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Matthew Heap

Associate Professor of Composition and Theory; Theory/Composition Area Coordinator

Matthew Heap is an internationally performed composer whose music has been featured in several American, European, and Asian cities and on multiple radio stations.  He is also very involved in the theater community as an actor, director, and writer.  Matthew received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, MMus from the Royal College of Music in London, and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.   He has studied with Leonardo Balada, Eric Moe, Nancy Galbraith, Mathew Rosenblum, Amy Williams, and Timothy Salter.    

His compositions range dramatically from completely atonal concert music to musical theatre.  He believes in using the techniques and materials that best express the idea that he is hoping to represent, whether they be microtones, multiphonics, 12-tone practices, or triadic harmony.  He has been a finalist and participant in the Iron Composer Competition and fellow at the June in Buffalo festival, where Allan Kozinn of the New York Times called his music “engagingly noisy…[and] rhythmically sharp-edged.”  He has written major works for the Talea Ensemble (NYC), Duo Scordatura (TX), Contemporary Enclave (Thailand), TEMPO (LA), Trillium (PA) and Khasma Piano Duo.  He has recently finished a new opera with Darren Canady about the intersection of gender and politics (Helen Martin: An American Moment) which was premiered in a filmed performance by Steel City Opera, is available on YouTube, and was a finalist for the American Prize in Composition. Matthew is currently working on projects with Nina Assimakopoulos and Lauretta Werner, and has released a CD of his oratorio Dillinger: An American Oratorio. He wrote the score for the Public Broadcasting/WVU collaboration King Lear, which has been broadcast nationally and internationally. 


Matthew's theory interests center around the teaching of music theory, especially with regards to technology and flipped-classroom pedagogy. His writings can be found in the Routledge Companion to Music Theory Pedagogy and as part of the A-R Music Anthology. His music theory app “Theory Game: Curse of the Lost Rules” is available for free on Google Play and the Apple App Store.