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Matthew Howard


About this Artist

Matthew Howard is the youngest Principal Percussionist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the same orchestra he grew up watching as a Los Angeles native. Before joining the LA Phil, he was a resident of Miami, where he was a Percussion Fellow with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. He has performed with such groups as the San Francisco Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, and Boston Ballet. He also has been a member in the National Repertory Orchestra, Verbier Festival Orchestra, and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. 

Matthew began his musical career studying drum set at the age of 15 and played in his high school jazz band. By 18, he found himself enthralled with the vast world of percussion and started studying with a local percussionist, John Magnussen. While studying with John, he also studied with recording legend Emil Richards on jazz vibraphone, Judy Chilnick on timpani, and Jerry Steinholtz on hand percussion. After a year of community college, he transferred to the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music Percussion Department, studying with Erik Forrester. The following year, Joseph Pereira and Jim Babor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic became his full-time percussion faculty at USC. For his master’s degree in Percussion Performance, he studied with Will Hudgins of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Immediately after graduating in 2015, he was offered a fellowship with the New World Symphony for up to three years.