THE LIVING COMPOSERS PROJECT  

Colin Matthews

(b. 13 February 1946, London).

British composer of mostly orchestral, chamber, choral, and vocal works that have been performed throughout the world; he is also active as a producer and scholar.

Mr. Matthews initially studied classics at the University of Nottingham, where he earned his BA in 1966, then studied composition there with Nicholas Maw and Arnold Whittall and received his MPhil in 1970. He earned his doctorate at the University of Sussex for his work on Gustav Mahler in 1978. He later received an honorary doctorate from the University of Nottingham in 1998.

Among his honours are the Ian Whyte Award from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (1975, for Fourth Sonata) and the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Large-Scale Composition (1996, for Renewal). He was later made an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London (2010) and named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (2011).

As a producer, he founded the label for contemporary music NMC Recordings in London in 1988 and has served as its executive producer since 1988. He has produced recordings for BMG/RCA, Bridge Records, Collins Classics, Conifer, Continuum Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Metronome Records, Nonesuch Records, and Virgin Classics.

As a scholar, he and his brother David Matthews collaborated with Deryck Cooke and Berthold Goldschmidt on revisions to the performing version of the Symphonie Nr. 10 in Fis-moll by Gustav Mahler from 1964–74. He later wrote the monograph Mahler at Work: Aspects of the Creative Process (1989, Garland Publishing) and the article The Tenth Symphony for The Mahler Companion (1999, edited by Donald Mitchell and Andrew Nicholson, Oxford University Press).

Mr. Matthews is also active in other positions. He worked with Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh at the Aldeburgh Festival from 1971–76 and with Imogen Holst there from 1972–84, served as a council member of the Aldeburgh Foundation from 1983–94 and served as co-director with Oliver Knussen of the Contemporary Composition and Performance Course at the Aldeburgh Festival. In addition, he has been an administrator of the Holst Foundation, chair of the Britten Estate, trustee of the Britten-Pears Foundation, and a longtime member of the council of the Society for the Promotion of New Music in London. He served as director of the Performing Right Society from 1992–95, as associate composer to the London Symphony Orchestra from 1992–99 and as composer-in-association to the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester from 2001–10.

He taught at the University of Sussex in 1972–73 and 1976–77. He was later a visiting composer and teacher at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts in 1991 and the Prince Consort Professor of Music at the Royal College of Music in London. He served as a governor of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from 2001–08 and was the Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Composition at the University of Manchester.

His publisher is Faber Music.

CONTACT INFORMATION

E-mail address for consulting scores: promotion@fabermusic.com

COMPLETE LIST OF WORKS (note that publishers other than Faber Music are mentioned in parentheses after dates of composition)

STAGE:

Pursuit (ballet), small orchestra (16/17 players), 1987 (longer version of Suns Dance)

ORCHESTRAL:

Fourth Sonata, 1974–75

Night Music, small orchestra, 1976–77, revised 1999

Little Suite No. 2, small orchestra, 1979

Fifth Sonata, 'Landscape', 1977–80

Divertimento, 2 string orchestras, 1982 (version of work for 2 string quartets)

Canonic Overture, 1983

Concerto No. 1, cello, orchestra, 1983–84

Toccata Meccanica, 1984 (also version for symphonic band, 1993)

Variation on 'Sumer Is Icumen in', 1987 (collaboration with David Bedford, Alexander Goehr, Robin Holloway, Oliver Knussen, Robert Saxton, Judith Weir)

Monody, large orchestra, 1987

Two-part Invention, cello, small orchestra (18 players), 1987–88

Cortège, large orchestra, 1988

Hidden Variables, small orchestra (15 players), 1988–89 (also version for large orchestra, 1991)

Quatrain, 1989

Machines and Dreams, toy instruments (16 players), large orchestra, 1990 (also shorter version as Three Machines, toy instruments, orchestra, 1991)

Chiaroscuro, 1990

Broken Symmetry, large orchestra, 1991–92 (also incorporated into Renewal)

