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

08/11/2018, 1pm  --  Variations on a Theme of Haydn

Joseph Tong, piano | Waka Hasegawa, piano | St George’s, Great George Street, Bristol, BS1 5RR

Work details: Variations on a theme of Haydn, Op.144

13/11/2018, 7.30pm  --  The Art of Love

John Tomlinson, bass-baritone/speaker | Rozanna Madylus, mezzo-soprano | Counterpoise | Hampstead Arts Festival | St John’s Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London, NW3 1NU

Work details: The Art of Love

17/11/2018, 7.30pm  --  Variations for Strings

English Symphony Orchestra | Conducted by Kenneth Woods | Shire Hall, St Peter's Square, Hereford, HR1 2HX

Work details: Variations on Bach's Chorale Die Nacht ist Kommen, Op.40

08/12/2018, 7.30pm  --  Six Brahms Songs (Brahms arr. Matthews)

Roderick Williams, baritone | Nash Ensemble | Conducted by Martyn Brabbins | Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 2BP

Work details: Six Songs (Brahms arr. Matthews)

02/04/2019, 7.30pm  --  Winter Remembered

Carmen Flores, viola | Orchestra of the Swan | Conducted by Kenneth Woods | Stratford Playhouse, 14 Rother Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6LU

Work details: Winter Remembered, Op.86

03/04/2019, 7.30pm  --  Romanza for Violin and Strings

Zoe Beyers, violin | English Symphony Orchestra | Conducted by Kenneth Woods | Malvern Priory, Church Street, Malvern, WR14 2AY

Work details: Romanza for Violin and Strings, Op.119

25/05/2019  --  World Premiere: Concerto for Orchestra

Chipping Campden Festival Academy Orchestra | Conducted by Thomas Hull | Chipping Campden Festival, Gloucestershire

Work details: Concerto for Orchestra, Op.151

28/05/2019  --  World premiere: Le Lac

April Fredrick, soprano | Orchestra of the Swan | Conducted by Kenneth Woods | Civic Hall, 13 Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6LU

Work details: Le Lac, Op.146

Other news

17/06/2018  --  Elgar Festival 2018

David was involved in three events at the recent Elgar Festival in Worcester, which saw the performance of two arrangements - String Quartet in E Minor (Elgar arr. Matthews) and Sospiri (Elgar arr. Matthews) - as well as David’s String Quartet No.6.

See the photograph in the gallery of David alongside Elgar’s bust and Kenneth Woods, the artistic director of the festival.

17/06/2018  --  Reaction to the premiere of David’s Ninth Symphony

The premiere of David's Ninth Symphony took place in Bristol during early May. As Richard Bratby of The Spectator describes, 'The audience at St George's Bristol - where Kenneth Woods conducted the world premiere with the English Symphony Orchestra - actually cheered, and Matthews's habit of writing recognisable melodies might have helped there. One tune (and that really is the word) in the fourth movement was so unabashedly cheerful that I found myself thinking: he'll never get away with this.'

18/06/2018  --  CD out now: Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs for Piano

Features David's work A Love Song.

05/12/2018  --  News from the mixing desk (updated December 2018)

David’s Thirteenth Quartet was recently recorded for release on CD in the New Year. 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.' Hear the Thirteenth Quartet together with David’s Eighth and Fourteenth Quartets on the Kreuzer’s upcoming 2019 disk with Toccata Classics.

David's Symphony No.9 was recorded for release on CD in early 2019. Due to appear on the same Nimbus disk are two pieces for strings, Double Concerto and Variations for Strings. This extends David’s association with the English Symphony Orchestra both through their 'Matthews in the Heart of England' concert series, and as their John McCabe Fellow.

 
 
 

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