Robert Matthew-Walker

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Robert Matthew-Walker (b. Lewisham, London, 23 July 1939) is an English writer, editor, marketer, producer, broadcaster and composer, mainly involved in classical music.

Robert Matthew-Walker was born in London in 1939 and studied at Goldsmith's College, University of London, the London College of Music and the London College of Printing (now University of the Arts, London). After leaving the Army in 1962, following service at the Joint Air Reconnaissance Intelligence Centre (JARIC), the War Office and in North Africa, he studied composition privately with the French composer Darius Milhaud in Paris in 1962–63.

He was employed in the City as Company Secretary of Thom & Cook Ltd and founded the Tunnel Club rock venue in Greenwich in 1968. He joined CBS Records in 1970; three months later he was appointed head of their classical department in London. In 1974 he became Director of Marketing for CBS, succeeding Clive Selwood. During his time there 14 of the company's singles were in the Top 50 and 7 of CBS's albums in the Top 20 in the same week. He was later Director of Masterworks Marketing, Europe, for CBS in Paris.

In 1975 he joined RCA Records in London as Head of the Classical Department, where he was responsible for launching James Galway's career, and at one point, the company had three full-price classical albums in the Top 50 pop album charts at the same time.

He founded several specialist classical labels, including Phoenix Records, Trax Records and AVM Classics – each of which has had at some point the number 1 best-selling classical album. Robert Matthew-Walker has produced over 130 albums, and won the Grand Prix du Disque of the Academie Charles Cros in 1980 for his recording of Brian Ferneyhough's Sonatas for String Quartet by the Berne String Quartet (the first recording of any of Ferneyhough's works), amongst several other recording awards for his work as a producer. He compiled the first two series of '100 Greatest Classics' for Filmtrax, and for Stylus 'The Pavarotti Collection' (reissued by Decca as 'The Essential Pavarotti') which sold over 600,000 copies and reached no. 8 in the pop album charts. He also appeared with the disco rapper Adamski on a dance single, 'Kraktali Daze'.

Robert Matthew-Walker was for many years a member of The Critics' Circle. From 1984–88 he edited the magazine Music and Musicians, and between 1996 and 2008 the UK Grieg Society's journal The Grieg Companion (Vols 1–12). In April 2009 he became editor of Musical Opinion and its sister-publication The Organ; he is also a contributor to Classic Record Collector.[1] He has broadcast many times and in 1980 wrote and presented an eight-part History of Classical Recording for BBC Radio. He has published sixteen books, not all of them on musical subjects, and which in total have sold half a million copies. He has also been a Fellow of the Atlantic Council of Great Britain.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 'Muhammad Ali: His Fights in the Ring', London (1978)
  • 'Elvis Presley – A Study in Music' (1982)
  • 'Simon and Garfunkel', Hippocrene Books (1983) ISBN 0-88254-729-1
  • 'Rachmaninoff: His Life and Times', Omnibus Press (1984) ISBN 0-7119-0253-4
  • 'David Bowie – Theatre of Music' (1985)
  • 'Madonna: The Biography', Pan books (1991) ISBN 0-330-31482-3
  • 'The Symphonies of Robert Simpson' (vars. authors, ed. Matthew-Walker) (1991)
  • 'Alun Hoddinott on Record: A Composer and the Gramophone', DGR Books (1993) ISBN 1-898343-01-2
  • 'The Recordings of Edvard Grieg: A Tradition Captured' (1993)
  • 'Cincinnati Interludes' (Sir Eugene Goossens, ed. R. Matthew-Walker), DGR Books (1995) ISBN 978-1-898343-05-9
  • 'Havergal Brian: Reminiscences and Observations' (1995) ISBN 1-898343-04-7
  • 'Heartbreak Hotel: The Life and Music of Elvis Presley' Castle Communications (1995) ISBN 1-86074-055-3
  • 'The Music of Vyacheslav Artyomov: An Introduction' (1997)
  • 'Broadway to Hollywood: the Musical and the Cinema' (1998) ISBN 978-1-86074-145-6
  • 'Mahler's 'Das Lied Von Der Erde' – Analytical Aspects' (2003)

