Dorset-based composer Matthew Coleridge is an exciting new voice on the British choral music scene.
His acclaimed Requiem - his first major composition - was hailed by Sir Neville Marriner as "a valuable addition to the 21st Century choral repertoire". It was recorded in 2016 by RSVP Voices, with solo cellist Guy Johnston.
His a cappella choral works have been performed by professional ensembles including The Queen's Six, Papagena and Serenata.
"My musical journey began when I joined my local church choir aged six or seven. I was immediately inspired by the new sound world into which I was immersed: Tallis and Gibbons, Sumsion and Stanford; psalms and plainsong.
I was soon encouraged to compose, my first offering (aged 8) being a fairly awful Christmas carol. I’d started two or three Magnificats by the time I was in my teens (though I’m yet to finish writing one). Composing always felt like a very natural and instinctive process; my grandfather and great-grandfather were both professional musicians and prolific amateur composers, so I guess it’s in the blood.
In my twenties, most of my creative output was away from the choral scene. I wrote and recorded a lot of electronic and ambient music, penned a few songs, worked as a composer’s assistant, and exposed myself to as wide a range of music as possible.
It wasn’t until I reached 30 that I started to regain an interest in choral composing. My first ‘mature’ composition was the Corpus Christi Carol, which was recorded by the Queen’s Six for BBC Music Magazine’s Christmas CD. Blending elements of Medieval music and plainsong with the gentle, shimmering dissonances of modern music, it set the tone for much of my work to date.
My first large-scale composition, Requiem, grew out of fragments of music that I’d written over many years - ideas that I’d never found a chance or reason to develop beyond a few bars in length. Following an acclaimed first performance in Dorset, I crowdfunded a recording of the piece with the wonderful RSVP Voices, with cello soloist Guy Johnston and organist Stephen Farr."