‘Virtuoso of the Arts’

The Times

‘extraordinary cellist, virile baritone, compelling actor – astonishing’

The Daily Telegraph

About

‘an extraordinary cellist – charismatic, virtuosic, brimming with verve and poetry.’ The Times

Matthew is internationally recognised as both a compelling classical artist and a fearless pioneer. His adventures in and through music and across disciplines are ‘unrivalled’ and ‘unprecedented’, balancing provenance and vision in a unique and potent way.

He studied cello with Boris Pergamenschikow in Cologne, voice with Ulla Blom in Stockholm and English at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was taken to Jacqueline du Pré when he was 12, Galina Vishnewskaya when he was 18 and studied chamber music with the Amadeus Quartet. He performs at major venues and festivals worldwide as solo cellist, baritone, actor and director.

Matthew has appeared as solo performer with the RPO, LPO, RLPO, CBSO, Orchestra of Opera North, SCO, EUCO, ESO, NCO, Manchester Camerata, Orchestra of the Swan, Orchestra X, Arensky Chamber Orchestra, and Ural Philharmonic.

In opera, he has performed principal roles for Opera North, ROH, Almeida Opera and Mahogany Opera Group, amongst many others.

In theatre, he has performed principal roles at the Young Vic and National Theatre Studio, collaborated with Kneehigh, Complicité and, most recently, with legendary illustrator and film-maker, Dave McKean.

He has recorded for Sony, EMI, Decca, Naxos, Somm, NMC, Avie and Whirlwind and appeared in recital as both cellist and singer at Wigmore Hall, SBC and Salle Gaveau.

‘Matthew Sharp’s singing raised the evening to a pitch of spiritual feverishness rarely encountered in either concert hall or theatre.’
Independent on Sunday

As a director (music, theatre and opera), he has written, conceived and directed shows for Opera North, BBC, Breakthru Films, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and West Green Opera. His own music and theatre works have toured to major festivals in Europe, India, China and the US, including Glastonbury, Latitude, Wilderness, Mumbai LiveLit, Philadelphia Live Arts and NCPA, Beijing. In addition, he has given over sixty world premieres by composers from all walks of music – including the title role in Sir John Tavener’s The Fool and Errollyn Wallen’s Cello Concerto – at festivals from Sydney to Toronto, Sao Paulo to Delhi.

He is the agent of world-leading research in the performing arts and interdisciplinary practice, his pioneering multi-disciplinary performance work the focus of research in books and international publications.

As chamber musician, he has performed with the Amphion, Heath, Sacconi, Vertavo and Villiers quartets, Ensemble Epomeo and the Galliard Ensemble, with members of Brooklyn Rider, Grammy-nominated A Far Cry and Ensemble 360 and with, amongst others, Nicola Benedetti, David Le Page, Nicholas Daniel, Martin Fröst, Craig Ogden, Ksenija Sidorova, Katya Apekisheva, Dominic Harlan, Leslie Howard, Stephen Kovacevich, Viv Mclean and Johan Ullen.

He has worked with an extraordinary spectrum of major artists, including:
Sir John Tavener, Errollyn Wallen, Richard Dubugnon, Django Bates, Brian Irvine, Richard Causton, Stephen Deazley, John Harle, Paul Englishby, Julian Phillips, Adam Cork, Neil Innes; Marta Eggert, Trilok Gurtu, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sabreen, Iain Ballamy, Crispian Mills, Hanitra Rasanaivo, Gruff Rhys, Mike Westbrook, Keith Tippett, Sameer Rao, Tarun Bhattacharya, Kit Downes, Matthew Bourne, Emilia Martensson, Alice Zawadzki; Caryl Churchill, Martin Riley, Rupert Sheldrake, Carol Ann Duffy, Sir Andrew Motion, Zinovy Zinik, Patrick Barlow, Matt Harvey; Kneehigh, Complicite, Simon McBurney, Annabel Arden, Tim Supple, Phyllida Lloyd, Stopgap Dance; David McKean, Bunny Christie, Jean Kalman.