Compositions[edit]


Op. 1 NOEL: Study on an old carol December 1953
Op. 2 VERSICLES AND RESPONSES for Morning Prayer 1953/4
Op. 3 FANFARE: Lancaster Gate 1954
Op. 4 INTRODUCTION AND ALLEGRO FOR STRING ORCHESTRA
Op. 5 STUDY IN SLOW MOTION
Op. 6 THREE PIECES FOR STRINGS from the 'Anna Magdalena Notebook'
Op. 7 SYMPHONIC VARIATIONS FOR ORCHESTRA 1955
Op. 8 CONCERTINO FOR VIOLIN AND WOODWIND QUARTET 1956
Op. 9 SEVEN ASPECTS OF A HUNGARIAN FOLKSONG 1956/7
Op. 10 SYMPHONY no 1 1956
Op. 11 SONATA FOR SOLO TROMBONE 1957
Op. 12 no 1 SONATA ESPAÑOLA for Solo Piano 1957
Op. 13 FANTASIA FOR SOLO VIOLIN 1958
Op. 14 SYMPHONY NO 2 in one movement 1958
Op. 15 RÉCRÉATION CONCERTANTE for Violin and Orchestra 1959
Op. 16 SINFONIETTA LIRICA for Small Orchestra rev 1960
Op. 17 SYMPHONY no 3 in one movement 1959/60
Op. 18 KYRIE for Double Chorus and Large Orchestra 1962
Op. 19 SYMPHONY no 4 in one movement 1962
Op. 20 RUNNYMEDE FANFARE:
Op. 21 DAYS TO REMEMBER: THREE PIECES FOR ROCK BAND 1966
Op. 22 SYMPHONY no 5 in one movement 1968
Op. 23 SYMPHONY no 6 in one movement 1968
Op. 24 PIANO SONATA no 1 in one movement 1976
Op. 25 SONATA FOR STRING ORCHESTRA 1976
Op. 26 PIANO SONATA no 2 1977
Op. 27 TRIO FOR VIOLIN, CELLO AND PIANO 1977
Op. 28 'A DISTANT SUMMER' – RHAPSODY FOR ORCHESTRA
Op. 29 SONATA FOR FOUR TUBAS 1977
Op. 30 STRING QUARTET [no 1] in B flat minor 1979
Op. 31 SINFONIA SOLEMNIS for Six Percussion Players 1980
Op. 32 CONCERTO FOR HORN AND STRING ORCHESTRA 1980
Op. 33 SONATA FOR CELLO AND PIANO 1980
Op. 34 FANTASY-SONATA: HAMLET (Piano Sonata no 3) 1980
Op. 35 RACHMANINOFF: RUSSIAN RHAPSODY (1890) 1979
Op. 36 MEDITATION ON THE DEATH OF ELVIS PRESLEY 1980
Op. 37 ORPHEUS DESCENDING – Symphonic Prelude for Orchestra
Op. 38 BLOW, BLOW THOU WINTER WIND for Unaccompanied
Op. 39 VARIATIONS ON A 15th-CENTURY ENGLISH CAROL 1980
Op. 40 MUSIC TO HEAR: Five Songs for high voice and piano 1980
Op. 41 DANZA ALLA TOCCATA: Concert Piece for Solo Oboe. 1981
Op. 42 CLARINET QUARTET 1981
Op. 43 FRANZ JOSEF HAYDN: THE FOUR LONDON TRIOS 1981
Op. 44 THE DEPARTURE OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA 1981
Op. 45 SONATA FOR SOLO CELLO 1981
Op. 46 FANTASIA DELLA SINFONIA for eleven-part string
Op. 47 IN THE PARK: Suite for Orchestra in five movements orch 1980
Op. 48 MOTET [No 1] FOR SOPRANO AND ORGAN 1982
