Matt Savage

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For the poker personality, see Matt Savage (poker director). For the keyboardist/actor see Levellers (band).
Matt Savage
Matt Savage, 2005.jpg
Savage in 2005
Background information
Birth nameMatthew Savage
Born (1992-05-12) May 12, 1992 (age 28)
Sudbury, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, teacher
Instruments Piano, keyboard

Matthew "Matt" Savage (born May 12, 1992) is an American autistic savant musician. Born in Sudbury, Massachusetts, [1] he is the son of Diane and Lawrence "Larry" Savage. [2]



Savage was a precocious infant who walked early and learned to read by the age of 18 months. [3] He was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, a form of autism, at age three. [4] He did not like any noises or music during his early childhood. [5]

At age six, Savage taught himself to read piano music. [6] He studied classical piano for less than a year before discovering jazz, which became his main focus.

He and his younger sister, Kitty, were both home schooled. [2] He began studying at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, in the fall of 1999. He continued his classical studies as well.

Among Savage's talents are hyperlexia [1] and perfect pitch. [7] Coupled with his extremely high intelligence, these abilities have allowed him to achieve other distinctions as well, such as winning a statewide geography bee. [2]

Despite his young age and his autism, and even without formal instruction in musical composition, [7] Savage is an accomplished musician and composer. He has released twelve albums as a solo performer, as leader of the Matt Savage Trio and as leader of various sized ensembles. By the age of 14, he had also performed with Chaka Khan and other popular singers. [8] His compositions are very approachable and often humorous.[ citation needed ]

Savage has received many awards, including being signed in 2003 to Bösendorfer pianos. He is the only child to be so recognized in the company's 188-year history.

Savage has toured the world, performing for heads of state and others, and appearing on numerous television and radio programs such as Late Show with David Letterman , Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Today Show, and All Things Considered . In 2006, at age 14, he was featured on a CNN report about the human brain, in which he was defined as a prodigious savant, as opposed to the other types of savants. [8] Savage has also appeared in several documentaries about savants.

In 2007, he played with Scottish folk songwriter/singer Al Stewart, on piano. [ citation needed ]

In 2009, Savage enrolled at Berklee to continue advancing his musical career. The following year, in November, he prepared to release his ninth CD. [ citation needed ]

In December 2012, Savage received his B.M. in Performance (Piano) from Berklee College of Music.

In 2014, he composed and recorded the score for a full-length documentary film, Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story.

In May 2015, he received his M.M. in Jazz Performance (Piano) from the Manhattan School of Music.

Currently, Matt balances his professional music career with teaching.

See also

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  1. 1 2 Pine, Dan. "Autistic jazz prodigy already playing with greats", The Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, September 16, 2005.
  2. 1 2 3 Morrow, Marsha. "N.H. geography champ"] Monadnock Ledger , 8 April 2004. (cached webpage)
  3. Savants, Discovery Channel documentary, 2003.
  4. Jones, Chad. "13-year-old Matt Savage has autism and a genius for jazz",, September 21, 2005.
  5. Silberman, Steve. "The Key to Genius", Wired , December 2003, page 229.
  6. Massimo, Rick. "N.H. pianist, 13, considers autism one of his strengths", Providence Journal , October 23, 2005.
  7. 1 2 "Pianist Matt Savage", All Things Considered , April 24, 2002.
  8. 1 2 Genius: Quest for Extreme Brain Power, CNN program hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, September 17, 2006.