‘Matthew Sharp’s performance in the central role displays consummate theatrical invention…a commanding vocal and stage presence.’ The Guardian

Matthew is Creative Director of Revelation, Ashford – recently selected by the Royal Opera House as its ‘links’ partner – and artist-in-association with the English Symphony Orchestra. He was artistic director of the Deal Festival for three years, transforming its profile, smashing box office records and introducing a year-round outreach initiative called Pyramideal.

Upcoming highlights include his new concerto collaboration – Incantatio – with Stopgap Dance, the London Contemporary Orchestra and composer Richard Dubugnon, a solo disc of devotional works from across denominations and the world for multi-tracked cello and voice, a Schubert/Brel project with the Brodsky Quartet, the first recording of Hans Gal’s concertino for cello with Kenneth Woods and the ESO and the film of Death’s Cabaret – A Love Story – a gripping and pioneering concerto by Stephen Deazley and Martin Riley. He will be staging Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony with the ESO for live performance and DVD.

Matthew teaches at Birmingham Conservatoire and has been a guest lecturer at GSMD, RWCMD, RCSSD, Trinity Laban, Juilliard, Dartington College and Leeds, Lincoln, Portsmouth and Sheffield Universities. He devised and delivered the inaugural, televised event for InHarmony, Leeds.

Matthew is thrilled to play on a copy of the ex-Pergamenschikow Montagnana by Robin Aitchison.

Schedule

September 7th, 2017, 20.00

Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Schubert & Brel

Der Erlkoenig, Chanson des Vieux Amants, C major Quintet D956

Matthew Sharp, cello & baritone

UMBC String Faculty – Christian Tremblay, Airi Yoshioka, Lisa Steltenpohl, Gita Ladd

 

September 8th, 2017, 20.00

Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall, UMBC

Death’s Cabaret – A Love Story

A Cabaret Concerto – music: Stephen Deazley, words: Martin Riley

Matthew Sharp, cello, baritone, actor

UMBC String Faculty – Christian Tremblay, Airi Yoshioka, Lisa Steltenpohl, Gita Ladd

 

September 14th, 2017, 20.00

Queen Street Bus Depot, Colchester, Roman River Festival Opening Night

Errollyn Wallen Cello Concerto

Matthew Sharp, cello

Festival Ensemble, cond. Orlando Jopling

 

September 15th, 2017, 15.00 & 20.00

St Martin’s Church, Colchester, Roman River Festival

Contemporary and hip hop dance by award-winning, emerging dance-maker Joseph Toonga with live music by Bach, Britten and Giovanni Sollima

Johann Sebastian Bach Cello Suite No 1 in G, BWV 1007
Giovanni Solima Lamentatio
Benjamin Britten Cello Suite No 1 Op 72

Matthew Sharp, cello & voice

September 16th, 2017, 19.30

St John’s Church, Sharow, Ripon International Festival

ZRI – Schubert String Quintet D956

 

String Quintet in C arr. ZRI incl. shepherd melodies from the Carpathian mountains, klezmer dances and traditional folk music.

September 17th, 2017, 15.00

Hertford Quaker House

ZRI – Schubert String Quintet D956

String Quintet in C arr. ZRI incl. shepherd melodies from the Carpathian mountains, klezmer dances and traditional folk music.

September 18th – 22nd, 2017 The Point, Eastleigh

Incantatio

New concerto collaboration with Stopgap Dance, London Contemporary Orchestra and composer Richard Dubugnon

 

September 26th, 2017, 11.00 & 14.00

St Mary’s Church, West Malling, Kent

Little Red Riding Hood – Roald Dahl/Paul Patterson

Matthew Sharp, narrator

Chamber Domaine, cond. Thomas Kemp

 

September 27th, 2017, 10.00 & 14.00

Discovery School, King’s Hill, Kent

Little Red Riding Hood – Roald Dahl/Paul Patterson

Matthew Sharp, narrator

Chamber Domaine, cond. Thomas Kemp

September 29 & 29, 2017

Recording

Hans Gal’s Solo Suite and Solo Sonata for release on Avie with the Hans Gal Concertino for Cello & Strings, English Symphony Orchestra, cond. Kenneth Woods

