Matt Peterson is a multi award-winning composer and pianist from Seattle, WA. He is an accompanist at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago, a piano and composition teacher at the Bellas Artes School of Music in Glen Ellyn, IL, and the staff organist at All Souls Anglican Church in Wheaton, IL, as well as an in-demand classical and jazz performer in the greater Chicago area. He has taught class piano at Wheaton College and currently has a studio of 35 weekly private students. He also records classical, jazz, and pop albums for Player Piano Premier. He is the in-house pianist at Suzette's Creperie in Wheaton, playing every Saturday night from September to May.
Matt has composed extensively for live theater productions, films, and jazz groups. Matt contributed original music for the Internet series JellyTelly, by Jellyfish Media, LLC. Other credits include an original score and piano performance for a New York stage production of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams.
Matt was the overall winner of the Ben Heppner Concerto Competition, which culminated in his performance of George Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra Matt is also a four-time winner of the Washington State Music Teachers’ Association Composition Contest, as well as the Excellence in Performance Award from the Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside.
Matt holds a Bachelor's of Music in Music Composition and Piano Performance from Wheaton College, where he studied jazz with Chicago flutist and bandleader Nicole Mitchell, bassist John Tate and pianists Bradley Williams and Josh Moshier, as well as classical piano with Dr. Daniel Horn, and composition with Dr. Howard Whitaker. He holds a Masters in Music in Jazz Piano from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he studied privately with Dr. Luke Gillespie and received instruction from Jeremy Allen, Steve Houghton, Pat Harbison, Brent Wallarab, and David Baker.
Matt has recorded three CDs of original classical piano compositions: Renaissance (2004), The Paradise Suite (2006), and The Bridge (2009), available on iTunes.
Matt’s compositional training included two years of classes at the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program under Emmy-winning composer Hummie Mann. He studied composition, theory, and jazz improvisation, under composer and author Forrest Kinney (Pattern Play, 2007) and classical piano with Akiko Kinney. Matt was also invited to work with performers in the Seattle Symphony as part of the Symphony's David Diamond Young Composers Workshop, under the mentorship of Composer-In-Residence Dr. Samuel Jones.
In April 2013, Matt performed at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival with an Indiana University quartet including Josh Roberts (drums), Anna Butterss (bass), and Matt MacDougall (guitar).
During the summer of 2013, Matt played piano and percussion in the Disneyland All-American College Band under director Ron McCurdy at the Disneyland Resort, where he performed with jazz luminaries such as Gordon Goodwin, Gregg Field, and John Clayton.
In 2016, Matt gave a series of Paradise Suite concert performances around the greater Chicago area.
He has worked at the Bellas Artes School of Music since 2015, and in 2016 co-founded the Bellas Artes Institute for Jazz Studies, where he teaches private jazz lessons and coaches combos.
At the Joffrey Ballet in downtown Chicago, Matt plays for academy & company classes and collaborates with the top dancers in the city.
In 2017, Matt was invited to perform as part of the Saugatuck, MI, Hempy Keyboard Series to perform an hour-long concert of Debussy, Ravel, and Messiaen.