I have been fortunate enough to become Artistic Director of several Festivals
which has afforded the enviable opportunity to allow unjustly neglected music to
become more widely circulated. I enjoyed a three year association at Malvern
Festival, initially as Composer in Residence (1993) and then as Artistic
Both Tom Hammond and I share a love of the Danish people, their culture, and in
particular the music of Nielsen and Vagn Holmboe, so we launched a Festival of
Danish Music in 1997 using major London venues with a special emphasis on
Holmboe's music as a tribute to the composer who had died the previous year.
In 2003 I founded the Tunbridge Wells Music Festival for a five year period with
aim to bring a greater awareness of British contemporary music to the locality.
Many important 20th Century British composers were featured during the course of
More recently I have enjoyed close associations with the St Petersburg
Festival of British Music. I conducted the St Petersburg State Academy Orchestra
in 2007 in a most memorable of concerts of all British music which included works
by Malcolm Arnold,
James Francis Brown
It was an honour to introduce this music to a music loving Russian audience who
were unawre of their work, particularly as all three composers are not only friends
but are amongst the most compelling voices in recent British music.
For the second Festival in 2009 I was appointed Artistic Director where I
will be giving the world premiere of Arthur Butterworth's 6th Symphony with the
St Petersburg Capella Orchestra. Other composers being featured include not only
established 20th Century figures such as Elgar, Walton and Britten, but also
Alwyn, Simpson, Martin Butler and Toby Young.
October 2009 sees the launch of the Padstow Arts Festival. This Festival seeks
to honour two great figures of the 20th Century, Sir John Betjeman and Sir
Malcolm Arnold. Both men not only enjoyed fruitful associations with the the town
but created much of their finest work whilst living there. This festival will
takes place over the first weekend in October 2009 and will feature:
- a piano recital with John McCabe,
- some Betjeman reflections and thoughts from Bejamin Luxon,
a figure with crucial ties with Cornish Musical life,
- a talk shared by myself, John McCabe and Edward Clark entitled
"Malcolm Arnold - A Man for All Seasons"
- and a concert with the Salieri Quartet featuring Arnold's magnificent 2nd
Quartet to end the Festival.
It is hoped that the Padstow Festival with its central theme of celebrating
Arnold and Betjeman will become an annual event.
Current & Recent Festival News
Matthew Taylor - Composer In Residence at Presteigne Festival
Thursday 27th August to Tuesday 1st September 2015
The Presteigne Festival, Artistic Director George Vass, has long established itself as one of the most imaginative, enterprising and outstanding UK Festivals which achieves original and stimulating programmes by balancing contemporary works with established classics. Matthew will be the Composer in Residence for 2015.
The programme includes Matthew's works:
Variations on a theme of Reger Op.45
String Quartet No.6 Op.36
Fantasy on a theme of Arnold Op.40
Matthew Taylor - Featured Living Composer at Hertford Festival of Music 2017
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th June 2017
Matthew has been appointed the first ever Featured Living Composer for the recently formed Hertford Festival of Music for their 2017 season. Performances include:
-- 9 June, 7.30pm - Adagio from Haydn Fantasies for John McCabe - Claire Hammond (piano) - All Saints Church, Hertford
-- 11 June, 11am - Fantasy Pieces (world premiere) - Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola), John Lenehan (piano) - Bradby Hall, Haileybury School, Hertford
-- 11 June 3.30pm - String Quartet No.8 (world premiere) - Carducci Quartet - All Saints Church, Hertford
For more information about the Festival please visit their website.
Malvern Festival 1993
Matthew was Composer in Residence.
Works: Night Visions, Op.14 | Piano Concerto, Op.13 | Violin Sonata, Op.12
St Petersburg Festival of British Music 2007
Wednesday 31st October to Saturday 1st December 2007
Conducted works by Malcolm Arnold, James Francis Brown and David Matthews.
Padstow Festival 2009
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th October 2009
This festival seeks to honour two great figures of the 20th Century, Sir John Betjeman and Sir Malcolm Arnold. Includes a performance of String Quartet No.7 on Sunday 4th October at St. Pedroc Church, Padstow.
Festival Website | Padstow Town Council website
Works: String Quartet No.7, Op.37
St Petersburg Festival of British Music 2009
Sunday 15th to Saturday 28th November 2009
Matthew has been appointed Artistic Director where he will be giving the world premiere of Arthur Butterworth's 6th Symphony with the St Petersburg Capella Orchestra. He will also be opening the festival by conducting Britten's Cello Symphony with Sergei Slovachevsky.