Matthew Barley’s musical world has no geographical, social or stylistic boundaries. His activities in performance, improvisation, crossdisciplinary 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 in a night-club or the Amazon rainforest.
‘Deeply fortunate to be doing what I love, I am a magpie, finding a way to play whatever music I love – so I collaborate, improvise, juxtapose, arrange and rearrange.’ His studies were at the Guildhall School in London, and the Moscow Conservatoire, and he is a passionate advocate of lifelong learning – constantly seeking to evolve and develop the art of being a travelling musician living in a vibrant community of family and friends.
Matthew has played in many of the world’s great concert halls, given premieres by Pascal Dusapin, James MacMillan,Thomas Larcher, Dai Fujikura, Detlev Glanert and Nitin Sawhney; performed with Amjad Ali Khan, Matthias Goerne, the Labeque Sisters, Dima Slobodeniouk, Marin Alsop, Jon Lord (Deep Purple), Martin Frøst and Avi Avital, and records for Signum Classics.
Matthew is married to Viktoria Mullova with whom he loves to make music, lives in London and they have three children. He plays a Cesare Gigli cello from Rome, c.1750