Ottawa New Music Creators


Matthew-John Knights


Matthew-John is a composer and pianist who lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, in which he studied with Andrew Tunis. Multiple injuries pushed Matthew-John to find other avenues of music to explore, and luckily, composition became the perfect fit. He spent a year away from school to re-orient his academic goals and begin building a portfolio by studying with with Dr. Kelly- Marie Murphy. Currently, he is finishing his Master of Music in Composition at the University of Ottawa with Kelly-Marie Murphy. Now he is looking at doctoral studies with the intention of eventually working as a freelance composer and a professor at a Canadian university.

Matthew-John has worked with many prominent composers including Ana Sokolovic, Jean Lesage, Harry Stafalakis, Jeffery Ryan, and Ian Cusson and has been praised for his vocal writing and lyricism. In January of 2019, he won a competition in Ottawa hosted by the Thirteen Strings Orchestra for emerging composers. His piece, Blessed by Beauty and Rage was chosen to be performed by the orchestra later in the 2019 season. In March of 2019, the Canada Council for the Arts Awarded him a grant for the Concept to Realization component of the Explore and Create Program.

For Matthew-John, the future of music is about more than just music — he seeks to bring more dimensions to music by infusing elements of other art forms, such as theatre and costuming, into all works as a way of bringing new life into a struggling art form

Curtis Perry