Contraflow, small orchestra (14 players), 1992

Memorial, large orchestra (68 players), 1992–93

...through the glass, small orchestra (16 players), 1994

M50, 1994–95

Threnody, harp, piano, 48 strings, 1995–96 (also incorporated into Renewal)

Intrada, 1995–96

Concerto No. 2, cello, orchestra, 1996

Dowlandia (after John Bull, William Byrd, John Dowland), small orchestra (15 players), 1997

Elegeia, small orchestra (15 players), 1998

Two Tributes, small orchestra (16 players), 1999

Little Continuum, small orchestra (16 players), 1999

Unfolded Order, 1999

Fanfare in Sea, 1999

Rübezahl Overture, after Mahler, 1999

Pluto, the Renewer, off-stage female chorus, large orchestra, 2000

Concerto, French horn, large orchestra, 2001

Fanfare for the 2001 Proms, small orchestra (brass, percussion), 2001

The journey ends here, cello, small orchestra (17 players), 2001–02

Flourish, with fireflies, small orchestra (16 players), 2002 (also longer version as Fanfare and Flourish [with fireflies], orchestra, 2005)

Bright Cecilia: Tema and Tema Elaborata, large orchestra, 2002

Vivo, large orchestra, 2002

Reflected Images, large orchestra, 2002–03

Berceuse for Dresden, cello, orchestra, 2004–05

Turning Point, large orchestra, 2005–06

M. Croche (postlude to Préludes, Premier Livre and Préludes, Deuxième Livre by Claude Debussy), large orchestra, 2006 (version of work for piano)

Concerto, violin, large orchestra, 2006–08

A Quick Start, small orchestra (brass, percussion), 2007–08

Grand Barcarolle, large orchestra, 2010

Night Rides, small orchestra, 2010–11

Traces Remain, large orchestra, 2013

CHAMBER MUSIC:

Ceres, 3 flutes, harp, 2 cellos, double bass, 2 percussion, 1972, revised 1985

Partita, violin, 1975, revised 1998

Specula, flute, harp, viola, vibraphone (+ marimba, glockenspiel), 1976

Rainbow Studies, flute (+ piccolo), oboe (+ English horn), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), bassoon, piano, 1977–78

Little Suite, harp, 1979

String Quartet No. 1, 1979

Oboe Quartet No. 1, oboe, violin, viola, cello, 1981

Divertimento, 2 string quartets, 1982 (also version for 2 string orchestras)

Triptych (tripartite inventions), piano, string quartet, 1984

Suns Dance, piccolo, oboe, bass clarinet, contrabassoon, French horn, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 1984–85 (also longer version as ballet Pursuit, small orchestra [16/17 players])

String Quartet No. 2, 1985, revised 1989

Three Enigmas, cello, piano, 1985

Five Duos, cello, piano, 1987

Fuga, alto flute (+ piccolo), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), French horn, viola, cello, double bass, piano, percussion, 1988 (version of third section of The Great Journey)

Chaconne with Chorale and Moto Perpetuo, violin, piano, 1988

Five Untitled Pieces, flute (+ piccolo), 1987–89

Oboe Quartet No. 2, oboe, violin, viola, cello, 1988–89

Three-part Chaconne, violin, viola, cello, piano left hand, 1989

Three Studies, clarinet (+ bass clarinet), piano, 1989

Five Concertinos, alto flute (+ piccolo), oboe, E-flat clarinet (+ bass clarinet), French horn, bassoon, 1989–90

Cadenzas (for Konzert in C-dur, H VIIb/1 by Franz Joseph Haydn), cello, 1990

To Compose without the least Knowledge of Music, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, French horn, 1991 (realisation of Musikalisches Würfelspiel, K 516f by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Duologue, oboe, piano, 1991

Palinode, cello, 1992 (also version for 9 cellos, 1999)

Night Spell, oboe, piano, 1992

Omaggio, violin, piano, 1990–93

L, bent..., flute, oboe, bass clarinet, bassoon, French horn, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, 1993

