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Festivals

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 Director (1994-95).

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 the Festival.

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 and David Matthews. 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

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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.

Matthew Taylor - Featured Composer at Hertford Festival of Music 2017

Summer 2017

Matthew has been appointed the first ever Featured Composer for the recently formed Hertford Festival of Music for their 2017 season. Further details of works to be performed will be available shortly. For more information about the Festival please visit their website.

Notable Events

Malvern Festival 1993

May 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.

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.

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