Matthew Coley

Matthew Coley


Marimba, Percussion, Dulcimer Artist, Founding Artistic Director, SONIC INERTIA

Matthew Coley is a marimba, percussion, and hammer dulcimer artist, composer, and clinician. Matthew has presented solo marimba and percussion concerts and has performed as a soloist with orchestras and ensembles throughout the US and abroad. He has performed as soloist with the Millennium Chamber Players, San Francisco Sinfonietta, Kurpfalzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, and Moldavian Teleradio Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Matthew was recently appointed Lecturer in Percussion at Iowa State University.

In 2008, he placed third in the prestigious 5th World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart, Germany. He is the only American ever to place. He also placed third in the 2005 WAMSO/Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition. He was a finalist in the 2004 Houston Symphony Orchestra Ima Hogg Young Artist Competitions, and he won first place in the 2000 Music Teachers National Association Solo Percussion Competition, the 2000 Percussive Arts Society (PAS) Marimba Concerto Competition, and the 1999 Yamaha Young Performing Artist award.

Matthew has performed as a soloist at three PAS International Conventions (2000, 2002, 2007) with the Northwestern University and University of North Texas percussion ensembles. Other solo and chamber music performances include the University of North Texas, University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, and Sherwood Conservatory of Music Chicago. Matthew performs frequently as timpanist and percussionist in Chicago with groups such as the Illinois Philharmonic, Rockford Symphony, and Bach and Beyond Chamber Orchestra.

In 2008, Matthew played the world premiere Tides and Riptides; Concerto for Marimba, Woodblocks, and Orchestra written for him by Bjorn Berkhout with the Sherwood Symphony Orchestra of Chicago. In 2009, he will do the world premiere of The Breeze of South Latitudes Marimba Concerto by Ghenadie Ciobanu and the US premiere of Concerto Rustico for marimba and string orchestra by Marcin Blazewicz.

Matthew is widely sought after to collaborate in the dance, new music, and electronic scenes. He is founding artistic director of SONIC INERTIA (dance + electronic media + live music), and works frequently in many other chamber music settings. He is a member of SI2 (Sonic Inertia Duo) and maintains an active performing schedule in this innovative percussion duo with Cory Hills.

Matthew is a published composer with Innovative Percussion, Inc. and EDITION Svitzer and a clinician in a diverse field of percussion performance topics, as well as dance and multi-media collaboration. He has created works for and collaborated with Thodos Dance Chicago New Dances, Evanston Dance Ensemble, and Lincolnshire Academy of Dance.

He received his Masters of Music degree from Northwestern University in percussion performance and literature in 2003 under Michael Burritt and James Ross and is a candidate for a Doctor of Music degree from NU with Professor She-e Wu. He received his Bachelors of Music degree from the University of North Texas in 2001 with Mark Ford and Christopher Deane.

Matthew is endorsed by Innovative Percussion, Grover Percussion, and Dynasty Percussion, and can be contacted on the web through or