String Quartet No. 3, 1993–94

Three Interludes, clarinet, viola, piano, 1994

23 Frames, French horn, viola, cello, piano, 1994

Elegiac Chaconne, alto flute, bass clarinet, viola, cello, piano, 1997

Capriccioletto, violin, piano, 1998

Cadenzas (for Konzert in D-dur, H VIIb/2 by Franz Joseph Haydn), cello, 1998

Oscuro, viola, piano, 1999

Introduction, Chaconne and Corrente, guitar, 1999

Calmo, viola, piano, 1999

Waltz, amateur ensemble, 1999

March, amateur ensemble, 1999

A Quick Start, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 2001

Mechaniks Bench, any 7 or more amateur players, 2002

Bassoonova, bassoon, 2003

Little Berceuse, clarinet, string quartet, 2004

Ms Cookhorn's Fancie (after Giles Farnaby), contrabassoon, 2004

Chaconne, 2 bass clarinets, viola, cello, double bass, 2006

Luminoso, viola, piano, 2006

scorrevole, viola, piano, 2006

Moto perpetuo, violin, marimba, 2008

Scherzetto, ensemble, 2009

Drammatico, cello, 2010

String Quartet No. 4, 2011–12

CHORAL:

Second Hand Flames (text from vowel sounds), 5 mixed voices, 1982

Prometheus Fragment (text by Æschylus), 12 mixed voices, percussion, string orchestra, 1989

A Rose at Christmas (text by William Shakespeare), 8 mixed voices, 1990

Renewal (text by Ovid), mixed chorus, large orchestra, 1991–96 (incorporates Broken Symmetry; Threnody; Metamorphosis)

Metamorphosis (text by Ovid), mixed chorus, large orchestra, 1995–96 (also incorporated into Renewal)

Aftertones (text by Edmund Blunden), soprano, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1999–2000

The Angels' Carol (text by Sara Teasdale), mixed chorus, 2002

Estrangement, mixed chorus, 2002

Alphabicycle Order (text by Christopher Reid), male speaker, children's chorus, orchestra, 2006–07

Crossing the Alps (text by William Wordsworth), mixed chorus, organ, 2009

VOCAL:

Five Sonnets to Orpheus (text by Rainer Maria Rilke), tenor, harp, 1975–76

Un Colloque sentimental (song-cycle, texts by Paul Verlaine, Charles Baudelaire, Gérard de Nerval), medium voice, piano, 1971–78

Shadows in the Water (text by Thomas Traherne), tenor, piano, 1978–79

Night's Mask (text by Fernando Pessoa), soprano, alto flute (+ piccolo), bass clarinet (+ clarinet), French horn, harp, viola, cello, piano, 1984

La Virgen Lava Pañales, female voice, English horn, harp, string orchestra, 1985

The Great Journey (dramatic cantata, text by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca [English translation]), baritone, alto flute (+ piccolo), clarinet (+ bass clarinet), French horn, viola, cello, double bass, piano, percussion, 1981–88 (also version of third section as Fuga, alto flute [+ piccolo], clarinet [+ bass clarinet], French horn, viola, cello, double bass, piano, percussion)

Cantata on the Death of Antony (text by Cassius Dio), soprano, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, viola, cello, double bass, 1988–89

Strugnell's Haiku (text by Wendy Cope), female voice, piano, 1989 (also version for female voice, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, viola [+ 3 tam-tams], cello, double bass, 1989)

Aubade (text by Paul Auster), high voice/low voice, piano, 1990

Pli de lin (text by Tom Paulin), soprano, piano, string quartet, 1965–94

Continuum (texts by Rainer Maria Rilke, Eugenio Montale), mezzo-soprano, small orchestra (23 players), 1999–2000

A Voice to Wake... (text by John Davidson), soprano, flute (+ alto flute), oboe, clarinet (+ bass clarinet), French horn, harp, violin, viola, cello, piano, 2004

