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

13/06/2018, 7.30pm  --  Three Chants for Solo Violin

Peter Sheppard Skærved | Deptford Town Hall, New Cross Road, London, SE14 6AF

Work details: Three Chants for Violin, Op.138

01/07/2018, 3pm  --  Piano Trio No. 2

Leonore Trio | Concerts at Cratfield | Cratfield Church, Suffolk

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

10/07/2018, 7.45pm  --  Haydn Variations

Waka Hasegawa and Joseph Tong, piano | Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London

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

19/07/2018, 7.30pm  --  String Quartet No.13

SATB voices | Kreutzer Quartet | Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra | Wilton’s Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel, London

Work details: String Quartet No.13, Op.136

23/07/2018, 7.30pm  --  World premiere: Recessional and National Anthem

An English Coronation Concert.

Gabrieli | Conducetd by Paul McCreesh | Ely Cathedral, The College, Ely, CB7 4DL

Work details: Recessional and National Anthem, Op.150

23 - 28/08/2018  --  At the Presteigne Festival 2018

24 August 2018, 2pm (event 5)
Variations for Piano -- Joseph Tong
St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne, LD8 2AF

24 August 2018, 7.45pm (event 7)
Three Housman Songs -- Ruby Hughes, soprano, Presteigne Festival Orchestra
St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne, LD8 2AF

26 August 2018, 12.30pm (event 14)
David Matthews at 75, a celebration and film with David and Barrie Gavin
Assembly Rooms, Presteigne, LD8 2AD

26 August 2018, 5.15pm (event 16)
Four Australian Birds -- Kristine Balanas, violin
St Michael’s Church, Discoed, LD8 2NW

27 August 2018, 11.30am (event 20)
Ein Celloleben -- Joanna Gutowska, cello
St Mary’s Church, Kinnerton, LD8 2PF

28 August 2018, 7.45pm (event 27)
Symphony No.4 -- Presteigne Festival Orchestra conducted by George Vass
St Andrew’s Church, Presteigne LD8 2AF

See the festival website for more details and booking.

03 - 06/10/2018  --  At the William Alwyn Festival 2018

The following performances will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Church Lane, Blythburgh, Halesworth, IP19 9LP.

04 October 2018, 10.30am
Lullaby (world premiere) -- Lesley-Jane Rogers, soprano / John Turner, recorder / Richard Simpson, oboe / mixed chamber ensemble

05 October 2018, 11.00am
Darkness Draws In -- Sarah-Jane Bradley, viola

05 October 2018, 7.30pm
Sonatina for Viola and Piano (world Premiere) -- Sarah-Jane Bradley, viola / Nathan Williamson, piano

See the festival website for more details and booking (should be updated soon).

08/10/2018, 8pm  --  Sonatina for viola and piano

Part of the Little Missenden Festival.

Sarah Jane Bradley, viola | John Lenehan, piano | St John the Baptist Church, Little Missenden, Amersham, HP7 0RA

Work details: Sonatina for Viola and Piano, Op.141

13/10/2018, 7.45pm  --  World premiere: White Flame

Sarah Connolly, soprano | The Nash Ensemble | Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London

Work details: White Flame

04 - 05/12/2018  --  World premiere: Le Lac (dates expected to move to 2019)

4 December 2018
Civic Hall, 13 Rother Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6LU

5 December 2018
Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham, B4 7XR

Orchestra of the Swan | Conducted by Kenneth Woods

Work details: Le Lac

08/12/2018, 7.30pm  --  Vier ernste Gesange (Brahms arr. Matthews)

Roderick Williams, baritone | Nash Ensemble | Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, Marylebone, London

Work details: Vier ernste Gesange (Brahms arr. Matthews)

19 - 20/03/2019  --  Winter Remembered

19 March 2019
Civic Hall, 13 Rother Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6LU

20 March 2019
Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham, B4 7XR

Orchestra of the Swan | Conducted by Kenneth Woods

Work details: Winter Remembered, Op.86

30/04-01/05/2019  --  Symphony No.4

30 April 2019
Civic Hall, 13 Rother Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6LU

1 May 2019
Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham, B4 7XR

Orchestra of the Swan | Conducted by Kenneth Woods

Work details: Symphony No.4, Op.51

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  --  News from the mixing desk (updated June 2018)

David's Symphony No.9 was recorded for a Nimbus CD, which will include two pieces for strings to be recorded in the autumn, extending David’s association with the English Symphony Orchestra as their John McCabe Fellow.

On 24 July 2018 the Ukrainian Festival Orchestra under Paul Mann will record David's A June Song.

The following recordings took place in the second half of 2017:

Norfolk March was recorded by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow on 17 August.

The Kreutzer Quartet recorded David's 14th Quartet at St Michael’s Highgate on 24 October.

The BBC Philharmonic's recording of A Vision of the Sea, Symphony No.8 and Toward Sunrise took place in November, all three works conducted by Jac van Steen.

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

Features David's work A Love Song.


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