Matthew McAllister


I don't play guitar duo often but when I do it is with my former teacher Allan Neave. We are giving a concert in West Kilbride Village Hall for the Music Society on Friday April 15th.

Allan Neave & Matthew McAllister 7.30pm
West Kilbride KA23 9EN
Price: £10.


On March 22nd I returned to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam kicking off my Dutch Tour with a live radio broadcast on the Spiegelzaal Show for Radio 4 presented by Hans van den Boom.

This was my second time on the Spiegelzaal Radio Show having appeared in 2009 performing works by J.S.Bach and Leo Brouwer, this visit featured works from the South American canon for the guitar and the composers Agustin Barrios and Antonio Lauro alongside some Scottish and Irish transcriptions from Harp and Lute.

Also performing on the programme were Trio Escapada and the young pianist Nikola Meeuwsen, the programme is a mix of live performance and interview, you can hear Hans and I discuss my tour in Holland and my return to the 'Mecca of Guitar' the Gitaarsalon in Enkhuizen!
Listen here!

In March I was invited to perform for the second time at the Passauer Saiten Festival in the City of Passau in the south of Germany. Back in 2010 I had performed a solo concert in the festival and given some master-classes but this year the opportunity arose to bring some friends along and put on a chamber music recital of Celtic Music featuring the music of Scottish Composer, Eddie McGuire.
 The concert included solo, duo, trio and quartet performances all centered around the festival's Celtic theme. Scottish, Irish and Welsh repertoire each performed by musicians of those nationalities was an added feature of the repertoire. I was joined onstage by Welsh Harpist Sharron Griffiths, Scottish Tenor Jamie MacDougall and Irish Flaustist Aisling Agnew.

My first concert of 2015 took place in London at St Martin in the Fields on the 2nd January at 1pm in their prestigious Lunchtime Concert Series.

The concert was presented by the Iberian & Latin American Music Society who host a series of concerts throughout the year at St Martin in the Fields.

My programme featured music from Venezuela, Paraguay and

In November I was performing, teaching and working on the Competition Jury at the Acerra Guitar Festival in Italy.

Acerra is a small town located close to Napoli and in the centre of the town stands Baronial Castle where this annual Guitar Festival is held.

The festival is run by Eugenio Silva an Italian Guitarist and Director who works hard to provide an excellent Competition and 

At the beginning of September I spent just over a week on tour in Venezuela giving concerts and teaching in Coro, Maracay, Carayaca and Caracas. I was really struck by the friendly nature of the Venezuelan people and the large concert audiences. The country seems alive with music and I was able to experience some great Quatro playing and traditional music whilst I was there.

Here are a selection of photos from the tour.


I recently returned from the Cochabamba Guitar Festival in Bolivia where I opened the festival by opening the concert series with a programme dedicated to the music of Scotland & Ireland. During the festival I was part of the jury for the international competition and gave masterclasses and teaching to students on the course and at a local music school. Playing at high altitude was an interesting challenge, although I had experienced it before in Peru it was quite different in Bolivia, drinking plenty Coca tea helped!

I am delighted to be giving my next Solo Recital at the Pittenweem Arts Festival in the East Neuk of Fife. I grew up in the East Neuk and my family home is in Colinsburgh just a few miles up the road from Pittenweem. 

This little corner of Fife is a beautiful part of the world and

I recently visited Iceland to give a concert and teach at The Midnight Sun Guitar Festival. It was a great festival run by Vanur Vilbergsson and Ögmundur Þór Jóhannesson, both directors gave concerts during the festival alongside teaching and we were all joined by German guitarist Samuel Klemke to make up a really interesting team of teachers and performers.

Midnight Sun Guitar Festival is a very young festival but I am sure it will grow into great things in future years. I knew of the beauty of Iceland from television programmes and magazine photographs so I took my camera along to hopefully get some good shots. Here is a collection of photos from my time in Iceland.

Here is a new arrangement of the beautiful song 'Ae Fond Kiss' performed by the Bardic Trio made up of Jamie MacDougall (Tenor), Sharron Griffiths (Harp) and myself on guitar.

