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"Her playing is lovely and elegant but also aggressively declamatory, with a gorgeous dark tone."

- Flutist Quarterly

A dynamic and versatile performer, Mary Matthews is flute professor at Florida State University’s College of Music. She enjoys an active career as an international soloist, chamber musician, orchestral flutist, session musician, author, and pedagogue, and she 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. She currently serves as second flutist of the Tallahassee Symphony, and she performs regularly with orchestras such as the Nashville Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, and Chattanooga Symphony, among others. 

An active studio musician and recording artist, Mary can be heard on soundtracks for film, TV, and video games on Netflix, HBO, and Disney. She has performed and toured with artists such as Sarah Brightman, Cody Fry, Richard Marx, and Béla Flek. She has released four albums including Intersections on the Ravello Records label, Three-Nine Line on the MSR Classics label, Charuhas on the Naxos Label, and Preludes & Recitations on the Tonsehen Records label. She has a fifth album forthcoming in 2024 with the Newfound Chamber Winds titled Kairos on the Tonsehen label and a sixth album of commissioned flute concertos titled Flutlore to be released in 2025.

Mary is the flutist of Khemia Ensemble, a chamber ensemble dedicated to reflecting broader perspectives in contemporary classical chamber music. With its dynamic instrumentation (soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, two percussion), Khemia’s unique sound world encompasses the presentation of new classical music with a mix of acoustic chamber works, multimedia, and multi-genre influences. Khemia Ensemble is a 2023 winner of the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Grant with composer Anuj Bhutani. They have been featured at venues and festivals including National Sawdust, the Mizzou International Composers Festival, Strange Beautiful Music, New Music Gathering, Latin IS America, the Missouri Summer Composition Institute, and the Biennial New Music Festival in Córdoba, Argentina. Passionate artist educators, Khemia has also held residencies at more than a dozen universities in North and South America. In addition to her work with Khemia, she is a member of Newfound Chamber Winds, Duo Rossignol (flute and soprano), Duo Elektra (flute and clarinet), and Aviary Quartet (flute quartet). With these ensembles, she has been featured at the ICA Festival in Dublin, Ireland, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the College Music Society's National Conference, the New Music Gathering, the Dairy Arts Center's Soundscape series, and the multiple National Flute Association conventions. 

Mary is the winner of numerous competitions including the South Carolina Flute Society Young Artist Competition, the Kathryn E. MacPhail Young Artist Competition, and the Firelands Symphony Orchestra Young Artist 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 over 20 performance, research, and community outreach grants, including the Boedecker Path to Excellence Grant at the Dairy Arts Center in Boulder, CO and the Bradley Research Grant at Florida State University. 

A sought-after performer of new music, Mary has premiered over 50 new works. She is known for her command of extended techniques and her adventurous programming. In June of 2021, she released her first method book co-authored by Nicole Chamberlain titled Beatboxing and Beyond that introduces the most common types of extended techniques for flute. The book is published by Spotted Rocket and was reviewed as "a revelation - it's a worthy addition to all our libraries." (Flutist Quarterly). She was awarded the 2022 Scholastic Research Award from Tennessee Tech University for the publication, and the National Flute Association named Beatboxing & Beyond a finalist in the 2022 Newly Published Music awards. The second volume, Into the Beyond, was released in October of 2023 and was named a finalist in the 2024 NFA Newly Published Music Awards. 

Prior to her appointment at FSU, Dr. Matthews served as Associate Professor of Flute at Tennessee Tech University's School of Music. During the summer, she is on faculty at New England Music Camp and the Newfound Chamber Winds Fellowship Program, and she offers workshops and lessons at FSU's Summer Music Camps. She has presented workshops and masterclasses at conferences and institutions across the globe including Michigan State University, Columbus State University's Schwob School of Music, Bowling Green State University, and El Instituto Eduardo Laredo in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Dr. Matthews has been invited to speak on various research topics at conferences and institutions such as the Peabody Institute Career Development Series, the College Music Society's National Conference, the congress of the International Alliance for Women in Music, and the Music by Women Festival in Columbus, MS. 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 works for flute. The National Flute Association's Flutist Quarterly published her article about Anna Bon's life and works in their Fall 2018 edition. 

A Rochester, NY native, Mary began her formal flute studies at the Eastman School of Music's Preparatory Program. 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 primary teachers include Jan Angus, George Pope, and Janet Arms. Mary lives in Tallahassee, FL with her husband, trumpeter Brandon Norton, and their four-legged family members, Avery, Chipper, Nala, and Ariel.

View a full repertoire list HERE

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