Out in the dark (text by Edward Thomas), voice, piano, 2006

The Island (song-cycle, text by Rainer Maria Rilke [translated by Stephen Cohn]), soprano, ensemble, 2007–08

No Man's Land (text by Christopher Reid), tenor, baritone, small orchestra, 2008–11

PIANO:

Five Studies, 1974–76

Suite, 1977–79 (two sets of sections may be performed separately: Toccata, Nocturne and Scherzo, 1977; Berceuse and Sarabande, 1978–79)

Eleven Studies in Velocity, 1987

Rosamund's March, 1999

Three Preludes, 2003

M. Croche (postlude to Préludes, Premier Livre and Préludes, Deuxième Livre by Claude Debussy), 2006 (also version for large orchestra)

ARRANGEMENTS (selection):

Praise We Great Men (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh), mixed chorus, orchestra, 1976–77

Paul Bunyan Overture, Op. 17 (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh), orchestra, 1977

Sérénade, Hymne et Toccata (Hector Berlioz), small orchestra, 1978

ZhenitbaThe Marriage (Modest Mussorgsky), 1981 (collaboration with Oliver Knussen)

The Dream-City (Gustav Holst), soprano, orchestra, 1983

Ellens Drei Gesänge, D 837–39 (Franz Schubert), voice, ensemble, 1984

Five Operetta Excerpts (various composers), 2 voices, ensemble, 1985

Mondnacht, Op. 39 No. 5 (Robert Schumann), oboe, violin, viola, cello, 1990

A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh), mezzo-soprano, orchestra, 1990

Temporal Variations (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh), oboe, string orchestra, 1994

Fantazia 11, Z 742 (Henry Purcell), string orchestra, 1994

Fantazia 13, Z 744 (Henry Purcell), any 4 players/string quartet, 1995

Seven Songs (Alma Mahler), medium voice, orchestra, 1996 (collaboration with David Matthews) (Universal Edition)

Fünf Variationen über 'Rule, Britannia!', WoO 79 (Ludwig van Beethoven), orchestra, 1980–97

Double Concerto (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh), violin, viola, orchestra, 1997

Lento assai from Streichquartett Nr. 16 in F-dur, Op. 135 (Ludwig van Beethoven), string orchestra, 1998

Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé (Claude Debussy), soprano, 9 players, 1998–99

Vier Stücke, Op. 5 (Alban Berg), clarinet, 7 players, 1999

Ich atmet' einen linden Duft from Rückert-Lieder (Gustav Mahler), voice, 10 players, 1999

To a poet a thousand years hence, Op. 13a No. 1 (Gerald Finzi), voice, orchestra, 2000

Lieder und Gesänge (Gustav Mahler), medium voice, orchestra, 1964–2002 (collaboration with David Matthews) (Josef Weinberger)

In memoriam Dennis Brain (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh), 4 French horns, string orchestra, 2005

Préludes, Premier LivrePréludes, Deuxième Livre (Claude Debussy), large orchestra, 2001–06

Les Soirs illuminés par l'ardeur du charbon (Claude Debussy), large orchestra, 2006

Chaconne from Partita Nr. 2 in D-moll, BWV 1004 (Johann Sebastian Bach/Johannes Brahms), 5 players, 2006

Vier Klavierstücke, Op. 119 No. 1, 'Intermezzo in H-moll' (Johannes Brahms), large orchestra, 2007

Movements for a Clarinet Concerto (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh), clarinet, orchestra, 1990–2008

Symphonie en si mineur (Claude Debussy), orchestra, 2008

Galliard (13 versions of work by Thomas Morley), ensemble, 2008

Les Illuminations, Op. 18, with 3 additional songs: PhraseAubeÀ une raison (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh), soprano, 15 strings, 2009

Reorchestration of Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde from Das Lied von der Erde (Gustav Mahler), tenor, large orchestra, 2012

Britten in Wartime (suite of music for documentaries by Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh), male speaker, orchestra, 2013

