Matthew Dean
tenor and program curator

"Stellar."  - Chicago Tribune

“Setting the tone” (Pittsburgh Music Alliance) with “affecting line” (Boston Classical Review), tenor Matthew Dean is a sought-after soloist, collaborator, and storyteller in ensembles and oratorios around the country. As artist in residence at Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel since 2005, the Tribune’s John von Rhein has praised his “firm vocalism and beautiful timbre.” As Evangelist in the Bach Passions and Christmas Oratorio, he has been called “stirring, always attuned to the narrative content” (Chicago Classical Review) in concerts featuring the Haymarket Opera Orchestra.


A medievalist and folklorist possessing “ringing sound, cantorial fluency, and elegance” (Chicago On the Aisle), he has collected songs in Spain and Siberia, and appears and records with The Newberry Consort, The Rose Ensemble, Bella Voce, His Majesty's Men, Third Coast Baroque, and Schola Antiqua. A “stellar” new music collaborator (Alan Artner), Matt has originated roles in works by James Kallembach and Sven-David Sandström, and collaborated with eighth blackbird, Giordano Dance, and Patrice Michaels' Notorious RBG in Song project. As a concert and visual arts curator, he has designed vocal programs for the Art Institute of Chicago and The Met Cloisters, welcomed Native American and interreligious art exhibitions at Rockefeller Chapel, and led the Sounds of Faith initiative for Harran Productions Foundation. He co-founded The Rookery choir in 2011.


Welcome and calendar


Wishes of health and hope in 2021 to all, and especially to friends and collaborators of ORD Camp and UChicago's Taking the Next Step. In my public thinking cap my themes are religious architecture, gaming, and food, on which any musical supporters are also welcome to engage me anytime! Read more about 2020 for me in the Tribune here.

A special welcome to new friends. You can hear me on radio and podcasts here singing live, here speaking on earworms and manuscripts at the Newberry Library, and here meditating on medieval Jerusalem. At Rockefeller Chapel, I collaborated with climate scientists on some important measurements. A concert I developed made The New Yorker here. Our global interfaith concert initiative is chronicled at The Harran Foundation.

Some art installations I've curated or welcomed include Ultra High ResolutionDancing For My Tribe, NeurotheologyCosmic Consciousness, Columns of Thought, and The Bridge. I designed the Concrete Happenings Arts Lobby for UChicago Arts in 2016. As a singer, a retrospective bio on the encyclopedic Bach Cantatas website is here

2021 appearances 


December 24 at Rockefeller Chapel

December 18 with the Callipygian Players

December 13-14 at Sing We Joyous with the Oriana Singers in Oak Park

December 4-7 in A Mexican Christmas with The Newberry Consort, including a new CD and DVD release based on our 2019 performance of this wonderful show.

November 20-21 in Handel's Messiah with Bella Voce

November 14 in a program on Dante with The Schola Antiqua

November 4 as a soloist in the Howells Requiem at Rockefeller Chapel



Previous 2020


On January 27, hear me on the radio (WFMT 98.7 in Chicago) with The Oriana Singers. 

On February 1 and 2, The Oriana Singers perform Baltic choral wonders live in Oak Park, including Tormis' Curse Upon Iron, a favorite solo.

February 21-23 I was tour with Schola Antiqua of Chicago in Cleveland and South Bend with music from Renaissance Prague curated by Erika Supria Honisch.

In March 2020 I was rehearsing with Bella Voce, Chicago A Cappella, and the Rockefeller Chapel Choir at the time of the first pandemic shutdown.

Previous 2019

December 14-15 (2019): Sing We Joyous! at First United | Oak Park, IL

December 6-8 (2019): A Mexican Christmas with the Newberry Consort | Chicago, IL

November 24: Schola Antiqua at The Cloisters | New York City, NY

November 17 (2019): Sounds of Faith at the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music | Kalamazoo, MI

October 19 and 22 (2019): Chicago Architecture Biennial with the Oriana Singers | Chicago, IL

"Dean's firm vocalism, beautiful timbre and close attention to word meanings made the tenor's "Benedictus" a stirring declaration of belief."
- John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

"Tenor Matthew Dean delivered a stirring performance of the [Bernstein Hashkiveinu] solo."
- Chicago Classical Review

"Tenor Matthew Dean sang an affecting line, which Douglas and Kammen echoed and embellished with their strings."
- Boston Classical Review

"Matthew Dean is an ideal Evangelist, with a light high effortless voice"

- Herbert Burtis

"Matthew Dean sang beautifully, providing a robust low end and tastefully restrained vibrato as a firm foundation for the trio."
- Mark Nowakowski

"his soli rang through with clarity and soul"

- Chicago Classical Music

September 21 (2019): Transept | Sioux Falls, SD

See & Hear

Hashkiveinu - Bernstein (excerpt)
Rachel - Schutz Passion (Evangelist)
Dormo ancora - Monteverdi (Ulisse)
Frohe Hirten - Bach coloratura excerpt
Tuba Mirum - Mozart Requiem

In Rama sonat gemitus (conductus)
Byron Colby Barn | Grayslake, IL

Ave Maria - Josquin
St. John Cantius |  Chicago, IL

with Kuang-Hao Huang and David Patterson
Unity Temple | Oak Park, IL