W. A. Mathieu

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William Allaudin Mathieu (born 1937) is a composer, pianist, choir director, music teacher, and author. He studied with William Russo and Easley Blackwood, with North Indian vocalist Pandit Pran Nath for 25 years, and collaborated with Nubian master musician Hamza El Din.

In the 1960s, he spent several years as an arranger and composer for Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington orchestras. Kenton's album Standards In Silhouette consists entirely of Mathieu's arrangements and revealed the young Mathieu (then 22 years of age) to be an incredibly adept manipulator of compositional materials.

Mathieu was one of the founders and the musical director for the Second City in Chicago,[1] the first ongoing improvisational theater troupe in the United States, and was later the musical director for the Committee, an improv theater in San Francisco that was an offshoot of Second City. In the 1970s, he was on the faculties of San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Mills College. Allaudin was the original director of the Sufi Choir founded in 1969 in San Francisco among followers of Samuel L. Lewis.

Mathieu began recording solo piano albums in 1980, and has composed a large variety of chamber pieces, choral works, and song cycles.

His books include:

Harmonic Experience (561 pages) offers a view of music theory that harmonizes Western and Eastern perspectives. Understanding can be actively enhanced by utilizing its autodidactic ear-training and sight-singing exercises, especially using singing sargam syllables over a drone such as a tamboura or possibly a Western fifth played in just intonation.

An audio edition of The Listening Book was issued on two cassette tapes in 1991 By Shambhala Lion Editions. That audio material was remastered and issued along with new audio material read from The Musical Life in 2008 on the Manifest Spirit Records label.


  • Antiphons Across Time / Flower of the Maiden – The Music of Hildegard von Bingen, with Trio Ephemeros (Devi Mathieu, W. A. Mathieu, Shira Kammen) (Cold Mountain Music, 2013)
  • The Bloom – Trios for Piano and Percussion, with George Marsh and Jennifer Wilsey (Cold Mountain Music, 2011)
  • Songs of Samsara (Cold Mountain Music, 2009)
  • The Ghost Opera (Cold Mountain Music, 2006)
  • The Indian Parrot (Cold Mountain Music, 2006)
  • Rumi and Strings (Cold Mountain Music, 2005)
  • Streaming Wisdom/In the Wind (Cold Mountain Music, compilation, remastered 2004)
  • Say I Am You - Four Song Cycles from the Poetry of Jelaluddin Rumi (Cold Mountain Music, 2003)
  • Three Compositions for Piano (Cold Mountain Music, 2002)
  • This Marriage (Cold Mountain Music, 2002)
  • Narratives (Cold Mountain Music, 2002)
  • Available Light (Windham HIll, 1987)
  • Listening to Evening (Sona Gaia, 1985)
  • Second Nature (Cold Mountain Music, 1983, remastered 2004)
  • In the WInd (Cold Mountain Music, 1983)
  • Streaming Wisdom (Cold Mountain Music, 1981)
  • With Stan Kenton: Standards In Silhouette – Capitol #1394 (1959)

Solo and collaborative recordings[edit]


  1. ^ Coda Magazine: Issue 319–330

External links[edit]