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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. 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.
The news archive contains details of:
15/05/2023 -- The current situation and performance update
2023 is my 80th birthday year and it is being celebrated with a number of birthday concerts. On my actual birthday, 9 March, the BBC Philharmonic under John Storgårds played three of my works,, and , at the BBC studio in Salford, and on 8 May another three works, , A Song for Emma and , were performed at the Luton Music Club by Emma Halnan and the Eblana String Trio. Other birthday concerts, listed below, will be at the Deal. Presteigne and Little Missenden Festivals, and my friends in Brno have programmed my there in September. The most exciting event for me this year, however, will be the first performance with orchestra of my opera on 14 July, a concert performance at The Grange Northington, details of which are given .
I am currently writing an 11th Symphony: no definite performance is scheduled yet, but I hope to finish it by the end of the year.
10/06/2023, 11am -- World premiere: String Quartet No.17
Kreutzer String Quartet | Aldeburgh Festival | St Bartholomew’s Church, Orford
13/06/2023, 7.30pm -- A Song and Dance Sketchbook
Rossetti Ensemble | Herfordshire Festival | All Saints Church, Hertford
02/07/2023, 3pm -- Piano Trio No. 2
Leonore Piano Trio | Concerts at Cratfield | St Mary's Church Cratfield, Suffolk
07/07/2023, 7.30pm -- Introit
Resonate Chamber Orchestra | Conducted by Henry Kennedy | Deal Music Festival | St George's Church, Deal
10/07/2023, 1pm -- Variations for Piano
Junyan Chen | Deal Music Festival | St George's Church, Deal
10/07/2023, 2.30pm -- David Matthews in Conversation with Christopher Cook
Deal Music Festival | St George's Church, Deal
10/07/2023, 7.30pm -- Sonatina for clarinet, viola and piano
Tim Orpen, clarinet, Fiona Winning, violin, John Reid, piano | Deal Music Festival | St George's Church, Deal
11/07/2023 -- World premiere: Three Birthday Pieces
Peter Sheppard Skaerved, violin | The Guildhall, Sandwich
11/07/2023, 3pm -- String Quartets Nos. 8 & 14 | Mozart Minuet K.355/576b & Gigue K.574, Beethoven 11 Bagatelles Op. 119 (arr. Matthews)
Pre-concert talk at 2.30pm.
Kreutzer Quartet | Deal Music Festival | St Mary's Arts Centre, Sandwich
Work details:| | | |
12/07/2023, 1pm -- Adonis
Maja Horvet, violin | Joseph Havlat, piano | Deal Music Festival | St Mary's Art's Centre, Sandwich
14/07/2023, 5pm -- Anna (concert performance)
World premiere of an opera with a libretto by Roger Scruton.
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra | Jac van Steen, conductor | Rhian Lois, soprano | Marta Fontanals-Simmons, mezzo | Oliver Johnston, tenor | Alex Otterburn, baritone | Jonathan Lemalu, bass | The Grange Northington, Alresford, Hampshire
01/08/2023, 7.30pm -- A Song and Dance Sketchbook
Rossetti Ensemble | 11 West Rd, Cambridge
24/08/2023, 7pm -- The Sleeping Lord
Zoe Drummond, soprano | Presteigne Festival Ensemble | Conducted by George Vass | Presteigne Festival | St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne
25/08/2023, 11.30am -- Three Roman Miniatures
Catriona Scott, clarinet | Presteigne Festival | St Mary Magdalene Church, Leintwardine
25/08/2023, 2pm -- Adonis
Mathilde Milwidsky, violin | Ivana Gavric, piano | Presteigne Festival | St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne
25/08/2023, 4pm -- A Composer’s Landscape: David Matthews
A new film by Barrie Gavin.
Presteigne Festival | Assembly Rooms, Presteigne
28/08/2023, 7pm -- Three Birds and a Farewell
Presteigne Festival Orchestra | Conducted by George Vass | Presteigne Festival | St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne
20/09/2023 -- Piano Quintet
Vila Löw-Beer, Brno, Czech Republic
07/10/2023 -- String Quartet No. 10, Piano Quintet, Cap Gris-Nez
Clare Hammond, piano | Carducci Quartet | Little Missenden Festival | St John the Baptist Church, Little Missenden
Work details:| |
30/10/2023, 1pm -- Montana Taylor’s Blues
Nicholas Daniel, oboe, Huw Watkins, piano | Wigmore Hall, London
20/11/2023 -- A Dance for Emma
Emma Halnan, flute| Barnes Music Society
20/11/2023, 7.30pm -- World premiere: Kingsdown Suite
Pavel Ralev, guitar | Wigmore Hall, London
22/03/2024 -- A Blackbird Sang
Emma Halnan, flute | Eblana String Trio | Bromsgrove Concerts
13/02/2022 -- News from the mixing desk (updated February 2022)
David’swas recorded in 2018, and will be finally released this year on Toccata Classics, together with the and Quartets. In addition to the customary four string players, the work features four singers and was written in memory of a close friend, Peter Sculthorpe. Musical Opinion (Oct-Dec 2018) described its performance in July by the Kreuzer Quartet, alongside singers Rebecca Lea, Jess Dandy, Will Dawes and James Robinson, as 'A moving tribute to a fellow composer and a searching addition to a genre which David Matthews has made his own.' Paul Conway goes on to call the Thirteenth Quartet a 'tightly written piece that covered a vast spectrum of emotion in a short space of time. There was quirkiness and wit as well as noble tranquillity in a persuasive premiere performance of great warmth and humanity.'
In 2021 David finished an organ piece for the outstanding German organist Hansjorg Albrecht, who is in the process of recording all ten of Bruckner's symphonies (including No.0) together with ten commissioned 'Bruckner Windows', each of which is related to a particular symphony. David was asked to write a companion piece to Symphony No.2, which Bruckner began on his visit to London in 1871, where he gave acclaimed organ recitals. It is called Meditation on the slow movement of Bruckner's Second Symphony; it was recorded in August 2021 on the organ of Westminster Cathedral and the CD released in November 2021. A film of the performance will shortly be available on YouTube.
24/04/2022 -- CD release: Elgar Reimagined
02/09/2022 -- CD release: David Matthews - Complete String Quartets, Volume Five
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