October 2nd – 6th, 2017 The Point, Eastleigh

Incantatio

New concerto collaboration with Stopgap Dance, London Contemporary Orchestra and composer Richard Dubugnon

October 7th, 2017, 19.30

Memorial Theatre, Broadstairs

Revelation Strings, The Revellers and Abigail Cardwell

directors: David Burridge and Matthew Sharp

With trademark flair and fearlessness, Revelation Strings goes cinematic! Bernstein, Walton, Williams, Morricone and much more.

Revelation Strings is made up of grade 6+ students, string teachers, keen amateurs and some of the UK’s leading string players. It is The Big Reveal’s flagship enterprise, inspiring curiosity, skills and passion for music and the arts.

 

October 14th, 2017, 21.45

Hall Two, King’s Place

ZRI Lock In

The ingenious ZRI have reimagined works by Brahms, Schubert, Mahler and Mozart to include clarinet, santouri (cymbalom) and accordion as well as traditional folk melodies. In a programme that promises intense fervour, raw beauty and tremendous energy, this performance will transport you to the musical melting pot that was the ZRI tavern, where bands played and composers caroused into the night.

October 15th, 2017, 11.30

NCEM, York

Tommy Foggo – Superhero

Music – Stephen Deazley, word – Martin Riley, performer – Matthew Sharp

A magical multi-media tale of a life saved by music for 7+ and their guardians, based on a true story.

Tommy’s mum had told him to wait for her at the bus stop and never showed up again. It felt to Tommy like he’d been stuck there for a zillion years – even after he’d been taken to live in the children’s home. And then, one day, he runs away – to the seaside, where he finds Destino, a talking cello with a mission.

Will Tommy be big enough to defeat the terrifying Kraken of the Deep and rescue the Queen of Lost Atlantis?

 

October 20th, 2017, 19.30

Glossop Parish Church, Glossop Music Festival

Schubert Quintet in C major D956

Haydn Quartet in G Op 64 No 4 Simpson Quartet No 7

Coull Quartet & Matthew Sharp, cello

October 22nd, 2017, 15.00

Hall Two, King’s Place

Tommy Foggo – Superhero

Music – Stephen Deazley, word – Martin Riley, performer – Matthew Sharp

A magical multi-media tale of a life saved by music for 7+ and their guardians, based on a true story.

Tommy’s mum had told him to wait for her at the bus stop and never showed up again. It felt to Tommy like he’d been stuck there for a zillion years – even after he’d been taken to live in the children’s home. And then, one day, he runs away – to the seaside, where he finds Destino, a talking cello with a mission.

Will Tommy be big enough to defeat the terrifying Kraken of the Deep and rescue the Queen of Lost Atlantis?

October 24th, 2017, 10.00

Salisbury Arts Centre, Celebrate Voice

Tommy Foggo – Superhero

Music – Stephen Deazley, word – Martin Riley, performer – Matthew Sharp

A magical multi-media tale of a life saved by music for 7+ and their guardians, based on a true story.

Tommy’s mum had told him to wait for her at the bus stop and never showed up again. It felt to Tommy like he’d been stuck there for a zillion years – even after he’d been taken to live in the children’s home. And then, one day, he runs away – to the seaside, where he finds Destino, a talking cello with a mission.

Will Tommy be big enough to defeat the terrifying Kraken of the Deep and rescue the Queen of Lost Atlantis?

