at once, deeply personal, raw, and darkly humorous. ​ Matthew has written music for large ensembles, chamber groups, and choirs, as well as scores for film and other media. In 2016, Matthew's Winter Unending, Invincible Summer won the Charles B. Olson award, and has been performed and recorded by the ​Encore Wind Ensemble. His piece, what if... for pierrot ensemble was recently recorded by the Virtuosi Players of the Brno Filharmonie in the Czech Republic with ABLAZE records. Additionally, he has collaborated with the dance program, film studio, and animation department at the State University of New York at Fredonia. His works have been performed by the Fredonia State University Wind Ensemble, Kent State University New Music Ensemble, West Islip High School Orchestra, and MezzoBlasto Clarinet Quartet. Matthew was born in 1994 in South Korea and was raised on Long Island, New York. He is currently pursuing his Master's Degree at the Peabody Conservatory under Oscar Bettison, and his primary teachers have been Dr. Rob Deemer, Dr. Sean Doyle, and Dr. Karl Boelter. He now resides in Baltimore, Maryland with his cat, Gnocchi. When not making noise, he can be found hiking, making/eating pasta, or attending local shows.



Winter Unending, Invincible Summer

Dedicated to the Dr. Holcomb and the Fredonia Wind Ensemble, Winter Unending, Invincible Summer was composed during the Spring of 2015 for a reading with the Fredonia Wind Ensemble and then later revised during the summer. The title of the piece borrows from a quote by French author and philosopher Albert Camus, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” It is this sense of endless perseverance and inner strength that inspired this piece, which was composed as a tribute to people who suffer from depression. Mental illness is often overlooked in many cultures and viewed with a negative stigma. People tend to believe that the sufferer is merely weak and not actually suffering from a legitimate biochemical imbalance. Throughout my life I’ve had close friends who I have watched battle with depression, and I believe them to be some of the strongest people I’ve ever met. The piece is meant to depict a narrative of a transition from a cold, lonely winter that thaws and brings the listener someplace warm. The piece opens with a percussion quartet of cold metals sounding hollow intervals, followed by a wind chorale that introduces the timbral sound of winter. The narrative theme is then introduced by various woodwind solos accompanied by the sound of harsh winds rushing through bare trees. Eventually this wind picks up and expands to the full sound of winter appearing as a vast frozen landscape. The narrative theme is then subjected to a winter storm that climaxes in a frenzy of cold isolation, which begins the process of thawing into a brass chorale. In this chorale the narrative theme can be heard thriving in its new environment with remnants of the winter chords chiming in the background.

what if...

Written during the summer and fall of 2015, what if... is a piece that seeks to explore one moment of music to its fullest as both a micro and macro idea. The piece was inspired by a question that my teacher would ask me whenever he sensed me getting stuck in my own music. He would refer to it as a game, saying, "Well why don't you play the 'What if' game with your materials this week?" This compositional exercise is the goal of the piece; to utilize about 2 seconds of sound to generate an entire piece.