SELECT DISCOGRAPHY (as arranger)

The Dream-City (Gustav Holst). Patrizia Kwella, soprano; Richard Hickox/City of London Sinfonia (Hyperion Records: CDA66099, 1987 [reissued as Helios Records: 5171068])

Lieder und Gesänge (Gustav Mahler; 7 excerpts). Jill Gomez, Countess of Northesk, soprano; John Carewe/Bournemouth Sinfonietta (Unicorn-Kanchana: DKP 9120, 1992)

Seven Songs (Alma Mahler). Iris Vermillion, mezzo-soprano; Riccardo Chailly/Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest (Decca Records: 455 112-2, 1997)

Lieder und Gesänge (Gustav Mahler; 4 excerpts). Ruth Ziesak, soprano; Daniele Gatti/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (BMG/RCA: 75605 51345 2, 1999)

Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest from Préludes, Premier Livre; Feuilles mortes from Préludes, Deuxième Livre; Feux d'artifice from Préludes, Deuxième Livre (Claude Debussy). Sir Simon Rattle/Berliner Philharmoniker (EMI Classics: 7243 5 58045 2, 2005)

Préludes, Premier LivrePréludes, Deuxième Livre (Claude Debussy; 12 excerpts). Sir Mark Elder/Hallé Orchestra (Hallé Concerts Society: cd hll 7513, 2007)

Double Concerto (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh). Pieter Schoeman, violin; Alexander Zemtsov, viola; Vladimir Jurowski/London Philharmonic Orchestra (London Philharmonic Orchestra: LPO 0037, 2008)

Les Illuminations, Op. 18, with 3 additional songs: PhraseAubeÀ une raison; In memoriam Dennis Brain; Movements for a Clarinet Concerto (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh). Sandrine Piau, soprano; Michael Collins, clarinet; Peter Francomb, Chris Griffiths, Michael Thompson, Richard Watkins, French horns; Thomas Zehetmair/Royal Northern Sinfonia (NMC Recordings: D140, 2009)

A Charm of Lullabies, Op. 41 (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh). Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano; Edward Gardner/BBC Symphony Orchestra (Chandos Records: CHAN10671, 2011)

Préludes, Premier Livre; Préludes, Deuxième Livre (Claude Debussy); M. Croche. Sir Mark Elder/Hallé Orchestra (Hallé Concerts Society: CDHLD7527, 2011)

Double Concerto (Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh). Anthony Marwood, violin; Lawrence Power, viola; Ilan Volkov/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Hyperion Records: CDA67801, 2012)

DISCOGRAPHY (as composer)

Divertimento (original version); Oboe Quartet No. 1; Triptych. Melinda Maxwell, oboe; William Howard, piano; string quartet of the Schubert Ensemble; Oliver Knussen/Divertimenti Ensemble (Auracle Records, c. 1987 [reissued as part of NMC Recordings: D149])

Cantata on the Death of Antony; Strugnell's Haiku (second version). Mary Wiegold, soprano; Dominic Muldowney/Composers Ensemble (NMC Recordings: D003, 1991)

The Great Journey; Fuga; Night's Mask. Patrizia Kwella, soprano; David Wilson-Johnson, bass-baritone; Lionel Friend/Nash Ensemble (Virgin Classics: VC 7 91482-2, 1991 [reissued as NMC Recordings: D033, 1997])

Five Concertinos. Haffner Wind Ensemble (Ensemble Music Label: EML 006, c. 1992 [reissued as part of NMC Recordings: D149])

Fifth Sonata, 'Landscape'; Concerto No. 1. Alexander Baillie, cello; John Carewe/London Sinfonietta, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Unicorn-Kanchana: UKCD 2058, 1993 [reissued as part of NMC Recordings: D101])

Three Enigmas. Alexander Baillie, cello; Andrew Ball, piano (NMC Recordings: D019, 1994)

Five Studies. Anthony Goldstone, piano (Gamut Classics: GAMCD526, c. 1994 [reissued as diversions: ddv 24118, 2006])

