Matthew Barley – Cello

Matthew Barley’s musical world has virtually no geographical, social or stylistic boundaries. After training at the Guildhall School of Music and the Moscow Conservatoire, his activities in performance, improvisation, cross-disciplinary projects, composition, and pioneering community programmes have developed to form a uniquely eclectic international career.  He has been described as ‘the world’s most adventurous cellist’ and is as comfortable with core-classical repertoire and improvisation as he is music-making with Indian, Sufi or African musicians.


‘I have always been the kind of musician who tries to find a way to play the music that I love, whatever that music is, so I collaborate, improvise, juxtapose, arrange, and rearrange’. He made an early London debut playing the Shostakovich Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra as finalist of the LSO-Shell Competition. Since then he has performed worldwide as a soloist and chamber musician, his repertoire ranging from Bach to his own compositions, music written for him and improvisation.


Future projects include the BBC Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, Multi-Story (a debut with the famed Car-Park orchestra), an eleven-day residency with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, a return to the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, more concerts with tabla maestro Sukhwinder Singh and tours throughout Europe and in Mexico.


He plays a Cesare Gigli cello from Rome, c.1750