Recordings

‘So full-bloodied, so dramatic, so supple is Matthew Sharp’s playing that it captures the attention right through to the end of this major cello concerto. He attacks the hugely expressive solo line with just the kind of assertive, gushing energy that it needs to bring it truly to life.’
The Strad

Photography

Errollyn Wallen (composer), Orchestra X, Nicholas Kok (conductor)

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LUX

Voces8

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Brahms and the Gypsy

ZRI

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Incantatio

Richard Dubugnon (composer), Dominic Harlan (piano)

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More Recordings ↓

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Ola Gjeilo

Voces8, Tenebrae

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Eventide

Voces8

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Verklärte Nacht – Schoenberg

Ensemble Epomeo and friends

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Re:Bach

Lara St John

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The Girl In My Alphabet | Dervish

Errollyn Wallen (composer), Dominic Harlan (piano)

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Pepper Street Interludes

Iain Ballamy

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Chanson Irresponsable

Mike Westbrook

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String Theory

Partikel

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MirrorMask

Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean, Jim Henson Company, Iain Ballamy

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The Gospel Of Us

Dave McKean, Michael Sheen

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Luna

Dave McKean

Pioneer | Director | Presenter | Mentor | Ambassador

‘The Renaissance Man’

Classical Music Magazine

‘Matthew’s work is truly pioneering

in terms of interdisciplinary performance practice and is undoubtedly world-leading in terms of originality and significance.’

Dr Dominic Symonds

‘Of all the artists and producers that we work with, Matthew is the most ‘total’.

His knowledge of music and the related arts, his engagement with current practice and emerging concepts of performance, and his unparalleled range of performance and producing skills, make him an invaluable resource and a unique figure within music and theatre.’

Dominic Gray, Director, Opera North Projects

Getting under the skin of the canon and revealing it for the 21st-century

Making fabulous and unforgettable work with extraordinary music for audiences of all kinds – virgins and veterans of the concert experience, the first- and the last-time listener, the 90% who don’t and the 10% that do

Training a generation of 21st-century musicians – artists, entrepreneurs, communicators

Projects

Strolling player, troubadour, 19th-century performer/improvisor, fearless pioneer. In pursuit of getting under the skin of the canon and revealing it for the 21st-century and making fabulous and unforgettable work with extraordinary music for audiences of all kinds, here are Matthew’s current projects:

Tommy Foggo – Superhero

Find out more

Tommy Foggo & his Cello are a superhero duo. They go on epic adventures and overcome impossible odds – and they like to sing a tune and share the fun with their friends on the way!

Tommy’s mum had told him to wait for her at the bus stop and never showed up again. It felt to Tommy like he’d been stuck there for a zillion years – even after he’d been taken to live in the children’s home.

And then, one day, he ran away – to the seaside. He was looking for an Italian ice-cream but, instead, he found Destino, a talking Cello with a mission.

Join Tommy Foggo and Destino as they recruit a gang of young helpers to travel with them through time and space to find the Queen of Lost Atlantis – and save her people from the giant, venomous and cold-blooded Kraken of the Deep.

Brought to you by award-winning composer and writer Stephen Deazley and Martin Riley and international cellist, singer and actor, Matthew Sharp – ‘virtuoso of the arts’ The Times.

“As though Tom Waits and Stephen Sondheim had come together with Roald Dahl. Deazley is quite simply a visionary”. The Herald

Audience feedback:
“It was the best day of my life.”
“It was like waking up!”
“You kept all the children completely enthralled.”
“a work of inspired and delicate beauty.”

This is a show as much for adults as for children. Recommended age 7+

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Death’s Cabaret – A Love Story

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A concerto for the 21st-century – a cabaret concerto. A unique and thrilling marriage of the 19th-century concerto form with the grime and sensuality of cabaret – both an innovation and a re-invention of an ancient tradition. Dangerous, intimate, raw and virtuosic, it promises to be an unforgettable night.

As our hero discovers.

Mistress Death comes to call. Your time upon this earth is up. When life is in the balance, what will save you? Love, music or waking from the nightmare?

Let the performance of a lifetime begin!

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ZRI

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Faithfully re-imagined, ZRI present beloved quintets by Brahms and Schubert in the form of a tavern ensemble of its time. Re-scored here with a santouri and accordion for the rich folk band sounds that inspired the original pieces themselves, ZRI weaves in gypsy and klezmer music to present a concert from a time when classical and folk came from the same place.

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