William Allaudin Mathieu
(b. 1937) — pianist, composer, author, and teacher — is one of the most influential musicians of his generation. He began recording solo piano albums in 1980. He has composed a large variety of chamber pieces, choral works, and song cycles, and has written four books on music:
Bridge of Waves: What Music Is and How Listening to It Changes the World
The Listening Book: Discovering Your Own Music
The Musical Life: Reflections on What It Is and How to Live It
Harmonic Experience: Tonal Harmony from Its Natural Origins to Its Modern Expression
Allaudin was a disciple of North Indian vocalist Pandit Pran Nath for 25 years. He studied with composers William Russo and Easley Blackwood, 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, and was the musical director for the Second City Theater in Chicago (which he helped found) and for the Committee Theater in San Francisco. In the 1970s, he served on the faculties of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Mills College. In 1969 he founded the Sufi Choir, which he directed until 1982.
Allaudin now devotes himself to practice, performance, recording, composition, teaching, and writing from his home near Sebastopol, California.
Photo by Corey Ziemba