Matt Savage

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For the poker personality, see Matt Savage (poker director). For the keyboardist/actor see Levellers (band).
Matt Savage
Matt Savage, 2005.jpg
Savage in 2005
Background information
Born 1992 (age 23–24)
Sudbury, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Piano

Matthew "Matt" Savage (born May 12, 1992) is an American autistic savant musician. Born in Sudbury, Massachusetts,[1] he is the son of Diane and Lawrence "Larry" Savage.[2]


Matt was a precocious infant who walked early and learned to read by age 18 months.[3] He was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, at age three.[4] Matt did not like any noises or music during his early childhood.[5]

At age six, Matt taught himself to read piano music.[6] He studied classical piano for less than a year before discovering jazz, which became his main focus. He began studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts in the fall of 1999. He continued his classical studies as well. He and his younger sister, Rebecca,[6] were both home schooled.[2] Among Matt's talents are hyperlexia[1] and perfect pitch.[7] Coupled with his extremely high intelligence, these abilities have allowed him to achieve other distinctions as well, such as winning a statewide geography bee.[2]

Despite his young age and his autism, and even without formal instruction in musical composition,[7] Matt is an accomplished musician and composer. He has released several albums, both as a solo performer and as part of the Matt Savage Trio. By the age of 14, he had also performed with Chaka Khan and other popular singers.[8] Matt's compositions tend toward the technical, but they are still very approachable and often humorous.[citation needed]

Matt has received many awards, including being signed in 2003 to Bösendorfer pianos. He is the only child to be so recognized in the company's 175-year history.

Matt has toured the world, performing for heads of state and others, and appearing on numerous television and radio programs such as Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Today Show, and All Things Considered. In 2006, at age 14, he was featured on a CNN report about the human brain, in which he was defined as a prodigious savant, as opposed to the other types of savants.[8] Matt has also appeared in several documentaries about savants.

In 2007, he played with Scottish folk songwriter/singer Al Stewart, on piano[citation needed].

In 2009, Matt enrolled at Berklee to continue advancing his musical career. The following year, in November, he prepared to release his ninth CD[citation needed].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pine, Dan. "Autistic jazz prodigy already playing with greats", The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, 16 September 2005
  2. ^ a b c Morrow, Marsha. "N.H. geography champ"] Monadnock Ledger, 8 April 2004. (cached webpage)
  3. ^ Savants, Discovery Channel documentary, 2003.
  4. ^ Jones, Chad. "13-year-old Matt Savage has autism and a genius for jazz",, 21 September 2005.
  5. ^ Silberman, Steve. "The Key to Genius", Wired, December 2003, page 229.
  6. ^ a b Massimo, Rick. "N.H. pianist, 13, considers autism one of his strengths", Providence Journal, 23 October 2005.
  7. ^ a b "Pianist Matt Savage", All Things Considered, 24 April 2002.
  8. ^ a b Genius: Quest for Extreme Brain Power, CNN program hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, 17 September 2006.

External links[edit]