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" His virtuoso control at all dynamic levels just has to be heard to be believed" - International Record Review
"I wish more people would think about music the way Matthew Barley does" - The Times
Matthew's pioneering approach to education, community music and training orchestral players is now internationally renowned. His work as a trainer of orchestral players, which focuses on the use of improvisation and interactive performance in the context of the orchestra's outreach and education activities, has included the Philharmonia, LPO, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Melbourne and Sydney Symphonies, Tampere Philharmonic (Finland), Brussels Opera and Malaysia Philharmonic orchestras, as well as the Nyyd Ensemble in Estonia and the Sun City Ensemble in Japan. In education Matthew has led major projects all around the world with enormous success working in this area very closely with the British Council. Matthew's passion for new music has led him to premiere works, many of them his commissions, by Detlev Glanert, Peter Wiegold, Fraser Trainer, Rand Steiger, John Metcalfe, John Woolrich, Dimitri Smirnov, Carl Vine, Katsuhiro Tsubono and Deidre Gribben. Collaboration - whether chamber music or with different styles of music - is an enduring passion, and Matthew has worked with Matthias Goerne, Martin Frost, Viviane Hagner, Thomas Larcher, Kit Armstrong, Amjad Ali Khan, Julian Joseph, Django Bates, Talvin Singh, Jon Lord, Sultan Khan, Kathryn Tickell and Nitin Sawhney. Another passion is improvisation: he recently appeared at the Wigmore's prestigious BBC Radio 3 lunchtime series in a programme of Bach preludes, interspersed with improvisations on his electric cello.
Matthew also masterminded and performed in a major project for violinist Viktoria Mullova, Through the Looking Glass. The project was performed in a 27-concert worldwide tour, and the recording, produced by Matthew, was released by Philips Classics in 2000. Matthew's ongoing collaboration with star Indian sarod player Amjad Ali Khan, has resulted in duo recitals at London's Royal Festival Hall (2000 and 2002), at the 2003 WOMAD Festivals in Adelaide (Australia), Wellington (New Zealand) and Reading (UK), at the St Denis Festival in Paris, as well as in Calcutta and Mumbai in India. They will soon be performing Amjad Ali Khan's double concerto for Sarod and Cello with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.In 1997 Matthew founded Between the Notes, a performance and education group who work with music and other arts. BTN has been involved in major projects at the Lichfield Festival (The Titanic in 1997 and Journeys in 1998 - Journeys was also made into a documentary by the National Film and Television School), which consisted of ten days of workshops involving up to 50 teenagers, culminating in a public performance as part of the festival's main programme. They have appeared at the Sydney Opera House, The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, London's Royal Opera House (with the Royal Ballet), the International Symposium of Contemporary Music in Hong Kong, and on tour in Bangladesh, Cyprus (in the basketball stadium to 4000 people with 1000 performers to mark the occasion of Cyprus joining the EU), Greece, Spain, Germany, Norway, Croatia, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Belgium. The group has just led Invisible Lines, a nationwide education and performance culminating in a performance in the Royal Albert Hall at the BBC Proms, recorded live on BBC TV. Their first album, Knots (Quartz), has been released in May 2005, and the second, Extraordinary Improvisations (FMR) in June 2007
Future plans as soloist include projects with the Nederlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, The Metropole Jazz Orchestra and a return trip to the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, a residency at the prestigious new venue Kings Place in London, and a major new project with his wife, Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova.
2007 saw Matthew's debut on television as the Music Director and presenter of BBC 2's widely acclaimed 'Classical Star'.
At the beginning of 2013 he embarks on a groundbreaking tour of the UK: Around Britten is his biggest ever project, and one that could not be more of an all-consuming passion! The 50 concerts and 50 workshops will feature Bach, Tavener, commissions from James MacMillan, Dai Fujikura and Norwegian DJ Jan Bang, and the piece with the visuals: Britten's Third suite for solo cello
You can get involved & contribute to the tour by visiting Matthew's WEBSITE