Op. 49 PIANO SONATA no 4 in one movement 'Sonata Breve'
Op. 50 LITTLE VARIATIONS 1982
Op. 51 INTRADA AND FUGUE FOR ORGAN 1982
Op. 52 no 1 A CHRISTMAS CAROL SEQUENCE 1982
Op. 52 no 2 NINNA NANNA – Neapolitan Christmas Carol 1982
Op. 53 THE SHOEMAKER'S HOLIDAY 1982
Op. 54 SUITE OF DANCES BY KING HENRY VIII 1982
Op. 55 THEATRE OVERTURE 1984
Op. 56 SONATA MAGNA for Organ in one movement 1983
Op. 57 DIVERTIMENTO ON A THEME OF MOZART for piano duet
Op. 58 ZUM GEDACHTNIS – MOTET [No 2] 1986
Op. 59 LE TOMBEAU DE MILHAUD 1986
Op. 60 A SUFFOLK SUITE for piano duet 1986
Op. 61 CHRIST ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS 1988
Op. 62 THREE TRANSCRIPTIONS FOR PIANO TRIO 1988
Op. 63 TWO TRANSCRIPTIONS FOR SMALL ORCHESTRA 1989
Op. 64 THREE PUCCINI TRANSCRIPTIONS 1988
Op. 65 HAYDN TRANSCRIPTIONS FOR STRING ORCHESTRA 1987
Op. 66 THREE ASPECTS OF A SOLEMN FANFARE 1976
Op. 67 no 1 GREENSLEEVES arranged for string orchestra 1989
Op. 67 no 2 MAHLER: 'EINE KLEINE NACHTMUSIK' Symphony no 7
Op. 68 AUTUMN MUSIC FOR WIND TRIO 1989
Op. 69 TWO RUSSIAN TRANSCRIPTIONS FOR ORCHESTRA 1989
Op. 70 EPICEDIUM for four double-basses 1989
Op. 71 RAPSODIA-CONCERTANTE
Op. 72 SALVO – flourish for brass and percussion 1989
Op. 73 SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO 1989
Op. 74 SONATA DELL'ESTATE (QUASI UNA FANTASIA) 1989
Op. 74b DUE PEZZI
Op. 75 IN PRAISE OF SPRING 1989
Op. 76 TWO MEDIEVAL MINIATURES FOR BRASS QUINTET 1989
Op. 77 TERNION – Three pieces for brass quartet 1989
Op. 78 LITANY FOR STRING ORCHESTRA 1989
Op. 79 NOCTUARY FOR ORCHESTRA 1989
Op. 80 FANFARE AND RECONNAISSANCE 1989
Op. 81 SOLITUDE for Flute and Piano 1989
Op. 82 CONCERTANTE FOR TROMBONE AND STRING ORCHESTRA
Op. 83 BROWN STUDY 1989
Op. 84 FOUR STUDIES FOR PIANO 1989
Op. 85 SWEET PSALMIST OF ISRAEL [Motet no 3]
Op. 86 FANTASIA FOR HARPSICHORD 1989
Op. 87 CELLO CONCERTO [no 1] 1989
Op. 88 CREED 1989
Op. 89 PSALM 150 1989
Op. 90 MUSIC FOR STRINGS 1989
Op. 91 TWO MOZART TRANSCRIPTIONS
Op. 92 FLUTE QUARTET 1989
Op. 93 DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH – A CHILDREN'S SUITE 1989
Op. 94 no 1: DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH – INTERMEZZO 1989
Op. 94 no 2: 'MARTIN JONES – HIS TOYE' 1989
Op. 95 BATTLEDORE 1989
Op. 96 VIDERUNT OMNES – PEROTINUS MAGNUS (12th Century)
Op. 97 SOFIA IMPRESSIONS 1989
Op. 98 PARTITA FOR BRASS
