Matt Laing - Composer - Violist
Photo: Sharon Gertner Photography
Matt is a freelance composer and viola player currently based in
His music, “described as thought provoking and unusually beautiful”, is
fundamentally driven by an interest in story telling through shifting sounds
and textures, typically around themes of social connection and environment.
Matt completed a Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Commerce at the
University of Melbourne and spent two years at the Australian National Academy of Music studying viola. Having established a successful freelance viola career, Matt's work Shapes was premiered in the
Flinders Quartet’s 2017 composer workshop, leading to his first big commission from the Quartet Out of Hibernation in 2019 through which he was awarded an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant to work on the quartet with mentoring from Brett Dean in London and Berlin.
Other compositional engagements have included works for the Australian String Quartet, Flinders Quartet the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Ossicle Duo, Melbourne Chamber Players, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Affinity Quartet, the Australian National Academy of Music, Wattleseed Ensemble, and the Z.E.N. Trio through Musica Viva.
Matt was the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composer in Residence for 2021, culminating in the premiere of his bassoon concerto Of Paradise Lost in July 2022. Matt has had residencies with the Four Winds Festival, was a recipient of a 2021 Prelude Residency through the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composer House Trust, and is a Musica Viva FutureMaker for 2021-23.
Upcoming engagements for 2023 include new works for Ensemble Offspring, Callum G'Froerer, and ongoing project with choreographer/dancer Lilian Steiner through the Musica Viva FutureMakers program.
Matt’s been a professional freelance viola player since 2012, playing regularly with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Victoria, and as a core member of the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed in the Australian Octet, and Melbourne-based ensembles Quartz, Rubiks and Arcko.
Festival engagements as a performer have included the Perth and Melbourne International Arts Festivals, the Bermagui Four Winds Festival, the Australian String Quartet's Dunkeld festival. Matt was soloist in the first complete performance in Australia of Morton Feldman's The Viola in My Life with an orchestra of ANAM musicians.