Celebrated for his “commitment to stellar sound and control” by Quebec’s La Tribune and “gorgeous sonority” by the South Florida Classical Review, saxophonist Matthew Koester enjoys a diverse career as an educator, chamber musician, and soloist in a variety of musical settings. He has recently appeared with the New World Symphony, Flint Symphony Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, and the Grammy Award-Winning PRISM Quartet. Matthew joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music faculty in 2021, teaching applied saxophone and chamber music.
As a founding member of the Aero Quartet, he received a Gold Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and top prizes at the New Orleans Chamber Music Festival and Music Teachers National Association Competitions. Aero engages audiences and communities through neighborhood concerts, K-12 school visits, university masterclasses, and chamber music series appearances, including the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, Chesapeake Music in Easton, MD, and Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts broadcasted on Chicago WFMT Radio. The quartet recently recorded its debut album on the UK-based label Orchid Classics to release in spring 2022.
Matthew values collaboration with friends and colleagues and regularly performs commissioned works. Recent premieres include chamber music by George Lewis, Arturo O’Farrill, HK Gruber, and Gala Flagello. He earned solo prizes at the Prix Orford Musique in Montréal, the MTNA National Young Artist Competition, and appears on the Naxos label’s American Classics series with conductor James Judd and XAS label with the PRISM Quartet. Matthew has enjoyed performing with conductors Teddy Abrams, Stéphane Denève, and Juano Mena. In addition to his role at the Mead Witter School of Music, he visits the Conservatoire de musique de Rimouski’s annual Symposium de Saxophone and is a frequent masterclass clinician at universities across the US.
A native of Albuquerque, NM, Matthew is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan. His primary mentors include Timothy McAllister, Eric Lau, Glenn Kostur, and Andrew Bishop.