Op. 99 THREE MEDIEVAL ENGLISH DANCES 1989
Op. 100 BIRTHDAY FANFARE 1989
Op. 101 TWO MOZART WEDDING PIECES
Op. 102 TCHAIKOVSKY: LOVE DUET 'ROMEO & JULIET'
Op. 103 TCHAIKOVSKY: ANDANTE FUNEBRE
Op. 104 2 BATALLION – March for Brass Band 1976
Op. 105 VARIATIONS ON A THEME OF HANDEL 1977
Op. 106 MUSICA MALINCONIA 1989
Op. 107 SONATA DI CHIESA 1989
Op. 108 TWO FANFARES
Op. 109 EIGHT CHANTS: three and four voices (unaccompanied)
Op. 110 TRIO FOR TWO OBOES AND COR ANGLAIS 1989
Op. 111 MONODY for Solo Horn 1989
Op. 112 AMERICAN FOLK-SONGS for Small Orchestra 1989
Op. 113 MUSIC FOR TWO TRUMPETS AND STRING ORCHESTRA
Op. 114 'A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM' – CONCERTO FOR FLUTE
Op. 115 CONCERTO FOR OBOE AND STRING ORCHESTRA 1989
Op. 116 NEW YEAR'S EVE 1990
Op. 117 THE LORD'S PRAYER [Pater Noster] 1990
Op. 118 ARIOSI FOR STRING ORCHESTRA 1990
Op. 119 THE HOOSIER SCHOOLBOY – An American Overture 1990
Op. 120 EDMUND RUBBRA: A LITTLE SUITE FOR STRINGS 1990
Op. 121 EDVARD GRIEG: ONCE UPON A TIME
Op. 71 no 1 1990
Op. 122 no 1 EDMUND RUBBRA: SYMPHONIC PRELUDE
Op. 164a
Op. 123 ALUN HODDINOTT: BELLS OF PARADISE
Op. 124 ALUN HODDINOTT: WELSH AIRS AND DANCES
Op. 125 CANTATA RURALE 1991
Op. 126 THREE PIECES for Cello and Piano 1995
Op. 127 ANNA MAGDALENA SUITE [No 2]
Op. 128 SUITE FRANÇAISE for Oboe and Bassoon 1995
Op. 129 TWO ORCHESTRAL PRELUDES AFTER J.S.BACH:-
Op. 130 RACHMANINOFF: ALEKO'S CAVATINA
Op. 131 PADERBORN PRAELUDIUM for Symphonic Brass Ensemble
Op. 132 SIX EPIGRAMS FOR ORGAN 1995
Op. 133 SINFONIA FOR ORCHESTRA: THE VIKINGS AT
Op. 134 PRELUDE AND TOCCATA for Solo Piano
Op. 135 ADORAMUS TE, CHRISTE
Op. 136 PROLEGOMENON for Solo Piano
Op. 137 STRING QUARTET No 2
Op. 138 STRING QUARTET No 3
Op. 139 SIX SONGS BY EDVARD GRIEG
Op. 140 MUSIC FOR PIANO AND PERCUSSION
Op. 141 MASONIC MUSIC FOR ORGAN
Op. 142 CHAPTER MUSIC FOR ORGAN
Op. 143 TWO TRANSCRIPTIONS FOR STRING ORCHESTRA 1997 (i) Gabriel Fauré: Pavane
Op. 50 (ii) Maurice Jarre: Theme from 'Dr Zhivago'
Op. 144 CELLO CONCERTO no 2
Op. 145 STRING QUARTET no 4
Op. 146 FOUR EARLY PIECES
Op. 147 SERENATA CONCERTANTE for six solo violins and orchestra 2006
Op. 148 FANTASIA MELANCOLICA (The Blue Violin) for solo violin 2010

References[edit]

  1. ^ See for example Darius Milhaud – the teacher and the performer on record, Autumn and Winter 2009, vols 58 & 59.