Scottish composer Eddie McGuire created this beautiful setting of the famous Robert Burns song Ae Fond Kiss for us late last autumn and we have finally found the time to commit it to this film.

Burns had a platonic relationship with Agnes Maclehose and they wrote to each other using the names 'Clarinda' and 'Sylvander'. Burns wrote 'Ae fond kiss' after their final meeting and sent it to Agnes on 27 December 1791 before she left Scotland for Jamaica to be with her estranged husband.

I hope you enjoy this lovely new setting on this beautiful old song.

Last week I had the pleasure of giving my debut concert in Poland. My first concert took place in Czestochowa where I also gave a class at the University, a beautiful new building with great facilities.

After that I travelled to Katowice and was teaching at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in an Erasmus exchange with the Polish Guitarist Marcin Dylla. The Royal Conservatoire here in Scotland has a good relationship with the Szymanowski Academy in Poland especially between the Guitar & Harp departments. I taught many students during the exchange, all the lessons were open to other students to attend in an open master-class style setting. I was very impressed by the overall level of preparation and talent on show at the Academy and the students had a great approach to learning and practice.

This exchange of teaching ideas and styles between Marcin and I opened with me giving a concert and closed with the local Professor Marcin Dylla also in concert. This was a nice way to present what was an intensive few days with the students in Katowice. Last November Marcin joined the staff and students here in Glasgow performing and teaching for the Big Guitar Weekend.

For a full collection of photos Click Here.

Here are a collection of photographs from my time last week at the Gomel International Guitar Festival in Belarus. 'The Renaissance of the Guitar" is a great festival directed by Igor Shoshyn with a focus on Guitar Orchestra and a competition for ensembles alongside soloists. I had a great time at the festival meeting new and old friends and spending sometime in Minsk as well as in Gomel.

For a full collection of photos Click Here.

Here are a collection of photographs from my time at the Sarajevo International Guitar Festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was a wonderful few days of teaching, performing and socialising with new and old friends alike.

A huge thank you 
to Festival Director Dani Sehu who does a fantastic job organising and running the festival, also to all the students and audience members who help make the festival have such a positive atmosphere. These photos are a collection of my own, mixed in with a few from the Dutch Guitar Maker Otto Vowinkel and the amazing photographer Vanja Čerimagić.

For a full collection of photos Click Here

Always by Your Side by Ralph Towner performed during the last Lake Recording Session.

Very nice day today! My student Zak got his first proper instrument a beautiful oil finish guitar from the Scottish Luthier Michael Ritchie.
Zak will begin his undergraduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in September studying both Clarinet and Guitar. 

Zak is in his final year at the Junior Royal Conservatoire at the moment and achieved Grade 8 with Distinction in Guitar last summer. It was a difficult choice for him to choose between guitar and clarinet as he was offered places on both instruments at various Colleges and Conservatoires across the UK. Luckily here in Scotland he will get the opportunity to study both at a high level with Clarinet winning out as his principal study.

I remember the day I got my first really great guitar........

Good luck Zak!

The Agnew McAllister Duo play their arrangement of Johann Sebastian Bach's 'Andante' from Sonata BWV 1034.

Aisling Agnew - Flute
Matthew McAllister - Guitar

During my concert in France last month the photographer Carles Lopez Torras took some shots, here are the fantastic results.

The Agnew McAllister Duo perform 'Sivi Grivi' by Alan Thomas live during the Lake Recording Session in the Port of Menteith Church.

My next concert is in Sarajevo at the International Guitar Festival. It runs from 11th to 14th April and my concert takes place on the 13th at 8pm. I will also give a master class and help adjudicate the Guitar Competition which runs during the festival. It is an honour to be returning to Sarajevo and to perform again in such a beautiful hall for the second time. Please share this news and the striking poster for the festival.

I am making a guest performance during the Scottish CND Spring Walk for Peace. The walk sets off from the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on April 1st and arrives at Faslane Nuclear Naval Base on April 7th. On Friday April 4th the walkers will have arrived in Glasgow and will be enjoying an evening of music and theatre in Turnbull Hall, Southpark Terrace,Hillhead, Glasgow. (There is a typo on flyers, the date is Friday 4th April).

