‘extraordinary cellist, virile baritone, compelling actor – astonishing’
The Daily Telegraph
‘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 over forty multi-disciplinary shows for, amongst others, 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 was Creative Director of Revelation, Ashford – selected by the Royal Opera House as its ‘links’ partner – for three years, Artistic Director of the Deal Festival for three years – transforming its profile, smashing box office records and introducing a year-round out- and in-reach initiative called Pyramideal – and is currently artist-in-association with both the English Symphony Orchestra and Northern Chamber Orchestra, patron of Cantate – double-gold medal winners at the World Choir Games – and trustee of Vocal Futures.
Upcoming highlights include his new concerto collaboration – Incantatio – with Stopgap Dance and composer Richard Dubugnon, a solo disc of devotional works from across denominations and the world for multi-tracked cello and voice entitled Rough Magic (released February 2019 on Edition Peters Sounds), a Schubert/Brel project with the Brodsky Quartet, the first recording of Hans Gal’s concertino for cello with Kenneth Woods and the ESO (released February 2018 on Avie) 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 Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and has been a guest lecturer at GSMD, RWCMD, RCSSD, Trinity Laban, Juilliard, Dartington College and Leeds, Lincoln, Portsmouth, Sheffield universities and University of Maryland, Baltimore County. 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.
March 3rd, 2020, 10.30 & 12.30
Sensational Schools’ Concerts
The culmination of a Dvorak Cello Concerto-inspired composition project in Stockport primary schools and Stockport School
Programme to include world premieres by the students, Shostakovich, Grieg, Dvorak and Copland
Matthew Sharp, solo cello, MC & animateur
Northern Chamber Orchestra
March 4th, 2020, 19.30
Forum Theatre, Romiley
Dvorak Cello Concerto
Matthew Sharp, cello
Northern Chamber Orchestra, leader Nicholas Ward
March 7th, 2020, 19.30
St Saviour’s Church, St Albans
Elgar Cello Concerto
Matthew Sharp, cello
St Albans Symphony Orchestra, conductor Tom Hammond
March 13th, 2020,
Festival Hall, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU31 4DZ
ZRI – Adventures With Charlie Chaplin
Part concert, part film screening with live score, ZRI’s Adventures with Charlie Chaplin is a show for all ages. ZRI bring all their flair and energy to Charlie Chaplin’s early classic ‘The Adventurer’, including tunes by Django Reinhardt, Georges Boulanger, and much more…
March 22nd, 2020, 19.30
St John’s Church, Waterloo, SE1 8TY
The Rape of Lucretia, Britten/Duncan
New Palace Opera’s concert performance of Britten’s dark and compelling chamber opera
Lucretia Rebecca Afonwy-Jones
Male Chorus Jonathan Finney
Female Chorus Zoe South
Tarquinius Matthew Sharp
Collatinus Simon Grange
Junius Andrew Mayor
Bianca Anna Loveday
Lucia Mimi Doulton
Conductor Michael Thorne
April 1st, 2020, 20.00
Théâtre Sainte-Marie-d’en-Bas, Grenoble
We need to talk/Il faut qu’on parle, Bowler/Pattar
The project brings together French cellist Noémi Boutin and British cellist Matthew Sharp working with French composer Frédéric Pattar and UK composer Laura Bowler to create two new works. The works explore the relationship between the two cellists and their shared and unshared language. Text and movement entwine with music in an intimate and innovative performance.
‘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.’
Cello Concertino (world premiere recording)
Solo Sonata, Solo Suite
Hans Gál (composer), English Symphony Orchestra, Kenneth Woods (conductor)
Released Feb 16, 2018, Avie Records
5 ***** FonoForum, 5 ***** The Guardian, 5 ***** WDR3, 5 ***** Pizzicato
Errollyn Wallen (composer), Orchestra X, Nicholas Kok (conductor)
Featured in NPR’s – A Year Of Listening Desperately: 10 Classical Albums That Saved 2016
‘Her Cello Concerto, in a commanding performance by Matthew Sharp…a bright spot for the instrument this year.’
More Recordings ↓
More Recordings ↑
Brahms and the Gypsy
Verklärte Nacht – Schoenberg
Ensemble Epomeo and friends
Lara St John
The Girl In My Alphabet | Dervish
Errollyn Wallen (composer), Dominic Harlan (piano)
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
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
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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
“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+
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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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.