Based in Asheville, Washington, DC and Cincinnati, Matthew M. Nielson is a composer, orchestrator and sound designer for film, television, theatre and radio.
His music for film has been heard in film festivals across the US. He has composed and designed more than two dozen short films, feature-length documentaries and feature-length narratives, including Poker Face, Lulu and Josie, A Sleepover Story, Fire’s Daughter, Death in Time, Londinium, and Elbow Grease. He has won several film festival awards for his work and been nominated for several more. His music and sound design for television have been featured in branding packages for Epix Drive-In and Spike TV, and his commercial clients include Delivery.com, NBA, UFC on FOX, Bounty Hunters, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, NBC Sports, v05, and Hometrust Bank. His work can be heard in video games, including Drone Command.
Theatrically, Nielson has designed, composed, orchestrated and written songs for hundreds of productions around the world. Off-Broadway: Shakespeare’s Villains and Lakawanna Blues (Public Theatre). Regional credits include Cincinnati Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Delaware Theatre Company, Barrington Stage, NC Stage, Triad Stage, Ford’s Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth, Signature Theatre, Kennedy Center, Round House Theatre, Contemporary American Theatre Company, Library of Congress, Folger Theatre, the National Gallery of Art, and many others. International credits include productions in Germany and Russia. Nielson has mentored sound design students and taught master classes at the University of Maryland and American University.
Matthew has several credits as a writer in film, including The Long Road, Trip, The Beginning, and Groundwork. Nielson was a founding member of the audio theatre company The Audible Group, who produced holiday productions of A Child’s Christmas in Wales and Gift of the Magi for charity. With The Audible Group, Nielson wrote, directed, scored and designed the dramatic audio series Troublesome Gap. He runs Sound Lab Studios; a premier full-featured audio post-production house and The Curious Music Company; a production music library and custom music shop.
Nielson has won four Helen Hayes Award and been nominated for 11 others. He also holds nominations for League of Cincinnati Theatre awards, Barrymore Awards and BroadwayWorld.com awards.
Get in touch
|Helen Hayes/Outstanding Sound Design||Award||The Wonderful World of Dissocia||Theater Alliance|
|Helen Hayes/Outstanding Sound Design||Nomination||Abominable||Hub Theatre|
|Helen Hayes/Outstanding Sound Design||Nomination||Carried Away On the Crest of a Wave||Hub Theatre|
|Golden Egg/Best Score||Nomination||From Hell to Here||Rock Creek Productions|
|48Hour Film Project/Best Sound Design||Award||A God Fearin' Man||Reflection Films|
|Helen Hayes/Outstanding Sound Design||Award||The Illusion||Forum Theatre Company|
|League of Cincinnati Theatres||Nomination||Double Indemnity||Cincinnati Playhouse|
|48Hour Film Project/Best Sound Design||Award||Trip||More Chi Black Mountain|
|Helen Hayes/Outstanding Sound Design||Nomination||Hamlet||Folger Theatre|
|Helen Hayes/Outstanding Sound Design||Award||1984||Catalyst Theater Company|
|Helen Hayes/Outstanding Sound Design||Nomination||Nest||Signature Theatre|
|Helen Hayes/Outstanding Sound Design||Nomination||The Unmentionables||Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co.|
|Helen Hayes/Outstanding Sound Design||Award||A Prayer For Owen Meany||Round House Theatre|
"Sound designers Christopher Baine and Matthew M. Nielson play with location, and always caught me off-guard with new directions of sound and excellent layering, especially when reality bleeds into Dissocia. They are restrained when it is appropriate, showing a superb understanding of how their sound interacts with the plot in such a sensuous show."
-Broadway World - The Wonderful World of Dissocia
"The Joseph family’s interwoven stories unfold in poignant scenes, between which we hear beautiful guitar-and-cello interludes (composed by Matthew M. Nielson)
-DCMetroTheatreArts - After the Revolution
"Pop music permeates the play, as if the show has a soundtrack. Some audience members sang along quietly, the sugary music providing a break from the play’s serious subject matters. Sound designer Matthew Nielson cleverly weaves music from scenes to set changes."
-Baltimore Post Examiner - The Real Thing
"While Shakespeare’s original play is riddled his own musical scoring, such as, “Oh Mistress Mine,” performed superbly by Feste (Louis Butelli) and company, this production augments that vision. A number of terrific melodies (by Matthew M Nielson) are infused, and, even when the lights are up, the cast sways and sings along as if song is a far easier language than the mere exchange of words."
-EastWest - 12th Night
"Louis Butelli handles all of Feste's duties with wicked charm and effortless stage presence. His delicious performance of Matthew Nielson's new setting of Feste's song "Hey, ho, the wind and the rain" is a highlight."
-Broadway World - 12th Night
"Matthew Nielson’s sound design, with original compositions, was 'one of the most enticing elements of the production and created the most evocative atmosphere."
-League of Cincinnati Theatres - Double Indemnity
"...and Matthew M. Nielson’s intrigue-stoking score is the next best thing to actually gassing the house with cigarette smoke."
-Washington City Paper - Double Indemnity
"Sound and light design by Matthew M. Nielson and Nancy Schertler respectively, also set the somber tones and shadows of tumultuous civil war years. Segments of original music also by Nielson contain a fusion of folk tunes steeped in the roots of the Black experience with remarkable results."
-DC Theatre Scene - Whipping Man
"Sound effects are pivotal to any "Eurydice" production. Designer Matthew M. Nielson has supplied spooky acoustic layers of electronic keenings, ominous rock chords, rumblings and a plaintive, evolving music-box melody that gives two wordless scenes a wrenching pathos."
-Washington Post - Eurydice