artist biography

Matthew Kasper currently serves as the Assistant Conductor of The Phoenix Symphony and the Music Director of the Phoenix Youth Symphony. Past posts have included Music Director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and Founding Music Director of the Chicago Composers Orchestra, as well as Assistant Conductor of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and faculty member of the Aaron Copland School of Music.

In his third season as Assistant Conductor, Matthew will lead over thirty performances with The Phoenix Symphony including a subscription series featuring Dvorák’s Seventh Symphony, performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and two chamber orchestra programs in addition to several education, pops, and outreach concerts.

The 2016-17 season included successful debuts with the Tucson and Evergreen (Taiwan) Symphonies. Matthew was also invited to serve as cover conductor for Arizona MusicFest and The Cleveland Orchestra.

Equally at home in symphonic and operatic repertoire, Matthew made his European debut with the Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy in 2014 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 for productions of Bernstein’s Candide and Britten’s Owen Wingrave. He was also invited back for several concerts with the orchestra including successful performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 1 in June of 2015. 2013 also marked Matthew’s debut with the Queens Symphony Orchestra conducting Peter and the Wolf, which subsequently let to him being named Interim Music Director for the 2015 season. The 2014-15 season marked Matthew’s debut with The Phoenix Symphony in performances of their Halloween at Hogwarts and Cirque de la Symphonie programs. The success of these concerts led to Matthew being named Assistant Conductor in 2015.

An avid music educator, Matthew served as an adjunct faculty member of conducting staff at the Aaron Copland School of Music from 2011-2014, where taught conducting classes and conducted the orchestra in performances of symphonic, musical theater, and opera performances. With the Phoenix Symphony, Matthew was tasked with developing an in-classroom concert format for the Phoenix schools, which has been a great success. In addition, he conducts the orchestra’s educational and family concerts, which reach over 15,000 children annually.

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 then received a degree in Orchestral Conducting from Queens College where he was a student of Maurice Peress. He received additional training at 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; son, Theodore; and daughter, Fiona.