David Matthews composer

In July 1990 I was staying at the conductor Norman Del Mar's house in Millook on the north coast of Cornwall, finishing my large orchestral piece The Music of Dawn. Each evening there were spectacular sunsets, and I used to go up on the cliff to paint them in watercolours.

The Music of Dawn is concerned with the sun in all its aspects, and I am sure that these paintings assisted the compositional process: the one above was painted on 15th July, and next morning I wrote the music you can see and hear, in its final orchestral form, on the website introduction page.


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Recent and Forthcoming Performances

21/07/2014, 9pm  --  Three Roman Miniatures

Jack McNeill, clarinet | Abbey Church of Saint Mary, Abbey Dore, Herefordshire

Work details: Op.81 - Three Roman Miniatures

04/08/2014  --  To what God shall we chant our songs of battle?

David has been commissioned to write an anthem for the commemorative WWI Centenary service at Westminster Abbey on 4 August. It will be televised live on BBC Two from 10pm and David's new work will conclude the service.

22/08/2014, 2pm  --  Piano Trio No.3

Leonore Trio | St Andrew's Church, Presteigne, Powys LD8 2AF | Presteigne Festival

Work details: Op.97 - Piano Trio No.3

18/10/2014  --  Nash 50th Anniversary Concert

6pm -- Performances of Nash commissions in the presence of the composers. Includes David's Horn Quintet with Richard Watkins on horn.

7.30pm -- Includes David's arrangement of Berlioz Les nuits d'ete with soprano Kate Royal.

Nash Ensemble | Wigmore Hall | More details

Work details: Op.115 - Horn Quintet | Les nuits d'ete, Op.7 (Hector Berlioz)

18/11/2014, 1pm  --  Cap Gris-Nez

Clare Hammond, piano | St David's Hall, Cardiff

Work details: Cap Gris-Nez

22/11/2014, 6pm  --  String Trio No.1

Nash Ensemble | Wigmore Hall | More details

Work details: Op.48 - String Trio No.1

04/12/2014, 7.30pm  --  Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev arr. Matthews)

Nash Ensemble | Eleanor Bron, narrator | Wigmore Hall | More details

Work details: Peter and the Wolf, Op.67 (Sergey Prokofiev)

05 - 11/12/2014  --  Two Nocturnes (Chopin arr. Matthews)

Part of Scottish Ensemble's Night and Day Scottish tour - more details

5th December, 7.30pm -- Queen's Cross Church, Aberdeen

6th December, 7.30pm -- Inverness Cathedral

7th December, 7.30pm -- Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh

9th December, 7.30pm -- Caird Hall, Dundee

10th December, 7.30pm -- St John's Kirk, Perth

11th December, 7.30pm -- Wellington Church, Glasgow

Work details: Two Nocturnes (Frederic Chopin)

09/01/2015, 6pm  --  Winter Remembered, Darkness Draws In

Part of the Park Lane Group New Music Week.

Performers to be confirmed | Purcell Room

Work details: Op.102 - Darkness Draws In | Op.86a - Winter Remembered (viola and piano version)

09/01/2015, 7.45pm  --  Piano Sonata, Journeying Songs, The Shorter Ring (Wagner arr. Matthews)

Part of the Park Lane Group New Music Week.

Performers to be confirmed | Purcell Room

Work details: Op.95 - Journeying Songs | Op.47 - Sonata for Piano | The Shorter Ring (Richard Wagner)

15/01/2015, 7.30pm  --  Double Concerto

Sara Trickey, violin | Sarah-Jane Bradley, viola | Orchestra Nova | Conducted by George Vass | St John's Smith Square

Work details: Op.122 - Double Concerto

17/01/2015, 7.30pm  --  Ruckert-Lieder (Mahler arr. Matthews)

Sarah Connolly, mezzo soprano | Nash Ensemble | Wigmore Hall | More details

Work details: Funf Lieder nach Ruckert (Gustav Mahler)

10/03/2015, 7pm  --  Eight Duos for Two Violins

Retorica Duo | Concert Hall, Cardiff University

Work details: Op.79 - Eight Duos

14/03/2015, 6pm  --  A Blackbird Sang

Philippa Davies, flute | Nash Ensemble | Wigmore Hall | More details

Work details: Op.121 - A Blackbird Sang

17/04/2015, 7.30pm  --  World premiere: Symphony No.8

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra | Conducted by HK Gruber | Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

09/05/2015, 7.30pm  --  Symphony No. 7

Ealing Symphony Orchestra | Conducted byJohn Gibbons | St Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, London

Work details: Op.109 - Symphony No.7

Other news

24/01/2014  --  Forthcoming recordings

The Kreutzer Quartet will be recording David's String Quartet No. 2 and No. 3 on 29 January for Volume 3 of the Toccata Classics complete string quartets project. String Quartet No. 1 has already been recorded for this CD.

William Howard will be recording Four Portraits for piano and The Shorter Ring on 24 February for a Nimbus Alliance CD.

In March, the Orchestra of St Pauls conducted by Ben Palmer will record David's arrangements for string orchestra of the Elgar String Quartet and Malcolm Arnold's Second String Quartet for SOMM Recordings.

05/04/2014  --  CD review: Symphony No.7 & Vespers

'Probably as important a British choral release as we'll see this year. David Matthews's Vespers... is a work both of great beauty and of genuine spiritual force... I was moved and rather awed by the mastery of large forces to such humane, celebratory goals...

'In both the Symphony and the Vespers, it's the cumulative power of Matthews's music that impresses, the ability to build huge purposeful paragraphs that actually go somewhere and deliver on arrival - a rare faculty these days. Blazingly committed performances do full justice to, yes, one of our greatest living composers.'

Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine, April 2014 | Read more

Work details: Op.109 - Symphony No.7 | Op.66 - Vespers

01/05/2014  --  CD out now: William Howard (piano)

Work details: Op.124 - Four Portraits | The Shorter Ring (Richard Wagner)


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