About this Artist
Dylan Mattingly, composer
Dylan Mattingly is a composer and creator of musical work which seeks to offer ecstatic, transformative experience and provide an opportunity to alter the way we see our world and place within it. Many of Mattingly’s projects exist on a massive scale, the results of a dedication to the pursuit of bringing to life the most meaningful projects in the wild reaches of imagination — wherever that path leads — and building a path for the realization of these dreamworks from the ground up, often across many years. This practice has been informed by the decade-long process of creating, developing, and bringing to life Stranger Love, an ecstatic 6-hour durational opera, which offers a grand celebration of being alive. Stranger Love will see its premiere on May 20, 2023 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, commissioned by the LA Phil and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. At the heart of all of Mattingly’s work is a commitment to joy, and to what Hannah Arendt refers to as amor mundi — an ever-renewing quest to find the capacity to love the world, in the complex totality of its experience.
Mattingly's music has been described as “gorgeous” by the San Francisco Chronicle, “transcendent” and “the most poignantly entrancing passages of beautiful music in recent memory” by LA Weekly, and “in the pantheon of contemporary American composers” (Prufrock’s Dilemma). Additionally, Mattingly is the Executive and Co-artistic Director of the NYC-based new-music ensemble Contemporaneous. With Contemporaneous, much of his work has focused on creating an opportunity for other composers and musical creators to follow their own wildest dreams, dedicating the resources of the organization to the creation of large-scale new work and allowing artists a path to create the work they most want to create, regardless of scale and conventional practical constraints.
Mattingly’s music has been commissioned and performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Ojai Music Festival, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Berkeley Symphony, the Del Sol String Quartet, Sarah Cahill, Kathleen Supové, the Albany Symphony, Contemporaneous, ZOFO Duet, John Adams, Marin Alsop, and many others. Mattingly was the Musical America “New Artist of the Month” for February 2013 and was awarded the Charles Ives Scholarship by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2016. Mattingly holds a B.A. in Classics from Bard College, a B.M. in Music Composition from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music. Mattingly lives in Berkeley, CA with his partner Hannah and dog Oly.
Thomas Bartscherer, librettist
Thomas Bartscherer works in the humanities and the arts. His previous collaborations with Contemporaneous include Long After Hesiod, a spoken word text written for and performed with Stacy Garrop’s String Quartet No. 3 (Gaia), and narration for Dylan Mattingly’s composition The Bakkhai. Bartscherer and Mattingly are currently developing an evening-length performance titled History of Life, an excerpt of which premiered at Roulette in New York in 2022. His work has been performed at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Prototype Festival, and the First Take West Coast Opera Workshop.
Current projects also include the forthcoming critical edition of Hannah Arendt’s final work, The Life of the Mind and When the People Rule: Popular Sovereignty in Theory and Practice, an edited volume due out from Cambridge University Press in 2023. Previous edited volumes include Erotikon: Essays on Eros, Ancient and Modern and Switching Codes: Thinking Through Technology in the Humanities and the Arts, both published by the University of Chicago Press. He studied at the University of Chicago (PhD) and the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and has held fellowships at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, the University of Heidelberg, and the Center for Advanced Film Studies at the Freie Universität in Berlin. He is a Senior Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities and since 2017 he has been the Peter Sourian Senior Lecturer in the Humanities at Bard College in New York.