Matthew H. Fields allied himself with the broad banner of classical music. He used the slogans “splendor in sound” and “sounds we make to fascinate each other” to suggest his focus on the listener’s attention.
With each work, Fields strove to push himself in new directions, expanding upon past developments while offering listeners something fresh. He gladly incorporated flavors of America and Europe as well as his native Jewish culture into a mixture that freely admitted tonality and atonality, the modern and the ancient, the intellectual and the passionate. He generally avoided notions of his music as language or expression, preferring instead to focus on the potential for non-verbal aspects of sound to fascinate, delight, and evoke wonder.
The winner of the League-ISCM Composer’s Competition (2006), a spot at Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute and Reading Sessions (2006), the Ferruccio Busoni Society Composition Contest (1991), the Regents’ Fellowship at University of Michigan, The Johnson-Maile Fellowship at Stanford, and various other honors, Fields of Ann Arbor, Michigan, was an independent composer by night and a computer programmer by day.
Born in 1961 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he grew up in Deerfield, Illinois, and earned degrees in music composition from Oberlin Conservatory, Stanford University, and the University of Michigan, as well as a degree in mathematics from Oberlin College.
Over the years, Fields maintained affiliations with ASCAP, AMC, SCI, ACF, BIMC, Kalvos and Damien, the James Randi Educational Foundation, and Sierra Club, among others.
Fields died in 2017.