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Matthew Barley

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Music performer



Classical music

Matthew Barley

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2 May 1965 (age 59) near Sheffield, United Kingdom (

Around Britten, Reminding, Jon Lord: Durham Concerto, Dance of the Three Legged Elephants, Constant Filter

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Matthew Barley (born 2 May 1965) is an English cellist. He is best known for his performances of core classical music, improvisation, and contemporary music including electronics.


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Matthew Barley was born in London and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and the Moscow Conservatoire. He made his London concerto debut playing the Shostakovich cello concerto in the Barbican Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra, as finalist of the LSO-Shell competition. His first CD, in 2003, was The Silver Swan for Black Box was a compilation of pieces for multitracked cellos, all of which he recorded himself using pioneering techniques of layering voices without an electronic click. His next CD, Reminding, featured Soviet music for cello and piano, and was released on Quartz in September 2005.

Matthew Barley British cellist Matthew Barley performed in Tashkent

In 1997 Barley founded Between the Notes, a performance and education group who work with music and other arts.

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In 2007, Barley was the music director and presenter of the BBC2 Classical Star series.

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Barley has premiered several works including some commissions, by Thomas Larcher, James MacMillan, Dai Fujikura, Detlev Glanert, Peter Wiegold, Fraser Trainer, Rand Steiger, John Metcalfe, John Woolrich, Dimitri Smirnov, and Deidre Gribben.

Barley's non-classical collaborations have included with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Jon Lord (Deep Purple), Talvin Singh, Sultan Khan, Nitin Sawhney, Django Bates, and jazz pianists Julian Joseph and Nikki Yeoh.

In 2013 Barley toured the UK to celebrate the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth, performing 100 concerts and workshops throughout the year.

Matthew Barley is married to violinist Viktoria Mullova. They have three children Misha Mullova-Abbado, Katia Mullova-Brind and Nadia Mullova-Barley and live in London.

Selected discography

  • Around Britten 2013
  • Face to Face with Alex Heffes (Onyx 4050). One-on-one improvised duets with Alex Heffes; 2012
  • The Peasant Girl (Onyx Classics); With Viktoria Mullova and the Matthew Barley Ensemble; 2011
  • Constant Filter (Signum Classics SIGCD207). Music by John Metcalfe; 2010
  • The Dance of the three-legged elephants (Signum Classics SIGCD171). With Julian Joseph; 2009
  • The Silver Swan (Black Box Records BBM 1068). Multi-tracked cello; 2003
  • Reminding (Quartz QTZ 2032). 2005
  • Extraordinary Improvisations (FMR Records FMRCD234-0707). 2005
  • Knots (Black Box BBM1095). With Viktoria Mullova; 2005
  • Through the Looking Glass (Philips, 464 184-2). With Viktoria Mullova and Between the Notes; 2000
  • "Strings Attached" (Navras NRCD6004). Sarod and cello; 2003
  • References

    Matthew Barley Wikipedia

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