Matan Rubinstein is a composer/improviser and electronic musician, active through a wide spectrum of contemporary music making.
He has composed works for orchestra and chamber groups (with and without electronics), to Jazz Orchestras and combos, as well as projects for dance, film, television and interactive media. Originally from Israel, Matan has lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY and Madison, WI, where he received a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin in music composition. He now lives with his family in the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, and is on the music faculty at Marlboro College.
Matan believes that “ideally, musical learning should be grounded in practice. Whether singing species counterpoint, improvising on your instrument, or conducting one’s own compositions, the strongest possible understanding of music comes from doing.” He also believes that there should be no fundamental separation between the skills, craft and theory of musical study. Rather, they form an aggregate, each aspect enforcing the other. Thus, he wishes to integrate composition, improvisation and performance, taking care to introduce the practice of music like singing and conducting into classes, and provide some history and theory into practice- or skill-oriented classes. Matan approaches music teaching as an exercise in dialogue in which both teacher and student explore more and better ways in which to make and hear music. He thrives on such dialogue with his students and promotes active engagement in classroom activities and discussion. Matan’s expectations of students, while high, are centered on the measure of their improvement.
Matan is a prolific composer of music that is divergent in practice, medium and method. He is a frequent collaborator with makers in other disciplines, and frequently makes music for dance and film. He is also active as a performer and has several recordings to his credit. His most recent project, Marlboro Slipstream Group, is a quartet of composer/performers, an Ensemble in Residence at Marlboro.
Selected concert music
2019 Terraplane. Written for Marlboro Slipstream Group, (Ned Rothenberg – woodwinds, Andrew Greenwald – drums, Jake Charkey – cello and Rubinstein on piano and electronics)
2018 Bones: Sestina. Modular composition for Six unspecified instruments and electronics.