Available languages: EnglishBritish cellist Matthew Barley has an unusually varied set of specialties that includes traditional repertory, Russian music, and contemporary music, both acoustic and eletronic. Exceptionally among classical musicians, he has also experimented with improvisation. Barley was born May 2, 1965, in London. He attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and then went on to the Moscow Conservatory. He has continued to cultivate a strong interest in Russian music, and his London concerto debut came in a Shostakovich cello concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra. Another outcome of Barley's time in Russian was his marriage to Russian violinist Viktoria Mullova; the pair have three children and have performed together in a genre-crossing program called The Peasant Girl. Barley has performed with top orchestras in Britain and beyond, including the Czech Philharmonic, the Netherlands Radio Symphony, and the New Zealand Symphony, appearing in, among other major venues, Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and Kumho Hall in Seoul. Barley has been a favorite at music festivals, including one in Abu Dhabi. In 2007, Barley served as presenter and music director for the Classical Star series on the BBC2 television network. In recital he has collaborated with a large variety of instrumentalists and singers, including baritone Matthias Goerne, clarinetist Martin Fröst, and duo pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque. He has also worked with artists from outside the classical sphere, including keyboardist Jon Lord of the rock band Deep Purple, Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital, and jazz pianist Nikki Yeoh. The breadth of those collaborations is indicative of the increasingly experimental path Barley's career has taken in later years. Barley has recorded for Quartz, Avie, and Signum Classics among other labels. On Signum, in 2019, he played cello and conducted the Sinfonietta Riga in John Tavener's The Protecting Veil. ~ James Manheim
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