Conductor Matthew Kasper is the founding Music Director of the Chicago Composers Orchestra and is currently the Interim Music Director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra. He has recently been appointed Assistant Conductor of The Phoenix Symphony and Conductor of the Phoenix Youth Symphony posts he will assume in September 2015.
From 2010-2014, Matthew served as an adjunct faculty member of conducting at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College where taught conducting classes and conducted the orchestra in performances of symphonic, musical theater and opera performances including a recent production of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, a world premiere production of Bruce Saylor’s The Image Maker and Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Other highlights from previous seasons include performances of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, and Brahms Second Symphony. Last season also marked his debut with the Queens Symphony conducting Peter and the Wolf. This season Matthew made his debut with The Phoenix Symphony in performances of their Halloween at Hogwarts and Cirque de la Symphonie concerts.
In 2013, Matthew made his European debut with the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy and also served as an assistant conductor for the Opera National de Lorraine where he prepared the internationally acclaimed staged premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest. He was immediately re-engaged in the same capacity for productions of Bernstein’s Candide and Britten's Owen Wingrave, as well as for several concerts with the orchestra.
Trained as a violinist, Matthew is a former member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra where he performed under illustrious conductors such as Bernard Haitink and Esa-Pekka Salonen. He holds degrees in violin performance from Queens College and the Chicago College of Performing Arts where his principal teachers were Burton Kaplan and Shmuel Ashkenasi. He also studied chamber music with Daniel Phillips, Marcy Rosen and Robert Chen. An accomplished arts administrator, Matthew served as an artistic intern for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and as Artistic Operations Manager of the Grant Park Music Festival. He received a degree in Orchestral Conducting from Queens College where he was a student of Maurice Peress. For several summers, he attended the prestigious Pierre Monteux School for Conductors as a Quimby Family Foundation Fellow where he studied with Michael Jinbo.
Originally from Madison Wisconsin, Matthew currently resides in Phoenix with his wife, Rebecca and son, Theodore.