Matthew Dirst is Professor of Music at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, where he teaches courses in music history and performance practice. He is also Founder and Artistic Director of Ars Lyrica Houston, a Grammy-nominated ensemble that specializes in Baroque chamber and dramatic works.
Winner of major international prizes in both organ and harpsichord, including the American Guild of Organists National Young Artist Competition (1990) and the inaugural Warsaw International Harpsichord Competition (1993), Dirst is equally active as a musicologist. He is the author of Engaging Bach: The Keyboard Legacy from Marpurg to Mendelssohn (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and more recently, he edited Bach Perspectives 10: Bach and the Organ (University of Illinois Press, 2016).
Widely admired for his stylish playing and conducting of Baroque music especially, Dirst was hailed by the Dallas Morning News for his “crisp but expressive direction” of the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers, which it named “Best Classical Performance of 2010.” Early Music America described his recent solo recording, of harpsichord works by François and Armand-Louis Couperin (Centaur), as a “stylish, tasteful, and technically commanding performance…expressive and brilliant playing.” Dirst’s recordings of music by Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti and J. A. Hasse with Ars Lyrica on the Naxos and Sono Luminus labels have earned a Grammy nomination for Best Opera 2011 and widespread critical acclaim.