10 String guitarist Matthew Fagan has a reputation of being Australia’s leading all round acoustic guitarist and has developed unique and versatile performances surprising audiences with his modern interpretations of original arrangements, original compositions and virtuosity on guitar.
Matthew has toured and performed with an extraordinary array of international dignitaries and celebrities including – Natalie Cole, The Original Buena Vista Social Club, Billy Connolly, Shirley Bassey and Michael Crawford. The tour with Billy Connolly was so successful that Billy made a gift of his own Banjo to Matthew as a token of his gratitude and was quoted saying
“Matthew is the best artist I have toured with.”
As a touring musician, Matthew has followed in the footsteps of his musical ancestors, especially his great uncle Cecil Parkes Australia’s child prodigy in the 1920’s personally chosen by International star soprano Dame Nellie Melba as her star attraction on patriotic Australasian tours and who also supported his tour to the USA and Canada in 1916 at the age of 13.
Matthew performs regularly in Major Concert Venues nationally and internationally and has performed in more than 120 countries worldwide as a soloist, with orchestra and bands including extensive touring across Europe, South America, Alaska, Canada, China, Japan and South East Asia. In 2016 & 2018 he has SOLD out shows at the Edinburgh and Adelaide Fringe festivals with standing ovations in response to his show Lord of the Strings! and Lord of the Strings performs the 20 Greatest Guitar Solos of all time.
International solo performance highlights include the Royal Festival Hall, London, Jazz clubs in Brighton, England, New York and New Orleans England and at Major international Festivals such as the Bath Guitar Festival and Winfield Festival in Kansas, U.S.A in where he placed as a finalist in the international Fingerstyle Guitar competition 2009-2011. Matthew performed for his holiness the Dalai Lama at the parliament of World Religions in 2011.
Highlight National performances include major concert arenas in Australia: Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne Concert Hall, National Gallery of Australia, Sydney Opera House and Adelaide Festival Centre. Ten years consecutive performances at the Melbourne International Festival, Adelaide Guitar Festival, Melbourne Guitar Show, Port Fairy and National Folk Festivals. Matthew’s Espana El Vito the Spirit of Spain concert with pianist Nicholas Young SOLD OUT at the Sydney Opera House, in Canberra and at Venues along the East Coast in 2018 & 2019.
Matthew produced successful concerts at Deakin Edge Federation Square called Star Show – A Rock and Classical Journey Across the Universe, in June and Earth Show in November 2019 with Spanish Guitar and Dance Events during the day. The Star and Earth Show’s had visual projection of images and video during the concert to live music.
Matthew’s music education has been at the Victorian College of the Arts (Performance -Classical and improvisation), Monash University (Ethnomusicology, Composition Education) and a Masters PHD of Cultural Development at the University of Melbourne. Matthew has studied and or performed with masters John Williams, Paco Pena, Leo Kottke, Martin Taylor, Joe Pass and Tommy Emmanuel amongst others.
The Celtic Suite was Matthew’s first composition for orchestra and was performed at the Melbourne Town Hall, The National Gallery of Victoria, Government House Victoria, Bailleau Myer Residence and St John’s Southgate by the Orana Chamber Orchestra (and features on his 2nd album Indigo Moon). In 2000 Matthew was a recipient of a Victoria Arts Council Grant for “The New Celtic Suite” which led to a further 12 commissions to compose for orchestra.
Matthew has been the recipient of over 30 grants as composer and Musical Director of the Voyages Project which had its inception at the Shepparton Festival with the Goulburn Valley Orchestra in 2004 and in 8 other regional areas with funding from Vic Health, The Victorian Government and Victoria Arts Council. From the success of this project, Matthew was commissioned by the Victorian Government and Pan Events for the Voyages World Music Orchestra at Federation Square Australia Day from 2004-2010 to audiences of over 20,000 people.
**** “The genius behind the guitar does things you can barely believe… [He] takes you on a journey with his multitude of guitars, and absolute mastery of his craft.”
“Matthew is the best guest artist I have ever toured with “
‘Matthew has a Latin Soul and we love his playing so much that we want to take him back home to Cuba’.
Ibrahim Ferrer- The Original Buena Vista Social Club
Internationally acclaimed performer Matthew Fagan is one of our most engaging, versatile, fluent and imaginative musicians. He’s a genre-hopping, finger-popping, multi-instrumentalist sensation.
Greg Phillips, Editor, Australian Musician
“The expressions eclectic and brilliant are bandied about a lot in music these days but few players have the diverse musical skills, influences and broad vision [as] musician Matthew Fagan. He has stunning skills on the classical nylon string guitar but more unusually is equally at home on steel strings, resonators and even 12 string and banjo.”
Nick Charles, Rhythms Magazine
‘I felt mesmerized and drawn into his ultimate world of guitar as if I was playing along with him. His love for the audience is as great as his love for the guitar. Matthew performs with charisma and a gentle humour that people love. He is affectionate with the audience and wins them over with his unaffected charm. He’s a natural.’
Zelda Cawthorne – Freelance Journalist
“We loved not only your music but your stories too….As soon as we got home, my husband fished out his old guitar and started strumming, you inspired him.”
🙂 Eva Vella
“Sensational. Great personality-rapport with audience. Excellent range of music and instruments.”
It was great! A wide variety of musical genres, excellent dad jokes and you played Cavatina for me! A first class show. I would/and will recommend it to all I see.
“Captivating. The range and possibilities were unlimited. That’s what I call guitar playing. It really talked. Thankyou.
ABC TV “A Moody Christmas”
In Early December 2012, Matthew’s virtuosic hit rendition of “Tocatta” aired on the pinnacle climax of season 1 or ABCTV1 Television Production “A Moody Christmas”. Matthew’s hands featured in the performance. See Matthew performing Tocatta live on Youtube
Channel 7 Network “Winners and Losers”
In July 2012 Matthew Fagan appeared on Channel 7’s Network of episode one of Season two 2012 of “Winners and Losers”. Matthew performed part of his original Flamenco Composition Arabesque from the CD “Voyages and Journeys”
“El Vito” – Released on Vinyl and CD
“Virtuoso 2- A Homage to my Ancestors”
“Virtuoso- A Homage to my Ancestors”
“One Day in Nashville
“Voyages and Journeys”
“Point of Departure”