Viola profile: Matt Maguire

Posted on: February 19, 2021 in: Comment & Media>Player profiles

Over the last year, Matt Maguire has featured in our online Comfortable Classical at Home series and Restore and Revive concerts. He has also been adapting and delivering our Sound Young Minds programme as online sessions alongside sound artist Gawain Hewitt. In our third Viola profile, Matt talks about how he began playing the viola and what he enjoys about playing in different ensembles and exploring many music genres.

What inspired you to start playing the viola?

My Great Aunt initially inspired me to take up the violin. As I got a bit older, there were shortages of violas in the groups I was playing in and I was asked to give the viola a go. I immediately fell in love with the darker, richer sound and never looked back!

Tell us about your time at CLS.

I joined CLS in 2016. One of my favourite memories must be the Japan tour in 2017 – it was loads of fun. Playing Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta at Opera Holland Park were real stand-out experiences for me. The thing I enjoy the most about CLS is being surrounded by such a friendly bunch of people. It really makes a difference to the way we make music.

What else to you get up to?

I love all types of music and grew up listening to The Beatles, Elton John and B.B. King. I regularly play chamber music, play in a string quartet, and work with other chamber orchestras like the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Aurora Orchestra and Manchester Camerata. I really enjoy improvising and believe that all genres are transferable. I have played in a jazz orchestra, collaborated with leading British-West African musicians in West African music, tour arenas with soul, pop, garage, and grime artists and recorded various projects in the studio from film soundtracks to pop albums.

I have been a season ticket holder at Manchester City football club since I was seven years old and regularly play football in a local league. Over the first lockdown, I really got into watching nature in my local parks and have become a bit of a bird fanatic!

Matt features in our RPS Awards speech


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