The Many Musical Hats of Matt Rose

From Right to Left, Adam Roat, James Feinberg, Matt Rose.

Matt Rose is a composer, orchestrator and music director from Philadelphia. On top of that, he’s a sophomore studying Music Business in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

A talented guitarist and bassoonist, Rose has involved himself in everything from scoring films for Tisch students to booking shows for NYU’s student-run West Fourth Music Group. But, with all that hustle comes a little struggle — at times, Rose has found it difficult to balance his many different endeavors. 

But recently, Rose came up with a solution to his balancing problem by creating a medium to bring together his diverging interests in music and film. Along with his two friends, Tisch Film & TV sophomore Adam Roat and Brown University sophomore James Feinberg, Rose founded a production company called RFR Productions.

“We specialize in music, musical theater, movie musical stuff for film and for theater,” Rose said. “We’ve done a couple commercial projects as well. I think that’s the goal [for me], to work on doing music stuff but also being able to control my own career.”


Rose notes that there is a lack of composer-centric representation in the industry compared to other areas of entertainment.

“Film composers have agents but they’re not managed the same way it’s not like there’s a label or anything that specializes in film composer’s music or theatrical music,” Rose said. “Especially for theater, you have these Broadway cast recordings that are basically being made by a bunch of labels. There’s no place where they specialize in that completely. That’s a goal of mine to be able to get there and potentially make a company that does that.”

Rose’s take on the matter is warranted. Even as a sophomore, he has begun to build an extensive portfolio of compositions through RFR productions. His most recent efforts are with “The Eminent Carmine Craig,” a 36-minute movie musical, which screened at the Montclair Film Festival, and was directed by Roat, written by Feinberg and scored by Rose.

“It was the first big film project I did,” Rose said. “It wasn’t me on my computer scoring something and then going somewhere else. It was, you’re actually going to a studio and recording this.”

The RFR team and Rose are onto their next feature film and movie musical, “Chamber Piece,” which is in pre-production. But Rose doesn’t want to be focused on only one thing, and as a result actively involves himself with other theater productions under the RFR brand.

“Theatrically speaking I’m doing music direction and orchestrations for a show called ‘Boy Meets Girl,’ written by my writing partner James [Feinberg] a while ago with a couple other composers,” he said. “I have two new songs and complete orchestrations for that. [That we’ll] be premiering at [The Summer Fest in New York] in August.”

Rose enjoys how film work offers him an extremely collaborative environment, one that he explains is vital to his creative process.

“I like that I get to work with a lot of different people,” Rose said. “I think that’s why I work in the areas that I do. I don’t think I would be doing it if it wasn’t as collaborative as it is. It’s awesome.”

Rose is confident that his many musical hats offer him a distinct advantage in a scene that’s filled with competition from all angles, whether that be composition, music direction or orchestration.

“The thing that differentiates me, especially from a lot of people out there now, is that I try not to set limits for myself,” Rose said. “I try not to say, ‘I write pop musical theater or ‘I write jazz theater.’ That’s why I love orchestrating and that’s why I love working and music directing. I’ll write anything anybody needs me to write in any style, and if I don’t know how to write it, then I’ll seek it out … I’ve written a bunch of stuff, and none of it’s the same.”

You can find some of Rose’s work on Spotify, and be sure check out the rest of RFR’s projects on their website.

Email Connor Gatesman at [email protected]



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