Artistic Director, Harpsichord
Artistic Director 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). In addition to his work with Ars Lyrica, Matthew also serves as Associate Professor of Music at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music and organist at St Philip Presbyterian Church. 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, where he spent two years as a Fulbright scholar. Noted for his stylish playing of Baroque music in particular, his recent performances of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” were praised as “an extremely taut and accurate traversal” (The New York Sun), “a technically dazzling, deeply moving performance” (Houston Chronicle), “of irresistible rhythmic impulse [and] dazzling virtuosity” (Dallas Morning News). His most recent recording, Bach Organ Music for the Christmas Season, has just been released on the Centaur label and is available for purchase at all Ars Lyrica performances.