Flutist Mary Matthews' playing is described as lovely and elegant but also aggressively declamatory, with a gorgeous dark tone (Flutist Quarterly). She enjoys an active career as an international soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral flutist and has performed on four continents in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Fundação Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina, Festival Goethe Institut Música Nueva, and Cité Internationale des Arts. In March of 2021, she will make her concert debut in Japan at the Urayasu Concert Hall as part of the International Low Flutes Festival. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at the Newport Music Festival and is a regular member of the Maryland Wind Festival. Dr. Matthews is Assistant Professor of Flute at Tennessee Tech University's School of Music where she is a member of the faculty woodwind quintet, the Cumberland Quintet. Additionally, she is principal flutist of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra and records soundtracks to movies, television shows, and video games as part of the Ocean Way Studios scoring orchestra in Nashville. In addition to her position with the Bryan Symphony, she has played with orchestras across the state of Tennessee including the Knoxville Symphony and Symphony of the Mountains.
A sought-after performer of new music, Mary has premiered over 30 new works by prominent American composers. She is known for her command of extended techniques and her adventurous programming. In February of 2018, she released the album "Three-Nine Line" on the MSR Classics label in collaboration with flutist-composer Nicole Chamberlain and flutist Matthew Angelo. The album features Nicole Chamberlain's solo, duo, and trio works for flute. Additionally, she is half of Duo Rossignol with soprano Hillary LaBonte, and the two have been featured at New Music Gathering, the Dairy Arts Center's Soundscape series, and the National Flute Association convention. She also performs as a member of the Khemia Ensemble, a 12-member ensemble dedicated to the programming of diverse and innovative repertoire.
Mary is the winner of numerous competitions including the International American Protégé Woodwinds Competition, the South Carolina Flute Society Young Artist Competition, the Kathryn E. MacPhail Young Artist Concerto Competition, the Firelands Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and the Baldwin Wallace Concerto Competition. She received an Honorable Mention in the Mary Graham Lasley Young Artist Competition and was a finalist in the Coeur D'Alene Young Artist Competition, the William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition, and the J.C. Arriaga Chamber Music Competition. Over the course of her career, she has been selected for nine musical performance, research, and community outreach grants, including the Boedecker Path to Excellence Grant at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder, CO.
Dr. Matthews has been an educator for over ten years, teaching in five different states and working with students of all ages. She has presented masterclasses and lectures at Colorado State University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, University of Wyoming, Bowling Green State University, University of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University, and El Instituto Eduardo Laredo, among others. She has also been an adjudicator for competitions such as Myrna Brown, the Colorado Flute Association Young Artist Competition, and the Oklahoma Flute Society Young Artist Competition. Prior to her appointment at TN Tech, Dr. Matthews was an adjunct faculty member at The University of Hartford's The Hartt School, and she taught applied lessons and chamber music at the Parlando School for Musical Arts in Boulder, CO, The Hartt School Community Division in West Hartford, CT, and the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD. At The Hartt School Community Division, she also coordinated the Adult Chamber Music program and launched the Suzuki Flute program. Additionally, Dr. Matthews was a teaching artist with el sistema programs in Denver, CO and Hartford, CT, and she is a certified Suzuki Flute Book 1 and 2 instructor.
Dr. Matthews has been invited to speak at The Peabody Institute Career Development Series, the College Music Society National Conference and Regional Conference, the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, the congress of the International Alliance for Women in Music, the Music by Women Festival in Columbus, MS, The Hartt School Music and Performing Arts Management Department, and the Rochester Flute Association Annual Conference, among others. Her doctoral thesis is titled "The Flute Music of Anna Bon di Venezia in the Context of Eighteenth-Century Flute Repertoire" and provides a theoretical, historical, and pedagogical analysis of the composer's compositions for flute. The National Flute Association's Flutist Quarterly published her article about Anna Bon's life and works in their Fall 2018 edition.
Dr. Matthews began her formal flute studies at the Eastman School of Music's Preparatory Program where she graduated with distinction in performance. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from The Hartt School, a Master of Music Degree from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers include Brook Ferguson, Janet Arms, Emily Skala, Laurie Sokoloff, George Pope, and Jan Angus. Dr. Matthews is a member of the National Flute Association where she currently serves on the Membership Committee and the Repertoire Review Committee. She is also the Young Artist Competition Coordinator for the Mid-South Flute Society, Woodwind Competition Coordinator for the Tennessee Music Teachers Association, a member of the Flute New Music Consortium, College Music Society, and Chamber Music America organizations, and she is a former Vice President of the Colorado Flute Association and Treasurer of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford.
Mary lives in Cookeville, TN with her husband, trumpeter Brandon Norton and their three fur babies Avery, Chipper, and Nala.