Matthew Toulmin is an enthusiastic advocate for classical music in all of its forms, from the purity of the baroque to the lush chromaticism of early Schoenberg and the demented rhythms of Steve Reich.
Matthew is a life-long singer in choirs. He started at the ripe old age of 6 in Oxford – singing evensong in New College Chapel every evening. He then swapped loyalties to sing in Clare College choir in Cambridge when at university. Since then he has had to balance work as an environmental economist with singing in large-scale symphonic choruses. He had the astonishing luck to be in Birmingham when Simon Rattle was leading the CBSO so sang with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Since moving to Australia in 1995 in search of new adventures he has sung with what was the Melbourne Chorale and now the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus. He can also be found singing with the Melbourne Bach Choir and the Hamer Singers when they are short of second basses!
He has become a night owl now that he has taken on the mantle of presenting Concerto from 10pm to midnight on Tuesday evenings. He builds each program around a number of principles so that each program will include:
• A bit of baroque brightness to start in a good spirit
• Something familiar – a major piece for a standard instrument – something that most listeners will recognise. That provides certainty and comfort
• Something different – either an unusual instrument or a less well known composer. That stretches the audience’s experience and repertoire – not just old war-horses
• Something modern but not scary – a C20th century composer preferably Australian
• Something gorgeous to end with – to send the audience to bed with happy dreams!