I am a supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and would like to live in a world free from these weapons of mass destruction

Some photos from my recent trip to Perpignan in the south of France to play in the 'Cycle Guitares du Monde at the University of Perpignan. The public were great for this concert and a big thank you to the Director Juan Fransico Ortiz for showing me around and presenting such a nice concert series.

I just received some footage from a concert I gave in the Czech Republic last year at the International Guitar Festival of BRNO. 

The concert took place in a beautiful concert hall in the city of Brno, the music is the first two movements of Suite No.2 by Leo Brouwer.

Here is another installment from the Lake Recordings. This time playing on a guitar literally brand new for 2014. The recording was made in the beautiful church on the banks of Lake of Menteith.

"Thanks to Matthew for playing so beautifully on an instrument that was very new at the time of recording, both to him and to the world. As ever he has, I hope you'll agree, played beautifully, I love the rich texture the tone of this guitar has. For more information or to arrange a trial of this guitar, drop me a line"
Michael Ritchie or visit

My next solo concert is in Perpignan, France on Tuesday February 11th at 8.30pm in Université de Perpignan Via Domitia 
The programme will include music by Brouwer, Bach, Albeniz, Mertz, Couperin and early Scottish repertoire.

My arrangement of Four Scottish Lute Pieces has just been released as a downloadable PDF.

It features four beautiful pieces from the Scottish Lute Manuscripts that have been an audience highlight from my concerts over the past few years.

I have received many requests for my transcription to be made public of and through a wonderful collaboration with Andrew Taylor I am delighted to release this arrangement.

Follow the link bellow to purchase the scores which will be sent via email direct to your inbox as a PDF file. I will of course offer guidance via email for students and enthusiasts who are interested in working on these new arrangements.


Just before Christmas I spent a day with Video and Recording engineer Stuart Macinnes and Luthier Michael Ritchie continuing our Lake Recordings Project in the lovely old church situated on the banks of the Lake of Mentieth here in Scotland. 

Footage from that session is available now and the first video up is my performance of this beautiful piece ‘An Malvina’ by the Hungarian composer Johann Kaspar Mertz.

One of my favourite tunes is the Mysterious Barricades by François Couperin. Here is a recording of the work during the Lake of Mentieth recording sessions in December 2013. The guitar is by Michael Ritchie and the strings are D'Addario low tension.

Mallorca by Albeniz at the famous Castle of Doom Studios.

Here is the official film of my arrangement of four Scottish Lute Pieces in the beautiful setting of Port of Menteith Church by the Lake of Menteith in Scotland. The guitar is made by the Scottish Luthier Michael Ritchie. The film was made by Stuart Macinnes.

Some Bach from a recording made in the stairwell of an old church in Menteith, Scotland.

"In March I booked the Castle Of Doom Studio with producer Tony Doogan to record three guitars. First up with his 2010 Spruce top was Matthew McAllister, then Anne Chaurand with her 2003 Cedar top and last but not least Emma Smith with her 2008 Spruce top. Video was filmed and edited by Stuart McInnes. It was an interesting project and a real thrill to spend time with the guitars and the guitarist, I hope you enjoy them.
Matthew's guitar was constructed in 2010 using European Spruce and Indian Rosewood."
Luthier Michael Ritchie

A short film weaving cocnert footage with an interview about why the Cathedral of the Isles is such a special place to make music.

I am having a look through old bits and pieces of film from previous concerts and projects and I came across this nice performance of two Scottish Lute Pieces in Bill Kelday and Michael Ritchie’s workshop in Fintry Scotland.

The first tune is ‘Untitled’ from the Rowallan Manuscript and the second is ‘Blew Ribben’ from the Wemyss Manuscript. They are gorgeous little tunes and sound great on this Michael Ritchie guitar. 

We left the door to the workshop open so you can hear the birds singing along!

Ever wondered how the Rosette is made and fitted into a guitar? I found out in this second instalment of short films I am making on guitar building featuring Scottish Luthier Michael Ritchie.

These films are all shot each in a single fairly short visit to Michael’s workshop. He works away in front of me, I ask some questions and explains the various techniques and approaches as he works. The style of filming is deliberately close in and hand held so as to capture the intricacies of the craft and atmosphere of the workshop.

