A graduate of The Juilliard School of Music and Dance in New York 2013, Jules Matton was noticed by John Corigliano, who commended the “remarkable talent and impeccable technique” of his student. Jules Matton has been praised for his work on numerous occasions, and among his recognitions are: laureate of the Fondation Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet pour la Vocation (2010), Award of Excellence of the Catholic Institute of Paris (2013), Fondation d’Entreprise Banque Populaire (2015), as well as laureate in 2017 of the Ile-de-Créations competition (Public’s Prize).
As a pianist, trained by Valery Sigalevitch, Jules Matton has also given performances at festivals such as the Vacances de Monsieur Haydn, the European Festival of Young Talents, and the Centre de Musique de Chambre de Paris. Mr. Matton has collaborated with musicians and ensembles such as Jérôme Pernoo, Jodie Devos, Bruno Philippe, Thomas Dunford, Anastasia Kobekina, the National Orchestra of Ile-de France, the Orchestra of Picardy, and the Chapelle Harmonique, among others. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Catholic Institute in Paris.
In Autumn 2017, Jules Matton, recognised for his strength and great freedom of expression, was named composer-in-residence at the Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne. His first opera, The Odyssey, was premiered in April 2018 in this theatre. A second production has taken place at the Opéra de Lille in December.
At the same time, Mr Matton signed his first chamber music recording contract with Fondamenta, alongside Jeanne Crousaud, Remy David Yulzari, Guillaume Vincent, Fleur Grüneissen, Yan Levionnois, Pierre Génisson and the Debussy String Quartet.
In September 2018, he was nominated for the composition prize: 20th Grand Prix Lycéeen des Compositeurs and will appear as guest composer at the Opus 39 of the d’Auvers-sur-Oise Festival.
Ask Jules Matton why he went to study across the Atlantic and he will answer that it was to escape the stylistic shackles of the teaching in French conservatories. He will also respond that, despite the shortcomings one may find in American methods, he discovered at The Juilliard School of Music and Dance (New York) a particularly unique freedom of expression and enthusiasm for creation. This learning environment, along with Matton’s deep interest in jazz as well as minimalistic music and the integration of his early passions for Russian and French music, helped him to define, bolster, and further his ambitions as a composer. As for labels, he does not care. “Categorise me wherever you like: you will be wrong”, he claims. “Tonal, atonal, all of this means nothing. There is only one music and it does not care what labels you stick on its forehead.”
Matton’s influences are multiple, and he sees himself also as “a sponge absorbent of the past”. He describes Alfred Schnittke as the greatest composer of the end of the 20th century and sees himself as a grateful devotee of Bach, of Beethoven, Mahler, Shostakovitch, Scriabin, Szymanovski, Ravel, Lutoslawski and Greif, all while maintaining his distinct taste for King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett.
Criticism may not fail to point out drastic differences found on the surface of his work, however, those who know how to listen for it will notice a continuous thread in his expressive language, proof of a unique and authentic touch. Clusters, aggressive C major chords, textures thick as a hammer or diaphanous and transparent… His music is a whirl of causticity, tenderness and virtuosity, complex yet simple at the same time.
Let us join Anton Ljuvjine in the Liner Note of Mr Matton’s first record, which is to be released on April 20th, when he states : “We see Jules Matton’s art as a cataclysm […]. Yes, the day rises on our purified souls”.
Gabrielle Oliveira Guyon