Matthew McDonald

Hon RAM

Strings - Visiting Professor of Double Bass

Orchestral musician, soloist and passionate chamber musician

Principal Double Bass of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

Matthew is Principal Double bass of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Born in Canberra, Australia, he studied with Max McBride and Kees Boersma, graduating with a BMus from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2000 he came to Berlin on a scholarship to study at the Karajan Academy (the orchestral academy of the Berlin Philharmonic) with Klaus Stoll as his mentor.
Matthew then took up the position of Assistant Principal Bass with the Danish National Radio Symphony in Copenhagen. Wishing to pursue further studies, he returned to Berlin after six months and studied with Esko Laine at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’ for the Konzertexamen (soloist’s diploma).

He then joined the Ensemble Modern, where he played for three years and worked closely with many of today’s most important composers. Since then he has held the position of Principal Bass with Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, joining the Berlin Philharmonic in January 2009.

Chamber music is one of Matthew’s passions. He has performed at the Music at Plush, Zagreb and Winchester festivals. He is also a regular guest at the International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove. Matthew has performed with Imogen Cooper, Radovan Vlatkovic, Mark Padmore and the Kuss Quartet and as part of 2010’s Prussia Cove Tour played the Rossini Duo at the Wigmore Hall with cellist, Phillip Higham.

Matthew has given masterclasses at Yale University, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, in Tokyo and at the Tongyeong Music Festival in South Korea. He has tutored the bass sections of the European Union Youth Orchestra, The Britten Pears Orchestra and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie (German Youth Orchestra) and was a jury member of the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb.

 

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