A new Classical Guitar Summer School has been launched at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This course is a one week immersion in the study of classical guitar focusing on technical and musical development. It is a great opportunity to study with me and some of the other guitar teachers at the Conservatoire.

Throughout this short course, students will develop skills aiding them in further study, audition preparation, competition entry and practice planning. 

Students will have the opportunity to experience the life of a full time music student whilst working with our renowned Conservatoire teaching staff.

15th - 19th July 2013.

For more details contact the RCS Tel: 0141 332 4101

The Gitaarsalon in Enkhuizen Holland just uploaded a video of my performance of David Kellner’s Fantasia on my Ten String Guitar made by Scottish Luthier Colin Morison.

Silent Night ~ Merry Christmas!

Instead of a Christmas Card I have made a little video to help spread the festive spirit and wish you all the best for the holidays.

Thank you for all your support this year I appreciate it very much.

See you in 2013!

I am collaborating with Scottish Luthier Michael Ritchie on a series of videos focusing on various aspects of guitar building.

In the first episode you can see Michael joining a top in the traditional fashion using hot hide glue and fire!

Here are a few photos from the Big Guitar Weekend and the Classics Unwrapped Concert hosted by BBC Radio Scotland with presenter and Tenor Jamie MacDougall. 

The show will be broadcast for the first time tonight (Tuesday 6th November) at 20:05 here is the link to the programme. 

You can listen live on radio both MW and FM, on-line and catch up on BBC iPlayer Radio! 

Here is my encore Always by your side by Ralph Towner live at the Cathedral of the Isles on the Island of Cumbrae in September 2012.

A group of very talented art students attended my concert with flautist Aisling Agnew  at the Stadtmusuem of Siegburg last Saturday night. Here are some of the drawings they made inspired by our playing. We would like to say a big thank you to Charlotte, Ben, Florian & Martin for their lovely gifts of these drawings and wish them the best in their studies.

Here is a performance of ‘Andantino’ live in Siegburg, Germany. 

'Andantino' is the final movement of Leo Brouwer's Suite No.2 which is featured on my latest solo album 'Bach & Brouwer'.

You can see all three movement of the suites in live performance across three different countries at the link below.

Complete Suite Holland / Peru / Germany. 

Some photos from the Agnew McAllister Summer Tour which featured performances at the 40th National Flute Association of America Convention in Las Vegas, the 21st Iserlohn Guitar Symposium in Germany and the 8th International British Flute Society Convention in England alongside many other stops along the way.

For more photos see Facebook:

Agnew McAllister on Facebook

Matthew McAllister on Facebook

Aisling and I dropped in at the Guitar Salon International showroom to play some guitars and shoot some videos. Here we are playing a suite made up of 3 pieces by the French composer Sébastien Vachez -'Krynica', 'Un ange' and 'La ballade d'Irina'. I am playing a 1968 Ignacio Fleta classical guitar. 

Whilst I was on tour in the US in August I dropped by GSI Los Angeles and tried out some lovely guitars. Here is a Bach Sarabande on a 2007 Henner Hagenlocher which had a lovely clear crisp sound and I think suited baroque repertoire very well.

Here is another video from my visit to GSI Los Angeles during my recent tour in the US. This video is some beautiful music by Antonio Lauro played on a 1974 David Rubio ‘PF’. I really enjoyed this instrument which had a great balanced sound with a rich bass and warm trebles.

For more videos from the session and to read the GSI blog about the visit follow the link below.

Recently the weather here in Scotland has been gorgeous and last Sunday Aisling Agnew, David Kinnear (from DK Guitars) and I all had the perfect day out visiting the Luthiers of Fintry in their beautiful workshops at Nether Glinns Farm. 

Some nice photographs from my performance of the Vivaldi Lute Concerto in D Major with the St Andrews Chamber Orchestra in March this year. Thanks to all the great students for playing so well and having fun with the piece! Also a big thank you to Tom Wilkinson for directing so beautifully from the Harpsichord and to Feargus Hetherington for all his work in the rehearsals and on the concert.

