“Extraordinary cellist, virile baritone, compelling actor - Matthew Sharp’s astonishingly comprehensive versatility.” (The Daily Telegraph)
“An extraordinary cellist - charismatic, virtuosic, brimming with verve and poetry.” (The Times)
“Matthew Sharp’s singing raised the evening to a pitch of spiritual feverishness rarely encountered in either concert hall or theatre.” (Independent on Sunday)
“Matthew Sharp’s performance in the central role displays consummate theatrical invention…a commanding vocal and stage presence.” (The Guardian)
“a triumphant Wigmore recital” (The Strad)
“Matthew Sharp’s performance was moving in the extreme.” (The Independent)
“The Renaissance Man” (Classical Music Magazine)
“Matthew’s knowledge of music and the related arts, his engagement with current practice and emerging concepts of performance, and his unparalleled range of performance and producing skills, make him an invaluable resource and a unique figure within contemporary music and theatre.” (Dominic Gray, Director, Opera North Projects)
“I was genuinely blown away by his performance of my music. He is a stunning cellist and singer, unique communicator and, I believe, one of the most exciting musicians of his generation.” (Mark-Anthony Turnage()
Matthew Sharp studied cello with Boris Pergamenschikow in Cologne, voice with Ulla Blom in Stockholm and English at Trinity College, Cambridge. He has performed at major venues and festivals worldwide as solo cellist, baritone and actor.
Matthew has appeared as solo performer with the RPO, LPO, RLPO, CBSO, Orchestra of Opera North, SCO, EUCO, ESO, Manchester Camerata, Orchestra of the Swan, Arensky Chamber Orchestra, and Ural Philharmonic, performed principal roles for Opera North (Papageno, Pied Piper), ROH2 (Exposure, Pleasure’s Progress), Almeida Opera (The Silent Twins) and the Young Vic (Wolf and Hero) and National Theatre Studio, given solo performances at the Glastonbury and Latitude festivals, and at festivals from Sydney to Toronto, Sao Paulo to Delhi, recorded for Sony, EMI, Decca, Naxos, Somm and Avie, given over fifty world premieres - including the title role in Sir John Tavener’s The Fool and Errollyn Wallen’s Cello Concerto - and appeared in recital as cellist and singer at Wigmore Hall, SBC and Salle Gaveau. As writer, composer, performer and director, he collaborates regularly with leading artists from film, theatre and dance and from across musical genres.
As chamber musician, he has performed with the Amphion, Heath, Sacconi, Vertavo and Villiers quartets, Ensemble Epomeo and the Galliard Ensemble, with members of Brooklyn Rider, Grammy-nominated A Far Cry and Ensemble 360 and with, amongst others, Nicola Benedetti, David Le Page, Nicholas Daniel, Martin Frost, Craig Ogden, Ksenija Sidorova, Katya Apekisheva, Leslie Howard, Stephen Kovacevich, Viv Mclean and Johan Ullen. His music theatre works have toured to major festivals in Europe, India, China and the US. Matthew is Creative Director of Revelation St Mary’s, Ashford - recently selected by the Royal Opera House as its ‘links’ partner - and artist-in-association with the English Symphony Orchestra. He was artistic director of the Deal Festival for three years, transforming its profile, smashing box office records and introducing a year-round outreach initiative called Pyramideal.
Recent highlights include the UK tour of Tommy Foggo - Superhero, a one-man interactive musical adventure for families, his epic show for Opera North, The Devil’s Jukebox, at the Wilderness Festival, An Ape’s Progress with jazz supremo Iain Ballamy at the Manchester Jazz and Literature Festivals, his new concerto collaboration - Incantatio - with Stopgap Dance, the London Contemporary Orchestra and composer Richard Dubugnon and Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales with the BBC Singers and Richard Harrington, broadcast on BBC R3 (which he conceived and directed).
In addition, the London premiere of Whale Music by Matthew and bansuri flautist, Sameer Rao with words by Sir Andrew Motion at the South Bank’s Alchemy Festival, a highly acclaimed production of Salieri’s Prima la musica e poi le parole for West Green Opera Festival (which Matthew directed and sang the role of The Maestro in), a UK tour and the US premiere of the pioneering new concerto work Death’s Cabaret - A Love Story by Stephen Deazley and Martin Riley (being turned into a film in 2016), the world premiere of Faustus - The Last Bus Home, a one-man opera commissioned especially for Matthew by Sound Festival, solo cello recordings for DECCA (Voces8’s chart-topping albums Eventide and Lux) and his pioneering festival RE:naissance at London’s Kings Place.
Upcoming highlights include the title role in the world premiere and UK tour of The Rattler for Mahogany Opera Group, soloist in Dave Mckean’s Black Dog - The Dreams of Paul Nash as part of 14-18 NOW, recordings with Kenneth Woods and the ESO including concerto works by Hans Gal, Prokofiev, John Tavener, James MacMillan and Elgar, the release of Errollyn Wallen’s cello concerto on NMC, HK Gruber’s Frankenstein!, Weill and Schoenberg with Thomas Kemp and Chamber Domaine, the release of ZRI’s now acclaimed re-imagining of Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet, a solo disc of devotional works from across denominations and the world for multi-tracked cello and voice, a Schubert/Brel project with the Brodsky Quartet, songs and works for violin and piano by Schumann and Brahms, Zipoli with BBC NOW and the release of DECCA’s Ola Gjeilo album on which he is featured soloist. He will be staging Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony with the ESO for live performance and DVD.
Matthew is a cello professor at Birmingham Conservatoire and has been a guest lecturer at GSMD, RWCMD, RCSSD, Trinity Laban, Juilliard, Dartington College and Leeds, Portsmouth and Sheffield Universities. He has devised and delivered masterclasses and bespoke and pioneering workshops and projects for ENO, Opera North, WNO, ETO, Philharmonia, LPO, Orchestra of the Swan, Theatre de Complicité, Barbican, South Bank Centre, Wigmore Hall, the International Ingenium Academy and CoMA, and in India, Russia and Scandinavia and devised and delivered the inaugural, televised event for InHarmony, Leeds.
Matthew is thrilled to play on a copy of the ex-Pergamenschikow Montagnana by Robin Aitchison.