Matthew Herbert

Oxford Contemporary Music will present the world premier of Matthew Herbert’s 20 Pianos at The North Wall (16th May 2014), which has been selected for performance as part of PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music Biennial. 20 Pianos will also be featured at two weekend showcases hosted by London’s Southbank Centre (4-6 July 2014) and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music (2-3 Aug 2014), as well as in other performances throughout the UK in May and June 2013, including University College Falmouth (11th October 2014). Further dates to be announced. Further dates to be announced.


“Every piano tells a story. I will be telling the story of 20 unique pianos from around the world, amplifying their different tones, timbres, tunings and histories. From Steinways at Abbey Road or Sydney Opera House, to battered school primary school pianos or forgotten out-of-tune family pianos. I will sample sounds from each of them as well as document photographs and oral histories.

The composition will be for solo pianist, inspired by the stories of the pianos and their owners. I’ll commission my colleagues at the Radiophonic Workshop to create bespoke software and hardware that can transform a simple inanimate object, like a table, in to a virtual piano. Conjuring the sounds of these pianos from thin air- a kind of conjuring trick.” – Matthew Herbert

The world premier will be presented by Oxford Contemporary Music at The North Wall, Oxford, on 16 May 2014. Further performances are planned for:

Rich Mix as part of Spitalfields Music Summer Festival, 15 June
Southbank Centre, London, 5 July 2014
Glasgow Concert Halls, 2 August 2014
University College Falmouth, 11 October 2014 (including pianist Sarah Nicolls)

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