I spent a wonderful two days giving masterclasses and technical classes with guitarists in Catania, Sicily. There were some excellent performances of repertoire by Narvaez, Brouwer, Bach, Paganini and Dowland. Thanks to all the students who took part and to Massimo and Douglas for there hard work in arranging the course. I hope to be back in Sicily soon and to hear the improvements from the students.

Here are a handful of photographs from performance at the XXIII Fesitval Internacional de Guitarra in Lima, Peru, in March of this year.

This was my third invitation to perform in Peru and the capital Lima has lost nothing of it’s energy and buzz! This was a trip of meeting old friends from previous concerts and enjoying the performances and company of many of the other guitarists who also attended and performed at the festival.

Here are a selection of photographs from my recent trip with flautist Aisling Agnew to the Winter Festival in Sarajevo. Aisling and I gave a concert in the stunning Dom Armije in the centre of Sarajevo, we also conducted masterclasses at the Music Conservatoire and local secondary school.

The feeling of warmth we received from the audience during our concert and the talent and eagerness to learn shown by the students during our classes and workshop was humbling. 

We had a lovely time in the city of Sarajevo, the snow was lying a metre deep in some places but the spring weather had truly begun and the light for photographs was incredible.

Here are a selection of photographs from my recent concert tour in Mexico with Scottish Tenor Jamie MacDougall and Mexican Harpist Angel Padilla.

Together we presented a programme of repertoire including works by Britten, de Falla, Marquez, Ponce, Kennedy Faser, and Burns giving concerts in Mexico City, Alamos, Puerta Vallarta and San Miguel.

Photographs from the Bert Kwakkel Jubilee Concert including live concert shots, the review from the evening and some candid shots throughout the wonderful day.

Here is a wonderful video from the Bert Kwakkel Jubilee Concert. This was a gathering of guitarists, luthiers, fans, friends and supporters of Bert who is now in his 40th year of building.

Each guitarist performed on his 500th Diamond Jubilee Guitar, a beautiful instrument representing the history and development of his excellent making through the years.

Some photographs from my rehearsal and performance of the Concierto de Aranjuez byRodrigo with the St Andrews Chamber Orchestra and conductor Michael Downes.

This concert was postponed from late November 2010 when the snowfall in Scotland was so severe that the Orchestra were unable to travel through from St Andrews to Helensburgh to play.


Also performing at a recent Guitar Festival I performed was the French guitarist and composer Roland Dyens. It was fascinating to meet Roland to hear his beautiful concert. In the very near future Aisling and I will be looking at a sonata he has very recently written for flute and guitar.  

"Unusual for early October, the weather was very hot with daytime temperatures well into the mid 20s and very warm nights. On such an evening many turned out to see the first concert of the season given by Matthew McAllister. We have had performers from all over the world come to play for the club, but this is probably the first time we have a Scot come to play. Matthew travelled down from Glasgow to play for us.

Matthew’s easy going and friendly manner really brought the audience into his music. The first half of the programme was devoted to Baroque music which ranged from Scottish lute music to J.S Bach (a cello suite) and included some Weiss and a lament written by Neil Gow. All of the music was played with great sensitivity and covered a wide dynamic range so that even the guitar whispers of ppp could be heard at the back of the hall. However, conversely, Matthew with his Bert Kwakkel guitar, was capable of producing some very powerful sounds when required.

A Video Blog from Matthew’s performance at the 7th International Guitar Festival of Nendaz, Switzerland. The short film documents the concert given on July 29th by Matthew in the Bleusy Chappelle.

The Agnew McAllister Duo are featured on the cover of the May 2011 edition of Classical Guitar Magazine.

The Agnew McAllister Duo are giving a concert in Dublin on Thursday 7th April. Tickets are €12/8

To book tickets and get more information call 014939462 (inside Ireland) from UK dial 00 353 14939462.

Matthew’s latest solo album Bach & Brouwer has been recently released on Natural Studio Records.

