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KMFA Unveils the 2024 Composer-in-Residence

Introducing Sophie Mathieu, an Austin-based composer and cellist, who promises to bring a fusion of ambient, ethereal compositions to local classical music enthusiasts

Sophie Mathieu

On Tuesday, Jan. 23, Austin’s independent public classical radio station, KMFA Classical 89.5, revealed Sophie Mathieu as the 2024 Draylen Mason Composer-in-Residence. The program, initiated in 2022, honors the memory of Draylen Mason, a promising young musician tragically lost in the 2018 Austin package bombing. As a response to a nationwide push for diversity in classical music, the program spotlights composers of underrepresented communities, aiming to reshape the classical music landscape.

A creative partnership and anticipated projects 

Immersed in a musical journey closely linked with KMFA, Mathieu, an Austin-based composer and cellist, reminisces about her upbringing in Austin, where ” was constantly on in my parents’ cars and our household.”

When asked about her expectations for the residency, Mathieu highlights her excitement about a commissioned project with Austin Unconducted, a local string orchestra. “The goal with that commission is to write a piece specifically to have it go on the radio, which I’ve never written a piece with those constraints before and I’m really excited for it,” said Mathieu.

(Left to right) Sophie Mathieu and Sara Schneider (photo courtesy of KMFA)

“I’m really honored at the opportunity to be a representative for other women composers in my role as the Draylen Mason Composer-in-Residence, said Mathieu. “I wouldn’t say that that factors too much in a conscious way to my music, although I would say for me, I think my gender is a big part of my life, and I think it comes into my music a lot in a subconscious way.”

As KMFA continues to foster local artistic talent, Mathieu’s residency promises to bring a fusion of her ambient, ethereal compositions to the classical music enthusiasts in Austin. Stay tuned to KMFA for the unfolding chapters of this musical collaboration, celebrating diversity and innovation in the classical music scene.