American violist Matthew Cohen is a dynamic and versatile artist whose captivating performances have made him one of the most sought-after violists of his generation. Matthew has distinguished himself in numerous national and international competitions, most recently receiving the top prize awarded at the Cita di Cremona International Viola Competition in Cremona, Italy, first prize at the 2016 Juilliard Concerto Competition and 2015 Vivo International Music Competition and as a recipient of the “Best Performance of Commissioned Work” prize at the 2014 Primrose International Viola Competition. He has concertized as a soloist and chamber musician throughout North America and Europe in venues such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Ford Amphitheater and Broad Stage in California, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Oregon, Gstaad Menuhin Festival in Switzerland and the Casa della Musica in Cosenza, Italy. His first performance in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium was at the age of 15 as a soloist in the New York premiere of Tomas Svoboda’s Sonata No. 2 for orchestra and solo string quartet, a work performed and commissioned by the Portland Youth Philharmonic. He returned to Carnegie Hall in January, 2016 to perform York Bowen’s Phantasy for viola and piano in Weill Recital Hall. Recent solo engagements include his European debut performing Hummel’s Potpourri with the Gstaad Festival Orchestra, his Italian debut playing Bartok’s Viola Concerto with the I Virtuosi Italiani orchestra in Cremona, and presenting the world premiere of internationally recognized video game score composer Garry Schyman’s viola concerto “Zingaro” with the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony conducted by Dr. Noreen Green; past appearances include concerti with ensembles such as the North Shore Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Colburn Orchestra, Oregon Sinfonietta, and Oregon Symphony/Oregon Ballet Theater.
A passionate chamber musician, he has performed alongside many distinguished artists including members of the Borromeo, Guarneri, Jasper, Orion, Tokyo, and Vermeer string quartets and the Beaux Arts and Tempest piano trios, and and has been featured on numerous concert series and chamber music societies including Camerata Pacifica, the Colburn Chamber Music Series, Heifetz Celebrity Series, Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, Red Barn Chamber Music, and Olmos Ensemble. Summer festival engagements include appearances at the Ravinia Festival, Gstaad Menuhin Festival and Academy, Sarasota Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, Heifetz International Music Institute, the Meadowmount School for Strings, the Young Artists Program of Ottawa’s National Arts Center and Music Academy of the West. Matthew is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School’s Master of Music program where he was the proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship; he earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Cleveland Institute of Music and received an Artist Diploma from Colburn Conservatory.
His former teachers have included Misha Amory, Heidi Castleman, Paul Coletti, Jeffrey Irvine, and Cynthia Phelps. He plays on a viola by Helmuth Keller and a bow by Paul Martin Siefried generously on loan from The Maestro Foundation. His recording of York Bowen’s Phantasy for viola and piano with acclaimed pianist Vivian Fan is available on the Soundset label.