Matthew TAYLOR (1964–)

Matthew Taylor

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Matthew Taylor was born in London in 1964. He studied composition at Cambridge with Robin Holloway and at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Edward Gregson. Friendship with Robert Simpson proved inspirational, a debt Taylor continues to repay by conducting Simpson’s music in concert and on CD – his recent account of Simpson’s Eleventh Symphony (which is dedicated to Taylor) was selected as a ‘Record of the Year’ by BBC Radio 3 in 2004. Taylor’s brilliant and widely performed First Symphony of 1985 led to commissions for orchestral, chamber and solo works, and his scores have been championed by orchestras, ensembles and artists such as the BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras, the Kreutzer, Dante and Schidlof Quartets, Emma Johnson, John McCabe, Emily Beynon, Martyn Brabbins, Richard Watkins, the Goldberg Ensemble and many others. His catalogue includes three symphonies, concertos for clarinet, horn, piano and double-bass, four string quartets, other substantial orchestral and chamber scores as well as numerous instrumental works and songs.

As a conductor he studied at the Guildhall, Canford Summer School with George Hurst, and was a Leonard Bernstein selection for the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, since when he has directed performances with the Bournemouth Symphony, English Chamber and European Community Chamber Orchestras, the City of London Sinfonia, the Goldberg and other ensembles. He was appointed first Composer in Association to the chamber orchestra Sound Collective, has been director of the Malvern Festival, Composer in Residence at Blackheath Halls, director of the Royal Holloway Orchestra and the London Danish Music Festival. He teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, where he has also set up, and runs, the New Music Ensemble at the Junior Academy; he founded and directs the Tunbridge Wells Festival, travels as an international music examiner and performs in public as a pianist.

Celebrations of his 40th birthday in 2004 saw broadcasts and concert performances of Taylor’s orchestral and chamber works throughout the United Kingdom, and he has recently enjoyed performances in Germany, Denmark, Italy, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states. His is a fresh and exciting voice among younger British composers; his music, which combines traditional forms with today’s language, has won him admirers in every age-group.

Giles Easterbrook © 2005