Michael MATTHES began his studies with Nicole Delannoy on piano, and then studied organ at the National Conservatory of Rueil-Malmaison with Marie-Claire Alain and Susan Landale. In 1983, he entered the class of Odile Pierre at the Conservatoire National Supérieur of Paris.
At the same time, he worked on improvisation with Pierre Cochereau, as well as analysis, harmony, counterpoint, and the fugue with Yvonne Desportes and Marcel Bitsch. After obtaining several first prizes, he perfected his organ skills under Pierre Labric.
Laureate of the G. Cziffra Foundation in 1986, he received from the very hands of the world-renowned pianist the Foundation’s Gold Medal in 1987. The same year, at age 19, he became the youngest soloist of Radio-France and gave his first recital at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.
Thus, his career as an international concert artist began. He participated in several prestigious festivals (Villa Medicis in Rome, Radio-France in Montpellier, Saint Bertrand de Comminges, and Darmstadt. On the international scene, he has represented the French organ school in performances in the United States, Russia, Hungary, and Turkey as well as other European countries.
As soloist, he has performed and recorded under the batons of the some of the greatest conductors, with the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Orchestre de l’Opéra Bastille and the Orchestre Colonne.
After working with Jean-Jacques Grunenwald, Jean Langlais and Olivier Messiaen, his passion for 20th century French music grew to the point that it gave direction to his career. Today he is considered as one of the most brilliant performers in the tradition of the prestigious French organ school of the 20th century founded by Marcel Dupré. In 1991, he gave the world first performance of the complete organ works of Marcel Dupré in a series of nine concerts.
In addition to his television appearances and numerous recordings (under the labels of Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, Denon and Signum Classic), he regularly gives master classes in France and abroad on the organ music of 20th century, especially on the works of Marcel Dupré and Jeanne Demessieux.
Michael MATTHES is currently titular organist of the great organ of the church St. Germain l’Auxerrois in Paris and is professor of organ at the Conservatoire National in Troyes.
In 2007 Michael MATTHES was awarded the title of “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government.