Composer and cellist Sophie Mathieu is a native Austinite, recently returned from California, and currently completing a masters in composition at UT’s Butler School of Music. Sophie completed her undergraduate studies in composition at the University of Southern California. She currently studies with Omar Thomas, and her previous teachers include Ted Hearne, Andrew Norman, Donald Crockett, Yevgeniy Sharlat, and Russell Podgorsek.
Sophie writes music that explores concepts of vastness, timelessness, and ethereality. Her music has won her numerous awards, including her orchestral work, moons, which recently received an ASCAP Morton Gould award.
As a cellist, Sophie is passionate about bringing the works of living composers to the forefront. She frequently performs in works by her fellow composition students at UT and regularly appears with UT’s New Music Ensemble. She also loves exploring non-classical genres, such as pop, jazz, and film music, and has performed and recorded at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Capitol Records, the Nief-Norf Summer Festival, and the Clint Eastwood Scoring Stage. Additionally, Sophie loves early music and studied baroque cello and viola da gamba during her undergraduate studies, receiving the Colburn Scholarship in Early Music Performance for her work with USC’s Baroque Sinfonia.
In addition to composing and performing, Sophie has a private cello studio and works as the Grants Manager for Golden Hornet. Outside of music, Sophie enjoys cooking, playing Sid Meier's Civilization V, and watching psychological horror films in her free time.
Based in Austin, TX (USA) // Pronouns - she/her/hers
Sophie pronounces her last name as "matt-YUH"
I am a composer, cellist, and multidisciplinary collaborator. My works are typically either acoustic, acoustic + fixed media, or works intended to be heard in a recorded medium only.
My works are usually non-narrative, typically conveying a concept or emotion in a more abstract sense. Texture is extremely important in my work, and I love finding unique timbre combinations to create soundscapes that convey how the subject of a work feels to me.
Something that has become a recent staple of my work is exploring the humanity in instrumental ensembles. As a performer myself, I think it is important to acknowledge that instrumental parts have human beings behind them, so I often ask instrumentalists to speak, hum, whistle, or sing in my works. I love using text as a way to connect with audiences (especially those who may not be familiar with music from the western classical tradition) and collaborate with poets as often as I can.
Topics/themes that interest me include:
Vastness/timelessness, especially as it relates to things like the ocean, outer space, etc
New (especially queer and feminist) perspectives on old stories (biblical stories, myths, Shakespearean tragedies, etc)