Raging Heart: Adrianna Mateo is Ready to Make Her Mark in the Music World
By Shane Miller
For the better part of the last year, the only constant in Adrianna Mateo’s life has been change. Perennially on the move, the 25-year-old musician has been couch-surfing with friends and hopping between pet-sitting (“Cats are easier than dogs,” she learned) and house-watching gigs for acquaintances. Or rather, there has been one other constant: her passion for music.
“It taught me how to trust people and figure out who not to trust,” Mateo said of constantly being on the move. “It taught me how to keep working and stay really focused. It taught me how not to worry so much. It’s kind of like crowd-surfing, you just have to trust and know that there is a solution out there.”
Someone looking in from the outside might already consider Mateo an accomplished musician. When she spoke with It’s Queens at a cafe near her teaching job at the Kaufman Center recently, she was preparing for her third run of violin performances at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and shortly after the conversation she appeared on an episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses.
But that’s just scratching the surface. A graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, Mateo commissioned solo works for 15 composers during her junior year, which were later premiered during a self-organized, self-produced tour of Europe. In addition to performing on some of the biggest stages in the city, she has appeared on recordings by Philip Glass and Grammy Award-winning producer David Starobin. Time Out New York hailed her Band on a Can Marathon debut last summer as “triumphant.”
“On paper it looks impressive, but when you’re going through it, it’s a different feeling,” Mateo said. “You’re preparing, thing aren’t happening right away, you’re going through the emotional ups and downs and thinking, ‘oh my God, I’m not going to make it’ to ‘this is great, it’s going to be fine.’”
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