Composer-conductor Matthew Aucoin, the recent winner of the Chicago Symphony's Solti Conducting Apprenticeship, is both the youngest composer to have been commissioned to write an opera for the Metropolitan Opera (for the company's New Works program) and the youngest Assistant Conductor in the Met's history. This season, Aucoin makes conducting debuts with the Chicago Symphony, Juilliard Opera, and the Rome Opera Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago (in a public rehearsal with cellist Yo-Yo Ma), while also serving as a cover/assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is at work composing operas for the Met, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the American Repertory Theater (to be premiered in the spring of 2015 in Boston, directed by Diane Paulus), as well as a piano trio for the Gramercy Trio and a chamber work for members of the San Antonio Symphony.
A 2012 graduate of Harvard College (summa cum laude) and a 2013 recipient of Juilliard's graduate diploma in composition, Aucoin is also a poet, prose writer, and pianist. His poetry collection Aftermusic won Harvard's top literature prizes in 2012, and his poems and essays have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Harvard Advocate, The Yale Review, and The Colorado Review. Recent appearances as a pianist, in addition to his CSO debut in the Stravinsky "Symphony in Three Movements," include a recital series at Italy's Spoleto Festival with baritone Paulo Szot and Keir GoGwilt, and concerts at Toronto's Canadian Opera Company, New York's 54 Below, and New York's Kaye Playhouse, with singers including Paulo Szot, Rod Gilfry, and Isabel Leonard. He has hosted a series of special programs on Mozart and Verdi for New York's classical station, WQXR, and regularly gives lectures for the New York Shakespeare Society and New York University's Casa Italiana. His mentors include the composer Robert Beaser and the poet Jorie Graham.