Bartók World Competition

Jules Matton


1 March 1988


Homage to Bartók

"This piece opens with the solo violin, introducing a repetitive motive played over an open D string drone, varying rhythmically as it grows. The piano enters with a succession of triads: G-sharp minor, D major, F major, C-sharp major, E-flat major, and A minor. The repetitive motive then passes from the violin to the piano at the fifth, and the violin begins a long and tortured melody. This is followed by a homorhythmic slow section, which becomes more and more complex until the return of the repetitive motive, culminating with the same triads as in the beginning. After a fast coda, the piece ends quietly in the high register of the piano and the open G-D strings of the violin.

This music is very different to that of Bartók. However, one could recognize certain similarities: tritonic harmonies, a very clear contrast between triadic chords and intense chromaticism, meandering melodies, and a kind of painful and mysterious distance with the material that is used."


A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and Dance, Jules Matton was singled out by John Corigliano, who noticed his student's « remarkable talent and impeccable technique ». Jules Matton has received several awards for his work: a laureate of the Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet Foundation for the Vocation (2010), the Excellence Scholarship of the Institut Catholique de Paris where he earned a Bachelor Degree in philosophy in 2013, and a scholarship from the Banque Populaire Foundation (2015) as well as the Audience Prize at the Île-de-Créations composing competition (2017) and the Grand Prix Lycéen des Compositeurs (2019).

As a composer, Jules Matton has worked with musicians Jodie Devos, Bruno Philippe, Thomas Dunford, Anastasia Kobekina, Kotaro Fukuma, Justin Taylor, Paul Meyer, Frank Braley, the Chapelle Harmonique, the Orchestre National d'Île-de-France and the Orchestre National de Lyon. In the autumn of 2017, he was named composer-in-residence at the Théâtre Impérial de Compiègne. His first opera, The Odyssey, was performed there in April 2018. Following the premiere, he released his first album of chamber music under the label Fondamenta with musicians Jeanne Crousaud, Guillaume Vincent, Yan Levionnois, Pierre Génisson and the Debussy Quartet. The album received a ‘Choc' award by Classica Magazine. In 2019, Jules Matton was named composer-in-residence of the Festival of Auvers-sur-Oise Opus 39, and then of the Orchestre de Picardie for 2020-2021. His second album is due to be released in December 2022 under the label NoMadMusic, in collaboration with the Orchestre de Picardie.

Jules Matton's compositions are published by Éditions Billaudot. He is the son of the painter, sculptor and film director Charles Matton.