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COMPOSER SHOWCASE

Matthew Tran-Adams: Biography

Matthew Tran-Adams
1977 -
Region: Ontario

Matthew Tran-Adams

Matthew Tran-Adams is a Toronto-based composer whose works are performed throughout North America. His interest in world music and folk songs have generated a variety of unique works which feature and integrate various cultures. His works have been performed by groups such as the Carson City Symphony (Nevada, USA), The Brampton Symphony (Brampton, Canada), The Brock University Chorale (St. Catharines, Canada), The Orchid Ensemble (Vancouver, Canada) and The Vancouver Chinese Choir Association.

Born in Niagara Falls, Matthew has worked extensively as a composer, performer, educator, historian, writer, and editor. His work experience is varied in that he has been head of an integrated arts department at Parkdale Collegiate Institute, curriculum writer, church music director, piano accompanist, flautist, harpist, rock and Celtic musician, and lounge pianist. Matthew writes regularly for the journal, The Canadian Music Educator where he explores the topic of antiracism in music education. His other passion is Canadian history and he often uses historical events as inspiration for his work. His work Gold Mountain Elegy, performed recently by the Vancouver Chinese Choir Association is dedicated to Chinese-Canadians who risked and lost their lives building the railroad across Canada.

In 2005, Matthew was runner up in the Foundation Orchestra Association's International Composition Competition with his work The Refugee Child which is dedicated to the Vietnamese Boat people who risked their lives to escape Vietnam. This piece incorporates a children's folk song Ly Ngua O (The Black Horse) to depict a child's journey from the security and familiarity of home to an unknown and possibly dangerous future.

Matthew currently teaches Music Education at OISE/University of Toronto and works as a freelance musician specializing in harp, piano, flute and voice. He lives in Toronto with his partner Patrick and their two siamese cats.