School of Visual and Performing Arts

Matthew Forte, Director of Orchestral Studies

Photo of Matthew Forte, Director of Orchestral Studies at UT, conductingMatthew Forte is Director of Orchestral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music History at the University of Toledo, where he supervises all aspects of the institution’s orchestral program, conducts the University of Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and teaches courses in conducting and in music history. Matthew is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where he studied with Kevin Noe, received both master’s and doctoral degrees in orchestral conducting, and served as music director of the Michigan State University Concert Orchestra. During his tenure, that ensemble was revitalized: orchestra membership nearly doubled, audience attendance tripled, and the group quickly became an indispensable part of the cultural fabric of the university as a whole. In recognition of his achievements in fostering the growth of the Concert Orchestra, Matthew was awarded both a Rasmussen Fellowship and the MSU Distinguished Teaching Citation by Michigan State University — both honors presented annually to only a handful of graduate students from the entire university community.

Prior to his studies at MSU, Matthew received his Bachelor’s Degree, summa cum laude, in Music History from the Hartt School, where he studied conducting with Glen Adsit and Edward Cumming and, upon graduation, received the Belle K Ribicoff Prize – presented in recognition of academic achievement and of cultural contributions to the institution as a whole.

Matthew currently serves as cover conductor for the St. Louis Symphony, and was a Jorge Mester fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen in the summers of 2014 and 2015. At Aspen, Matthew studied with Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, Federico Cortese, and Hugh Wolff, among others, performed with the Academy Orchestra, premiered new works by festival composers, collaborated with prestigious faculty, including the American Brass Quintet, and assisted in an acclaimed production of Eugene Onegin. Since his time in the academy, Matthew has collaborated frequently with the Department of Education at the festival, conducting honor bands in the central Colorado area and teaching conducting to area music teachers.

An enthusiastic educator and composer, Matthew has served on the faculty of Grand Valley State University and his works have been commissioned and performed by Musique 21 and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, among others. In his spare time, Matt enjoys sailing — both racing and teaching sailing to kids and adults — on the lakes and on the ocean, in his home state of Connecticut. 

Last Updated: 9/12/17