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Matthew Recio


BM Ithaca College
PhD ABD Indiana University Jacobs School of Music


Avid vocal composer Matthew Recio recently finished his post as Vanguard emerging opera composer with Chicago Opera Theatre (COT). During his residency, he developed operas with librettists Royce Vavrek (2021) and Stephanie Fleischmann (2020). The concert presentation of his work with Royce, "The Puppy Episode," was premiered in March of 2021 through the COT, and he is pleased to work on a co-production with Opera Columbus and Oberlin Conservatory for the staged premiere. 

He is a resident artist with the West Edge Opera Aperture Program developing his new opera with Stephanie Fleischmann, L'autre Moi. Most recently, he collaborated with Chicago-based choir Stare at the Sun on an immersive choral cantata, The Hollow, performed at the Linne Woods forest preserve that explores themes of isolation, depression, emergence, and renewal with a libretto by Alejandra Villareal Martinez. This past spring, he was thrilled to present Touch the Water with the Chicago Fringe Opera Series "A City of Works," which featured text by Chicago-based writer Anna Gatdula. This collaboration was written for Chicago-based artists Keanon Kyles and David Sands. 

As a performer/composer, his collaboration on How We Hush (poetry by Jenna Lanzaro) with tenor Michael Day earned him a winning prize with Fourth Coast Ensemble's 2021 Chicago SongSlam. He looks forward to a new collaboration with Chicago-based librettist Jerre Dye on a new song that will be produced on a new album, 40x40  by Grammy-nominated soprano Laura Strickling, featuring the work of 40 different leading composers of the art song genre. This fall, he will be collaborating on a unique project by Queer In(n) to create a vocal work inspired by the life of trans-Chicago icon Mama Gloria. The work will feature an adaptive libretto by Dr. Marquese Carter and featuring the talents of upcoming trans singer Jalissa Spell. In addition to his work with COT and West Edge Opera, he was selected as the first commissioned composer for the Cincinnati Song Initiative 2018-2019 season. 

He is a published artist under the Dale Warland Series and the Craig Hella Johnson Series under G. Schirmer/Hal Leonard. As the 2018 Georgina Joshi vocal prize commission winner, Recio received a premiere of his work "In the Desert" for mezzo-soprano and sinfonietta with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble. Recio was recently named the 2017 American Prize winner in choral composition and was a featured composer with Beth Morrison Projects as an operatic composer at the National Sawdust theatre in Brooklyn, New York. The New Voices Opera Company commissioned him for his one-act opera, "In Memoriam," in 2017 (Libretto: Molly Korroch). 

Recio is a humble winner of the Cincinnati Camerata Competition, a two-time winner of the NOTUS Composition Competition, a finalist in the Young New Yorker's Choral Competition, and a finalist in the Morton Gould Awards and BMI Awards. William Stowman's CD, A Timeless Place (Klavier Records Label), features Recio's song cycle Chronology of Storms, with poetry written by Jenna Lanzaro.   

With an equal passion for instrumental composition, Recio has been represented at the Midwest Composer Symposium, the UNK Music Festival, and the Hammer and Nail Dance collaboration. His chamber works received recognition at the IMTA young artist composition competition and the Quartet Nouveau Competition. Recio is a proud alumnus of the IMANI Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Valencia International Performing Arts Program, the Norfolk Chamber Series, and Donald Nally's Grammy award-winning choir, "The Crossing."   

A summa cum laude graduate and Charles F. Hockett Scholarship winner of Ithaca College (B.M. Composition), Recio is an ABD doctorate in music composition candidate at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music as a Jacobs fellowship recipient and associate instructor in aural skills. His principal teachers include Dana Wilson, Claude Baker, Aaron Travers, Don Freund, David Dzubay, Eric Ewazen, P.Q. Phan, and Sven-David Sandström. Currently, he teaches at DePaul University and the Chicago High School for the Arts.  ​