Norman Mathews is a composer, author, librettist, and playwright. His work has been performed at the Kennedy Center, on radio, and at theaters and concert venues around the world. He is a recipient of numerous awards, foundation grants, and commissions. His play, “Drone,” has just been selected as a semifinalist for the Dayton (Ohio) Theater’s Future Fest to be presented July 2019.
In his younger days, Mathews was a dancer-singer-actor on Broadway and film. He has worked with Dorothy Lamour, with Barbra Streisand and Gene Kelly in the film version of Hello, Dolly!, and with Michael Bennett.
As a composer-playwright, his award-winning musical about Dorothy Parker, You Might as Well Live, has been performed by both Tony-Award-winner Michele Pawk and Broadway star Karen Mason. The piece has been seen at Chicago’s Harris Theater of Music and Dance, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and the New York Musical Theater Festival.
La Lupa, his opera based on the Giovanni Verga novella, was recently showcased at the Fort Worth Opera Company. Ye Are Many—They Are Few, Cantata for a Just World, for four singers and piano, received a Puffin Foundation grant and was premiered at The Chicago Cultural Center by the acclaimed vocal group, Vox3. Sonnet No. 61 (part of a 3-sonnet cycle to Shakespeare, entitled Love’s Not Time’s Fool for mixed choir, piano, and oboe and flute obbligato) was the winner of the American Composers’ Forum 2011, VocalEssence Award.
His song cycle, Songs of the Poet, settings of Walt Whitman poetry, had its European premiere at by Gregory Wiest, an American tenor with the Munich Opera, who recorded the work for Capstone Records (CPS 8646). The work was later performed at the Kennedy Center. Rossetti Songs, a cycle of five songs set to Christina Rossetti poetry for mezzo-soprano, piano, flute, and cello, was recorded by Navona Records (NV5827) and distributed by Naxos. It was recently broadcast on Public Radio.
Mathews’s cabaret music has been performed by Tony-Award-winner Debbie Gravitte and Tony-nominee Liz Callaway.
His autobiography, The Wrong Side of the Room: A Life in Music Theater has received unanimous critical praise.
As a journalist, he has been News Editor of Dance Magazine, Managing Editor of Sylvia Porter’s Personal Finance Magazine, and Editorial Director of Merrill Lynch internal publications. His articles have been published in Common Dreams and the Times of Sicily. His music is published by Graphite Publishing.
Mathews holds a B.A. and an M.A. in music from Hunter College and New York University.