Matt Curlee

J. Matthew Curlee

Instructor of Music Theory, 2012-16



Instructor of Music Theory Matt Curlee first served as an adjunct faculty member during the 2007-2008 school year, returning again in 2010. As an undergraduate at Eastman, an organ major in the studio of David Higgs, Curlee became at the age of 19 one of the youngest musicians ever to win the Grand Prix de Chartres , an international organ competition in France. While continuing his studies, he began an active performing and recording career, spanning both North America and Europe, and including performances on many of the world’s great instruments. Curlee received his BMus with the performer’s certificate in 1999, and remained at Eastman for an MA in theory pedagogy in 2001. In 2002, he founded Neos with four other Eastman alums, a contemporary jazz chamber ensemble built around the pipe organ, and toured and recorded with that group  for about five years, serving as its artistic director and principal composer. As both an advocate and avid practitioner of improvisational music, he has a particular interest in ear-brain interactions and the intuitive processes that unify composition, improvisation, and performance.