Cello playing is at the centre of Matthew Barley’s career, while his musical world has virtually no geographical, social or stylistic boundaries.
Matthew Barley’s passions include improvisation, education, multi-genre music- making, electronics, and pioneering community programmes. He is also a world- renowned cellist, who has performed in over 50 countries, including concertos with the BBC Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, London Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Royal Scottish National, Swedish Chamber, Vienna Radio Symphony, Kremerata Baltica, Czech Philharmonic, Melbourne and New Zealand Symphonies and the Metropole Jazz Orchestra. With Viktoria Mullova he recently premiered and toured At Swim-Two-Birds, a double concerto by Pascal Dusapin, with the Nederlands Radio, RAI Torino, Seattle Symphony, London Philharmonic, Paris National and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras.
Matthew’s collaborations include Matthias Goerne, the Labèque Sisters, Avi Avital, Manu Delago, Martin Frost, Shai Wosner, Calefax, Thomas Larcher, Amjad Ali Khan, Julian Joseph, Nitin Sawhney, and Jon Lord (Deep Purple), appearing in venues ranging from Ronnie Scott’s and the WOMAD festivals to London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Zürich’s Tonhalle. Matthew’s new music group, Between The Notes, has undertaken over 60 creative community projects with young people and orchestral players around the world.
Matthew has given premieres by Pascal Dusapin, Roxana Panufnik, James MacMillan, Thomas Larcher, Detlev Glanert, Dai Fujikura and many other prominent composers, including with prominent Indian musicians in a new project with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
He records for Signum Classics. In 2011 he released a CD for Onyx Classics with Viktoria Mullova on which he was cellist, arranger, composer and producer, The Peasant Girl, which has gained rave reviews worldwide, and is now also available on DVD.
In 2013 Matthew undertook a 100-event UK tour celebrating Benjamin Britten – the tour was accompanied by a CD release, Around Britten, described by Sinfini as “a defining statement in modern cello playing”. Venues included concert halls, galleries, a prison, a lighthouse, a swimming pool and an ancient yew forest.
Future projects include Brazilian jazz, several Indian collaborations, tours to Australia and New Zealand, improvisation projects with Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the Kuopio Symphony, the release of Tavener’s The Protecting Veil with the Riga Sinfonietta, the premiere a new concerto written for him by Misha Mullov-Abbado with the BBC Concert Orchestra and a major Beethoven project for 2020.