Matthew Coorey

Matthew Coorey

Q. First Name:
R. Matthew

Q. Last Name
R. Coorey

Q. When did you join SYO?
R. 1985 … I think


Q. What instruments did you play in SYO?
R. Horn


Q. What is your favourite memory of  SYO
R. I don’t have one specific memory but I remember loving our Saturday rehearsals. I loved all the people around me. Many remain close friends. There are also so many works that I performed for the first time with SYO. One fo the first things I played with SYO was Prokofiev’s 7th Symphony. Henryk Pisarek made a great case for it. I still love it but it’s very rarely played although I have conducted it once.


Q. What role does music play in your life?
R. I am a conductor so quite.a bit! Music remains a source of joy and fascination. It’s a universe of emotional and intellectual stimulation. We need a thousand poets to describe it don’t we, but in short it’s my drug of choice!


Q. What is your favourite musical repertoire from the SYO performances?
R. Loved doing the Planets and Bruckner 4! I am a horn player after all!

Geoff O’Reilly (now in SSO) played the glorious horn solos. What’s funny is to look back and remember that I was somewhat ambivalent to Brahms and Debussy. Composers with whom I’m deeply in love with these days.


Q. What advice would you give young musicians  today? 
R. Try everything! New music. Old instruments. Avant Garde. Improv. Sing in a choir. Compose. Conduct. Arrange.etc. Of course, not all of these things will easily present themselves, but if they do, jump! But. Above all. SHARE! Having the opportunity to play in a youth orchestra is the result of hard work and great luck. Not everyone will experience that rush but anyone can come to a concert and develop a love of classical music. Get a friend to listen to something new. Doesn’t matter if it’s Bolero or Bach. Share the bug!


Q. Tell us a favourite memory of your time at SYO. 

A. For some reason the disasters are easier to share than the transcendental moments! I remember performing Sculthorpe’s Kakadu in the Sydney Town Hall. Near the end, there’s a powerful climax that’s interrupted by a fortissimo strike of the tamtam. The orchestra stops playing with just the sound of the tamtam ringing on. On this occasion however, the wire cord that held the tamtam on its frame broke and the tamtam fell to the floor creating a mighty bang. The tamtam then did that thing that coins sometimes do when you drop them; it spun on it’s rim and being such a large disc, it very slowly got faster and faster until it suddenly stopped with a thwack! Not what the composer wrote but an amazing sound that I can’t imagine you could recreate if you tried! 


Q. Weblink or LinkedIn profile if you have one:

Matthew Coorey began his conducting career in 2003 when he was appointed Assistant Conductor to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. This initial one-year contract then became a three-year commitment when he was appointed the RLPO’s first Conductor in Residence.

Debuts soon followed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony, the Philharmonia, the Hallé, Ensemble 10:10 and the London Mozart Players – all of whom offered further invitations.

Matthew has also appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Ireland and at the BBC Proms. Recent highlights include debuts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Polish National Radio Orchestra, the Slovenian Radio Orchestra, the Antalya Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, the Auckland Philharmonia, an appearance at the London Festival of Contemporary Music and return engagements with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Wroclaw Philharmonic, the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, the Presidential Orchestra of Ankara, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Trinity Laban orchestra, Ensemble 10:10, the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and a tour of the far east with the Palestine National Orchestra.

Matthew has a great interest in all forms of music and art forms and has collaborated with Rosas Dance Company and Ictus Ensemble, innovative rock bands These New Puritans and Efterklang and has worked with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Matthew has a strong commitment to working with younger musicians and regularly conducts and teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has also worked with the orchestras of the Royal College of Music London, the Felix Mendelssohn Hochshule Leipzig, the Trinity-Laban Orchestra London, the Sydney Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the Australian National Academy of Music and the Australian Youth Orchestra.

Matthew began his musical career as a horn-player and after studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music he performed regularly with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Brandenburg Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony and the Sydney Symphony.

Initially self-taught as a conductor, Matthew auditioned for Seiji Ozawa and was invited to the Tanglewood Music Festival where he worked with Jorma Panula who became his principal conducting teacher. The following year he attended the Aspen Music Festival where studied with David Zinman. For two years, Matthew was Junior Fellow in Conducting – under Sir Mark Elder – at the Royal Northern College of Music. He was a finalist in the Maazel-Vilar Conducting Competition, a fellow of the Allianz International Conductors’ Academy and a prize-winner at the Georg Solti Conducting Competition.

He has collaborated with artists such as Sarah Chang, Freddy Kempff, Steven Osborne, Yevgeny Sudbin, the Jussen Borthers, Roderick Williams, Emma Matthews, Elena Tokar and Pieter Wispelwey and has recorded for Classic FM and for Naxos Records.

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