Biography of Matthew-Walker Robert:
Robert Matthew-Walker was born in London in 1939 and studied at Goldsmith’s College, 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.
Employed in the City, he founded the Tunnel Club rock venue in Greenwich in 1968 before joining CBS
Records in 1970 as head of the UK classical department, later becoming Director of Marketing, including
rock and jazz music. He moved to RCA Records as head of the classical department, where he launched James
Galway’s career, and later founded several specialist classical labels, including Phoenix Records UK, Trax Records
and AVM Classics.
Robert Matthew-Walker has produced almost 150 albums, winning the Grand Prix du Disque in 1980 for
his recording of Brian Ferneyhough’s Sonatas for String Quartet by the Berne String Quartet - the first recording
of any work by Ferneyhough. He has won several other awards for his work as a producer and also appeared with
the disco rapper Adamski on a dance single, ‘Kraktali Daze’.
He was also owner and managing director of music publishers Alfred Lengnick & Co Ltd and in 1980 wrote
and presented an eight-part History of Classical Recording for BBC radio. From 1984–88 Matthew-Walker published
and edited the magazine Music and Musicians, and between 1996 and 2008 edited the UK Grieg Society’s
journal The Grieg Companion (Vols 1–12). In April 2009 he became editor of Musical Opinion and its sisterpublication
The Organ. He is also an author on a wide range of subjects.
His compositions include six symphonies, a Sinfonia for Orchestra ‘The Vikings at Helgeland’, Symphonic
Variations, nine concertos, four string quartets, four piano sonatas and two violin sonatas alongside many shorter
orchestral and instrumental works. This is the first CD devoted entirely to his music.
Recent developments concerning Robert Matthew-Walker’s music are: in April 2016, the Ottenia Philharmonic
Orchestra of Romania programmes the world premiere of his Symphonic Variations, Opus 7, composed in 1956
at the age of 17, and unheard for sixty years. It will be conducted by the exceptional young English composer
and conductor Christopher Petrie in a public concert televised live. In June 2016, the Patrick Noronha Orchestra
will give the premiere of Matthew-Walker’s Varianter på temaer av Grieg [Variants on themes of Grieg] for string
orchestra, and, following his widely-praised recording of Robert Matthew-Walker’s Fantasy-Sonata ‘Hamlet’
(Piano Sonata No 3) for Naxos, Mark Bebbington will give the world premiere of the composer’s new piece, ‘A Bad
Night in Los Angeles’ – dance music for solo piano, at the Bromsgrove Concerts in February 2017.