Matthew Shiel is a concert pianist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the recipient of a scholarship to study piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he studied under Fali Pavri, harpsichord under Jan Waterfield and organ under David Hamilton. He graduated with first class honours and several academic and performance prizes including: J.S. Bach Competition Prize for Piano, Harpsichord and Organ, Mary and Raymond Thomson Organ Scholarship, and Agnes Millar Prize for Outstanding Harmony and Counterpoint.
During his conservatoire studies, he was invited to play J.S. Bach's Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue (BWV 903) in a masterclass with Angela Hewitt OBE and employed by the BBC SSO (Scottish Symphony Orchestra) to play harpsichord for broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He was also sponsored to tour church organs and other historical keyboard instruments in an international exchange with the Netherlands.
Since graduating, he has served as Director of Music, Choirmaster and Organist of Fairmilehead, Church of Scotland, Edinburgh and has taught at the Junior Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and at Junior Edinburgh Napier University. During this period, he was also employed as a piano accompanist of the National Youth Choir of Scotland and Byre Opera's (University of St Andrews) production of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. He was awarded a Creative Scotland bursary to study Dalcroze Eurythmics with Monica Wilkinson at her move2music studio and to research storytelling (specifically, storytelling and its relationship with music) with novelist Dame Marina Warner and BBC Radio 4 poet-in-residence Alice Oswald. Matthew teaches piano at the University of Edinburgh.
He has performed piano solo and duet recitals at venues such as St Giles' Cathedral, Sage Gateshead, Unitarernes Hus (Copenhagen) and Reid Concert Hall (University of Edinburgh) and has been invited to be a guest speaker to the Wagner Society of Scotland and the University of Middlesex. He has performed several concertos with the Abbotsford String Orchestra, Little Biggar Orchestra and the Àirigh Orchestra including: J.S. Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor (BWV 1052), Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor (K.466) and No. 27 in B-flat major (K.595) and Kozeluch's Piano Concerto for four hands in B-flat major (P:IV.8). He was also entrusted to give the world première of Dr Alfredo Caponnetto's Baroque Concerto (PhD, University of Edinburgh), which the composer kindly dedicated to him. Matthew recently founded the Àirigh Orchestra, whose mission is to explore and celebrate the amazing depth and variety of the classical piano concerto genre.
Matthew joined LMNS in January 2023. He is looking forward to working with a diversity of audiences across Scotland, especially audiences who may not usually have access to classical music.
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