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

05/10/2016  --  Variations for Piano

Sami Vaananen, piano | Finnish Embassy, London

Work details: Variations for Piano, Op.72

06/10/2016, 10.30am  --  Piano Trio No.2

Odysseus Piano Trio | William Alwyn Festival | Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, Suffolk

Work details: Piano Trio No.2, Op.61

07/10/2016, 4pm  --  Chaconne from Sonatina for Clarinet, Violin and Piano

Part of the John McCabe Commemorative Concert at the William Alwyn Festival.

​Linda Merrick, clarinet | Sarah-Jane Bradley, viola | Nathan Williamson, piano | Holy Trinity Blythburgh Church, Suffolk

Work details: Sonatina for Clarinet, Viola and piano, Op.141a

12/10/2016  --  Piano Trio No.2

Odysseus Trio | Chester Music Society

Work details: Piano Trio No.2, Op.61

20/10/2016, 8pm  --  Sonatina for Violin and Piano

Krysia Osostowicz, violin | Daniel Tong, piano | St John's College, Cambridge

Work details: Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Op.128

02/11/2016, 1.05pm  --  World premiere: Sonatina for Clarinet, Viola and piano

Trio Elfin | St Olave's Church, Hart Street, London

Work details: Sonatina for Clarinet, Viola and piano, Op.141a

04/11/2016, 7.30pm  --  World premiere: A Song for Max

A Concert for Max celebrating Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.

Members of the English Chamber Orchestra | Hall One, Kings Place, London

Work details: A Song for Max, Op.143

06/11/2016, 3pm  --  Piano Trio No.2

Odysseus Trio | Worcester Concert Club

Work details: Piano Trio No.2, Op.61

06/11/2016, 3pm  --  String Trio No.1

Eblana Trio | Fellowship House, Willifield Way, Hampstead Garden Suburb

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

13/11/2016  --  Norfolk March

Will be broadcast by Classic FM.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra | Conducted by Victor Aviat | Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre

Work details: Norfolk March, Op.139

10/12/2016, 7.30pm  --  Love Songs

Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano | Nash Ensemble | Wigmore Hall, London

Work details: Love Songs (Dvorak arr. Matthews)

04/02/2017  --  Sonatina for Violin and Piano

Fenella Humphreys, violin | Libby Burgess, piano | University of Hull, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire

Work details: Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Op.128

10/05/2017, 7.30pm  --  Three Housman Songs

Gillian Keith, soprano | Orchestra Nova | Conducted by George Vass | St John's Smith Square, London

Work details: Three Housman Songs, Op.69

31/05-07/06/2017  --  Two Nocturnes

31 May - Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland

4 June - Theatre Royal, Dumfries, Scotland

6 June - Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, Scotland

7 June - Glasgow, Scotland

Scottish Ensemble

Work details: Two Nocturnes (Chopin arr. Matthews)

20/06/2017  --  Dawn Chorus

Ex Cathedra | Conducted by Jeffrey Skidmore | St Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham

Work details: Dawn Chorus, Op.137

25/08-09/09/2017  --  Owen Wingrave

25 August - Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick

27 August - An Tain Arts Centre, Dundalk

8 September - Tiger Dublin Fringe, Dublin

9 September - Tiger Dublin Fringe, Dublin

Irish Youth Opera | Irish Chamber Orchestra | Ireland

Work details: Owen Wingrave, Op.85 (Britten arr. Matthews)

Other news

25/05/2016  --  CD out now: David Matthews - Complete String Quartets, Volume Four

The fourth volume of David’s string quartets has now been released on Toccata Classics. The disc includes David's String Quartet No.11, and Beethoven's Piano Sonata in A major, Op.101, 11 Bagatelles, Op.119, and Adagio from Piano Sonata, Op.22, all arranged by David for string quartet.

The CD featured on BBC Radio 3’s Record Review with Andrew McGregor, who said "This latest volume beautifully demonstrates Matthew’s indebtedness to Beethoven; not just in that quartet but to the arrangements of the Bagatelles and his quartet transcriptions of the two Beethoven piano sonatas opus 22 and opus 101."

Full recording details

25/05/2016  --  CD out now: Piano Quintets by Matthews and Shostakovich

David's Piano Quintet was recorded last year by Martin Cousin (piano) and the Villiers Quartet at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, Oxford, together with Shostakovich's Piano Quintet and has now been released by SOMM Recordings.

Full recording details

25/09/2016  --  CD out now: Airs, Blues and Dances

Feature David's Montana Taylor's Blues performed by ​James Turnbull and Libby Burgess.

Full recording details

25/09/2016  --  CD out now: Now Comes Beauty

On 19th January, Rupert Marshall-Luck and the BBC Concert Orchestra (conducted by Gavin Sutherland) recorded David's White Nights at Watford Town Hall.

Full recording details

26/09/2016  --  News from the mixing desk (updated September 2016)

Peter Sheppard Skaeved has just finished recording David's Three Chants for solo violin for the second volume of David's Music for Solo Violin which will be released by Toccata Classics in late 2016.

At the end of February 2016, the Leonore Trio recorded David's three piano trios and Gemma Rosefield his Journeying Songs for Toccata Classics at the Church of St John the Evangelist, Oxford.

David spent a day in June last year at Willen Church, near Milton Keynes, where Rohan de Saram recorded his 1976 work for solo cello, Songs and Dances of Mourning. We look forward to its release on First Hand Records in 2016.

​On 29 June, the BBC Philharmonic under Jac van Steen will be recording Symphony No.8 and Toward Sunrise at Media City, Salford, for a Chandos CD. ​This will also include A Vision of the Sea which the orchestra have already recorded under Juanjo Mena.


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