"This engrossing recital is a defining statement in modern cello playing." Around Britten CD – Sinfini, 2013

Matthew's musical world is one of adventure, collaboration, and diversity.
One of the finest cellists of his generation, Matthew has appeared as soloist with orchestras and in recital in many great concert halls around the world, and is equally comfortable with improvisation, making music with Indian, Brazilian or Jazz musicians... or a classroom full of children.

BBC Music Magazine blog

July 13th, 2013

You can read the latest installment of my blog on the BBC Music Mag website here

June was a fantastic month for the Around Britten tour. It slows down not a bit for July and August making way for a few other things, and then kicks back at full speed for September for three months. I’m going to miss it when it’s over.


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Around Britten @ National Trust

June 23rd, 2013

Last night was the first of 10 Around Britten concerts at National Trust venues and it was a joy. Up in the North East of England, only 15′ drive from Newcastle, is a magnificent property called Gibside where I played in the chapel, also the mausoleum for Mr Bowes snr. who built the place










The acoustic was just right for a solo cello – adding richness but retaining clarity – and the audience was very attentive and smiley. They lit dozens of candles so as the evening grew darker the candles came into their own which was magical. Here it is in daylight:










This was the view from the door of the chapel as we came out for interval drinks:










Which took place here:










The National Trust is something of a miracle really. Hundreds of places of such enormous beauty, indoors and out, with rich history and wonderful stories to boot. In a sense that’s the easy bit (even when you add the amazing restorations they undertake), but what really makes it for me is the staff – they are a little like musicians in that working for the Trust is something of a vocation; they frequently work much longer hours than they need to, and the smiles and enthusiasm when they talk about their property are infectious. Basically, it seems that you work for the National Trust because you love it (many of them are volunteers), and it’s that spirit that comes across on a visit and is the icing on the cake – it’s the same as the Olympics and the welcome that people from all around the world received in London last summer, and it’s available day after day at all these magical places.

So there you go, I’m in love with the National Trust – and the National Trust concerts on the tour continue as follows – tell all your friends!

29th June 7.30 Coughton Court nr Redditch tickets

30th June 5.30 and 8.30 South Forelands Lighthouse nr Dover tickets

5th July 7.30 Coggeshall Barn nr Colchester tickets

27th July 4.30 and 7.30  Lodge Park, Cotswolds tickets

5th September 7.30 Hanbury Hall, Worcs tickets

6th September 7.30 The Vyne nr Basingstoke tickets

7th September 7.30 Bodiam Castle Sussex tickets

10th October 7.30 East Riddlesden Hall Keighley tickets

15th October Tyntesfield nr Bristol tickets


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Around Britten CD

January 30th, 2013

SIGCD318A defining statement in modern cello-playing’ Sinfini *****

My new CD is out – of course it is centred around Britten (the 3rd solo suite), and also features beautiful solo works by John Tavener and Gavin Bryars (this last one is the first recording of the piece), and an improvisation, all recorded in Canterbury Cathedral. I’ve also put on some arrangements of Britten songs that I made for multiple cellos, multi-tracked in my home studio including Since She Whom I Loved which is from Britten song cycle The Holy Sonnets of John Donne. It’s got to be one of the most intimate and moving songs ever written and I think it works really well on cello. I’m happy with it – more so than usual for my recordings, which are sometimes hard to listen to! And it’s great to have the disc out to coincide with my tour – here are a few reviews…on the new Sinfini website and on Amazon (where you can also buy it) and Presto News

Watch the making of my Around Britten CD below, recording in the dead of night in Canterbury Cathedral (super-exciting!), and multi-tracking Britten songs at home. Alternatively, click here to watch it on YouTube.

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Please keep the Donations coming!

January 3rd, 2013

In 2013 I’m taking to the road for Around Britten, a mammoth tour of  celebrating Britten’s centenary. Here, I’m raising money for an exciting part of the tour: the amazing, oil-paint-on-glass 22′ Stop-Frame animation created by Yeast Culture. Please consider making a donation however small or large – you get the warm fuzzy glow from helping the arts, and your name on screen at the end of the performance!. Click here

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New video on YouTube…

December 13th, 2012

Matthew Barley talks about the Around Britten tour and cd release. Watch the video here

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