Composer and cellist Sophie Mathieu is based in Austin, Texas and currently completing a masters in composition at UT Austin’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 teaches composition, cello, and chamber music, and is the Youth Director at Golden Hornet. Outside of music, Sophie enjoys cooking plant-based food, playing Sid Meier's Civilization V, and watching psychological horror films in her free time.
Sophie pronounces her last name as "matt-YUH"
I am a composer influenced by large-scale natural phenomena; were I a visual artist, I’d probably be doing landscapes. My works draw on vastness, places that are uninhabitable by humans (in particular, the ocean and outer space), and the intersection between beauty and danger in the natural world.
My works come from an interest in using acoustic ensembles with or without fixed media. Within the last few years, I’ve been learning about ways to incorporate elements of live processing into my works and have also become interested in the acousmatic medium. I write non-programmatic music, and I love layering extended techniques into gradually shifting, multi-dimensional textural layers. I’m interested in exploring musical language that directly creates a feeling in the listener, without reference or representation. My work draws on my experience as a cellist and collaborator across artistic disciplines.
Another recent interest of mine has been dialoguing directly with science in my composition process. I recently finished Infinity Songs, a song cycle which uses text written by astrophysicist Haochen Wang, and I hope to continue to collaborate with the scientific community in future works.
I hope that my work will inspire people to appreciate nature, learn more about it from a scientific perspective, and, ultimately, support research and conservation efforts.