Broken Symmetry; Suns Dance; Fourth Sonata. Oliver Knussen/London Sinfonietta (Deutsche Grammophon: 447 067-2, 1995)

Eleven Studies in Velocity. Nicholas Unwin, piano (Metier Records: MSV CD 92009, 1995)

Hidden Variables (second version); Memorial; Quatrain; Machines and Dreams. Helen Baillie, Helena Baillie, Martina Baillie, James Cummings, Sarah Gillinson, Andrew Hume, Megan Hume, Sonya Knussen, Rebecca Lawley, Joseph Lipton, Lucy Matthews, Thomas McDonough, Alexandra Storey, Katharine Storey, Daniel Worters, Sophie Worters, toy instruments; Michael Tilson Thomas/London Symphony Orchestra (Collins Classics: 14702, 1996 [reissued as part of NMC Recordings: D101])

Rosamund's March. Thalia Myers, piano (NMC Recordings: D057, 1999)

Fuga (excerpt). Lionel Friend/Nash Ensemble (NMC Recordings: D069, 2000)

Oscuro. Paul Silverthorne, viola; John Constable, piano (Black Box Music: BBM1058, 2001)

Pluto, the Renewer. Sir Mark Elder/females of the Hallé Choir, Hallé Orchestra (Hyperion Records: CDA67270, 2001)

Variation on 'Sumer Is Icumen in'. Jac van Steen/BBC Symphony Orchestra (NMC Recordings: D062, 2001)

Waltz; March. Schubert Ensemble (NMC Recordings: D075, 2001)

Pluto, the Renewer. David Lloyd-Jones/female chorus, Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Naxos Records: 8.555776, 2002)

Palinode (original version). Lowri Blake, cello (Lowri Records: LOWRI2003, 2003)

Flourish, with fireflies. Oliver Knussen/London Sinfonietta (London Sinfonietta: SINFCD1-2004, 2004)

Concerto No. 1 (excerpt). Alexander Baillie, cello; John Carewe/Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (NMC Recordings: D100, 2004)

Fifth Sonata, 'Landscape'; Concerto No. 1; Hidden Variables (second version); Memorial; Quatrain; Machines and Dreams. Alexander Baillie, cello; Helen Baillie, Helena Baillie, Martina Baillie, James Cummings, Sarah Gillinson, Andrew Hume, Megan Hume, Sonya Knussen, Rebecca Lawley, Joseph Lipton, Lucy Matthews, Thomas McDonough, Alexandra Storey, Katharine Storey, Daniel Worters, Sophie Worters, toy instruments; John Carewe/London Sinfonietta, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Michael Tilson Thomas/London Symphony Orchestra (NMC Recordings: D101, 2004 [reissue of Unicorn-Kanchana: UKCD 2058, Collins Classics: 14702])

Pluto, the Renewer. Sir Simon Rattle/Rundfunkchor Berlin, Berliner Philharmoniker (EMI Classics: 0946 3 59382 2 7, 2006)

Concerto (French horn); Alphabicycle Order. Henry Goodman, speaker; Richard Watkins, French horn; Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner/Hallé Youth Choir, Cantores Roborienses, Hallé Orchestra (Hallé Concerts Society: cd hll 7515, 2008)

Divertimento (original version); Oboe Quartet No. 1; Triptych; Five Concertinos; String Quartet No. 2. Melinda Maxwell, oboe; William Howard, piano; Brindisi String Quartet; string quartet of the Schubert Ensemble; Haffner Wind Ensemble; Oliver Knussen/Divertimenti Ensemble (NMC Recordings: D149, 2008 [reissue of Auracle Records, Ensemble Music Label: EML 006])

Out in the dark; Galliard (13 versions of work by Thomas Morley). (NMC Recordings: D150, 2009)

Scherzetto. Endymion (NMC Recordings: D160, 2010)

Drammatico. Anssi Karttunen, cello (Toccata Classics: TOCC0171, 2013)