April 21, 2018 7:30pm
Praised by The Classical Guitar Society of Upstate New York as possessing “sensitive, energetic, and thoughtful musicianship” and “beautiful phrasing”, Matthew Gillen has become a frequent prize winner at international guitar competitions. Most recently, he received first place at The Lone Star Guitar Competition, while past awards have included first place at the East Carolina University Guitar Competition, the 20th Annual Appalachian GuitarFest, and the Classical Guitar Society of Tallahassee Competition. As a founding member of the Florida Guitar Quartet, he was selected to tour Costa Rica in 2014 through the Promising Artists of the 21st Century program, sponsored by the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano.
Gillen began his early musical studies as a pianist before branching out to trombone, followed by various styles of electric guitar. Though he came to the classical guitar relatively late, at the age of 17, he draws on his years of experience with other instruments and styles to develop colorful and diverse interpretations of solo guitar repertoire from all time periods.
Gillen is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Texas at Austin, where he serves as Teaching Assistant under Adam Holzman. Additionally, he holds a Master’s degree in Performance from the Florida State University, where he studied with Bruce Holzman, and Bachelor’s degrees in Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College with Pablo Cohen.