Matthew Martin

Fellow and Director of Studies - Keble College

Composer, conductor, organist. Winner of 2013 British Composer Award. Ex-student of late French organist Marie Claire Alain


Research interests in composition, Roman liturgy and plainchant, improvisation.


Matthew Martin read music at Magdalen College, Oxford and later studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London where he won all the major organ prizes and the DipRAM – the Academy’s Premiere Prix in performance. He is an award-winning composer and is currently Director of Music and a Fellow at Keble College, Oxford where he conducts the choir and teaches academic music within the College and University.

Matthew’s music is rapidly gaining him an international reputation. His “spikily dynamic style of composition” (BBC Music Magazine) has led him to be commissioned to write for many prominent ensembles, most recently the Gabrieli Consort, the choirs of Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St John’s College and Clare College, Cambridge. In 2014, he was commissioned by The Genesis Foundation to write a new setting of the Stabat Mater for The Sixteen. He won the Liturgical category in the 2013 British Composer Awards and, last year, a disc of his choral music was released by the choir of Magdalen College, Oxford on the Opus Arte label. He recently had a new Trumpet Sonata commissioned by the 2015 Cheltenham Music Festival and is currently working on a set of Lamentations for The Tallis Scholars and a cycle of Petrarch Sonnets for Marcus Farnsworth to be performed during the 2016 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester. His work is published by Faber Music.

From 2001-2004, Matthew studied the organ privately with the late Marie-Claire Alain in Paris and in 2005 was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Matthew has held positions at New College, Oxford, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral where he was the Assistant Master of Music from 2004-2010.

Since 2001 he has been involved with the annual Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy where he is director of the Nave Choir, and from 2000-2002 was Director of Music at the University Church, Oxford. More recently, he was of Organist at the London Oratory (2011-2015) and a tutor in Techniques of Composition at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is increasingly in demand within Oxford University as a teacher in composition and improvisation, providing regular masterclasses in the latter for the Betts Association.

As a recitalist, Matthew has given concerts both in the UK and abroad, including at the Cheltenham, Spitalfields and South Bank festivals, as well as more recently further afield in Miami and Uppsala, Sweden. A regular organist for The Sixteen, his first solo recording on the historic Ralph Downes-designed organ of the London Oratory has been received with critical acclaim.