David Matthews was born in London in 1943 and started composing at the age of sixteen. He read Classics at the University of Nottingham – where he has more recently been made an Honorary Doctor of Music. In music, he was mainly self-taught, though he studied privately with Anthony Milner and was greatly helped by Nicholas Maw and Peter Sculthorpe. He also learned much from being an assistant to Benjamin Britten for three years in the late 1960s.
David collaborated with Deryck Cooke on the performing version of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony.
His large output includes nine symphonies, five symphonic poems, six concertos, fourteen string quartets and many chamber and vocal works. Many of his works are available on CD, most recently the fourth volume of a complete recording of his string quartets by the Kreutzer Quartet (on Toccata Classics), and his large-scale oratorio Vespers, coupled with the Seventh Symphony on Dutton Epoch).
A number of his works are inspired by landscapes and seasons, by paintings and literary texts (recently Goethe, Ted Hughes and Boethius) and by collaborations with instrumentalist friends. He has also written books on Tippett and Britten, and has worked extensively as an arranger, especially for the Nash Ensemble. Recent orchestral premieres include his Eighth Symphony, played by the BBC Philharmonic at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, in April 2015; and Toward Sunrise, played by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the Lichfield Festival in July 2015. The Kreutzer Quartet will premiere his new 14th Quartet in May.
For a biography of David Matthews on Faber Music website, click: David Matthews