Dirst, Matthew


Instruments Played

Current Performance Ensembles
Ars Lyrica Houston

Personal Summary / Bio

Matthew Dirst is the first American to win major international prizes in both organ and harpsichord, including first prize at the American Guild of Organists Young Artist Competition (1990) and second prize at the Warsaw International Harpsichord Competition (1993). He is founder and Artistic Director of the Grammy-nominated period instrument ensemble Ars Lyrica Houston and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Houston. Widely admired for his stylish playing and conducting of Baroque music especially, the Dallas Morning News recently praised his “crisp but expressive direction” of the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers, which “yielded impressive precision, but also rhythmic buoyancy and rhetorical freedom,” while naming this performance “Best Classical Performance of 2010.” Early Music America described his most recent solo CD, of harpsichord works by François and Armand-Louis Couperin (Centaur), as a “stylish, tasteful, and technically commanding performance... expressive and brilliant playing.” Dirst’s recordings of music by Scarlatti and Hasse with Ars Lyrica Houston, on the Naxos and Dorian-Sono Luminus labels, have earned a Grammy nomination (for Best Opera 2011) and widespread critical acclaim. His degrees include a PhD in musicology from Stanford University and the prix de virtuosité in both organ and harpsichord from the Conservatoire National de Reuil-Malmaison, France, where he spent two years as a Fulbright scholar. Equally active as a scholar, his work on Bach and Bach reception is published in a variety of journals, and his book Engaging Bach: The Keyboard Legacy from Marpurg to Mendelssohn will be published by Cambridge University Press in early 2012.

Matthew Dirst's website: http://www.music.uh.edu/people/dirst.html




My Music

TitleComposerPerformer/EnsembleUpload DateLengthPlayDownload
Se d'Averno la fiamma m'accende (Euridice dall'Inferno)Scarlatti, AlessandroMelissa Givens, soprano; Barrett Sills, baroque cello; Richard Savino, archlute; Matthew Dirst, harpsichord - Ars Lyrica HoustonJul 2 20095:28
Man is for a woman madePurcell, HenrySonja Bruzauskas, mezzo - Ars Lyrica HoustonJul 2 20091:52
Hor ch'el ciel a la terra (Madrigals, Kb.8)Monteverdi, ClaudioMelissa Givens, Gerrod Pagenkopf, Randolph Lacy, Zachary Wilder, Paul Busselberg, Timothy Jones, Matthew DirstJul 2 20098:18
When I a lover pale do seePurcell, HenryGerrod Pagenkopf, countertenor - Ars Lyrica HoustonJul 2 20091:17
Trio from Clori, Tirsi e FilenoHandel, G.F.Melissa Givens, soprano;Sonja Bruzauskas, mezzo; Gerrod Pagenkopf, Matthew Dirst, conductorJul 2 20093:35
Deut from Clori, Tirsi e FilenoHandel, G.F.Melissa Givens, soprano; Sonja Bruzauskas, mezzo; Matthew Dirst, conductor - Ars Lyrica HoustonJul 2 20092:12