Matt Dunkley

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Matthew Charles Dunkley
Charles Dunkley

(1964-08-02) August 2, 1964 (age 55)
Croydon, England
OccupationConductor, Orchestrator, Arranger, Composer

Matthew Charles Dunkley (born 2 August 1964) is a British orchestrator, arranger and conductor who developed a parallel career as a film, TV and theatre composer. Matt has worked on over 190 movies, from Black Swan to Inception to Moulin Rouge to Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Matt has worked with recording artists such as Massive Attack, Patti Smith, Badly Drawn Boy, Elliot Smith, Nick Cave and Catatonia. He released two solo albums, Six Cycles and Cycles 7-16, of his own classical compositions.[1][2]


At the age of 10 Dunkley started playing the trumpet and then piano. After studying at the London College of Music he became a professional trumpet player and teacher for a number of years, until his career morphed into arranging, conducting and finally composing.

In 1989 Matt Dunkley started to work as assistant to the film orchestrator Christopher Palmer, where he worked on projects as diverse as reconstructions of recordings of William Walton’s film music, and re-recordings of Conrad Salinger’s epic MGM Musical orchestrations, conducted by Elmer Bernstein. He credits Chris as the major influence on his ensuing career, with Chris‘s musical technical brilliance and flair, coupled with a very strict attention to every detail of a score and his super-critical ear in the recording studio. After Chris Palmer’s untimely death, Matt spent a period working in the pop recording industry on string arrangements for artists such as Dido, Melanie C, Catatonia, Badly Drawn Boy, Elliot Smith, Tom Jones, The Pet Shop Boys and Massive Attack, and international artists including Monica Naranjo, Eros Ramazotti and Hooverphonic, as well as classical artists, Jose Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti, Russel Watson, Vanessa Mae, Il Divo, Amici, Bond and Maxsim.

In 1994 Dunkley began working with the Scottish composer, Craig Armstrong. They worked together for over 20 years on numerous film projects, many of which won awards including a Golden Globe, 2 Baftas and 2 Ivor Novellos. Dunkley has also orchestrated and conducted exclusively for the Indian composer, and Bafta, Golden Globe and two-time Oscar winning, A.R. Rahman. Since 2009 Matt has arranged and conducted every film for the film composer Clint Mansell. Furthermore he regularly works with many of the most recognized names in film composition today – Hans Zimmer, Nicholas Britell, Joe Kraemer, Randy Edelman, Rolfe Kent, Rachel Portman, Tuomas Kantelinen, Ramin Djawadi and Henry Jackman.

He composed the score for The Four Musketeers, (D’Artagnan et les Trois Mousquetaires), directed by Pierre Aknine and starring Emmanuelle Béart. The soundtrack was released by Movie Score Media. Dunkley then went on to score the action thriller Storm Force, (Windkracht 10), directed by Hans Herbots. The film was chosen to open the Ghent International Film Festival.

Dunkley has worked on numerous advertising campaigns, most notably the 2016 Sainsbury’s Christmas campaign, where he arranged and produced a song written by Oscar-winning comedian and songwriter Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords), performed by James Corden and directed by award-winning stop-motion animator Sam Fell.

Alongside his arranging work, Dunkley is writer of film music as well as music for a wide variety of TV and theatre projects. He has scored a number of network series for British TV including I Saw You, Rescue Me, Safe as Houses, Number 13 and Spirit Warriors.

In 2012 Dunkley was commissioned to score Peter Pan: The Neverending Story [3], a huge arena musical and theatrical touring extravaganza based on the JM Barrie story, that is still touring the world today, playing everywhere from Wembley Arena to Dubai. For the same production company, Music Hall Belgium, Dunkley has also composed scores for Flanders Fields, a play with music that was performed on location at the 1st World War Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in Lijssenthoek, and Cinderella: A Fairly True Story which premiered in Singapore in 2015.

In the world of dance, Dunkley has written music for Royal Ballet choreographer Charlotte Edmonds. Meta and Sink or Swim [4]both featured Dunkley’s compositions.

Christmas 2017 saw Dunkley re-arrange the whole of Tchaikovsky’s score to the Nutcracker ballet for a new modern dance interpretation, choreographed and directed by Giuliano Peparini, with production design by Franco Dragone, which premiered in Brussels. In September 2018, Dunkley conducted the premiere of a new ballet, Hamlet, composed by Henrik Skram, performed by the Norwegian National Ballet in Oslo [5].

Dunkley has conducted all of the UK’s top orchestras, including The London Philharmonic Orchestra, The London Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The London Sinfonietta, The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and The Chamber Orchestra of London, as well as international ensembles such as The Los Angeles Philharmonic (at The Hollywood Bowl), The Sydney Symphony Orchestra (at the Sydney Opera House), The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Hong Kong Philharmonic, The Czech Symphony Orchestra, The NRK Symphony Orchestra (Oslo), The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg (Berlin), The Brussels Philharmonic, The Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, The Macedonian Symphony Orchestra, The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, The Mons Orchestra (Brussels), The North West Symphony (Seattle) and numerous top studio orchestras and choirs in London and Los Angeles.

Dunkley has released two solo classical albums on the Village Green label [6]. The Six Cycles, and Cycles 7-16, both recorded with the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg in Berlin.

Film music[edit]



Conductor, orchestrator, arranger, musical director, music supervisor, composer[edit]


  • 2000: Looking for Alibrandi (music arranger: song)
  • 2001: A Small Summer Party (TV Movie) (music arranger: song)
  • 2005: A Lot Like Love (music arranger: song)
  • 2003–2005: Mile High (TV Series) (music arranger – 34 episodes)
  • 2006: Cold Case (TV Series) (music arranger – 1 episode)
  • 2007: Arn – Tempelriddaren (arranger)
  • 2009: Grey's Anatomy – Die jungen Ärzte (TV Series) (music arranger – 1 episode)
  • 2009: The Road (conductor) / (music arranger)


  • 2000: I Saw You (TV-Film)
  • 2000: Safe as Houses (TV Movie)
  • 2002: Rescue Me (TV Series) / (6 episodes)
  • 2005: The Three Musketeers (TV Series) (2 episodes)
  • 2006: Fast Learners (Short)
  • 2006: Windkracht 10: Koksijde Rescue
  • 2006: Number 13 (TV Short)
  • 2010: Spirit Warriors: Backstage (TV Movie documentary)
  • 2010: Spirit Warriors (TV Series) (10 episodes)
  • 2018 La fete des mères
  • 2019: We (post-production)


  • 2018: Fahrenheit 11/9 (Documentary) (performer/writer: "Cycle 2", Cycle 15")


  • 2018: Stan & Ollie (Conductor)


  1. ^ "Six Cycles, by Matt Dunkley". Matt Dunkley. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  2. ^ "Cycles 7-16, by Matt Dunkley". Matt Dunkley. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  3. ^ "Neverland, the adventures of Peter Pan - Home". Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  4. ^ Charlotte Edmonds. "Sink or Swim: an underwater ballet about depression". YouTube. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "The Hamlet Complex \ Den Norske Opera & Ballett". Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  6. ^ "Home - Village Green - Recording". Retrieved January 27, 2019.

External links[edit]