“This recording is a pairing of two works by composers whose styles would appear at first glance to be in sharp contrast. Despite two centuries separating their composition, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite No.1 ( BWV 1007) and Leo Brouwer’s Suite No.2 share distinct similarities.” Matthew McAllister

Watch a short film documenting the making of Bach & Brouwer. The film contains behind the scenes recording footage on location in the Cathedral of the Isles and an interview about the recording process and the concept behind the album.

"The classically-minded listener is in for a real treat with Matthew McAllister’sBach & Brouwer, which cleverly juxtaposes the very well-known J.S. Bach Suite No. 1 with a lesser-known work, Suite No. 2 by Leo Brouwer (b. 1939). The works, though separated by centuries, share interesting similarities in structure and harmony, and seem an absolutely natural pairing.

A short film documenting the Agnew McAllister Duo Malaysia Tour in late 2010.

Saturday 13th March
Solo Recital
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: TBC
Venue: TBC

Sunday 9th May
Solo Recital
Live Radio Broadcast
Time: 10am
Tickets: free

Friday 14th May
Solo Recital
Twents Guitar Festival
Time: 12:30pm
Tickets: 10 Euros
Venue: Concordia Theater
The Netherlands

Wednesday 26th May
Live Music Now!
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: tbc
National Theatre
Abu Dhabi

Matthew McAllister performing Julia Florida by Barrios live at the Gitaar Salon in Enkhuizen.

Matthew McAllister performing the Fantasia by David Kellner, live at the Gitaar Salon in Enkhuizen. The Ten String Guitar is made by Scottish Luthier Colin Morison.

David Kellner (1670 - 1748) was a German composer of the baroque period and a contemporary of Bach.

Matthew will give the opening concert in the new season of The Gelders Gitaristen Podium in The Netherlands.

The concert will take place on Sunday the 21st of November at 11:30am.

The Gelders Gitaristen Podium organises 4 concerts every season, the venue is the beautiful Old Etten Church situated in the village of Etten – Gelderland.

The Old Etten Church has a very special acoustic which suits Classical Guitarperfectly and offers a magical atmosphere for intimate concerts.

Matthew McAllister will be performing a solo recital at the 6th Festival Internazionale Chitarristico which is taking place in CampobpassoItaly from the 26th to the 31st of October.

Matthew’s recital will take place on Thursday 28th October at 8pm in theAuditorium Biblioteca P.Albinovia D’Amato – Campobpasso.

The programme will include suites from Matthew’s latest recording entitledBach & Brouwer released on the Natural Studio Records label alongside music from the Scottish Renaissance and Contemporary Americana by Ralph Towner.

Matthew will also be conducting masterclasses during the festival.

Matthew is joining forces with City Organist Stuart Muir and performing a Lunchtime Recital of music for Guitar & Organ in the Caird HallDundee.

Stuart Muir with Matthew McAllister – Caird Hall – Sept 16th -1pm

Lunchtime concert on the Caird Hall Organ 

Programme to include music by BachAlbinoniVivaldi & Handel.

Concert will last 50 minutes – so you can squeeze them into your lunch hour! 
There is an opportunity to meet the organist & guitarist in the cafe-bar following the concert.

The Agnew McAllister Duo are embarking on a tour in Malaysia later this month. Performances include double Vivaldi Concertos at the Yamaha Festival Hall, Duo Concerts for the Bel Canto Concert Series and The Classical Music Society of Malaysia plus performances for Perak Society of Performing Artsand SL Gift Music Centre.

The Agnew / McAllister Duo will perform at the Museo Nazionale di Taranto in Italy on Saturday 7th August.

Frevo Quartet are performing as part of The Crail Festival Lunchtime Concert Series.

The Quartet will perform on Tuesday the 27th of July at 1pm in The Most Holy Trinity Church, Crail.

The programme will include music from their acclaimed recordings Histoire du Tango & Standing Stones.

Tickets are £6.00

Matthew is endorsing the Dynarette Cushion Support.

The Dynarette is the only so called “footstool eliminator” that cannot damage your guitar.

The Dynarette Support Cushion has been made since 1984.
It is used all over the world by professionals and amateurs for practising and performing.

Visit the website Dynarette Cushion Support to view the cushion and read about it’s history and benefits.

Matthew performed during a live radio broadcast from the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on the morning of Sunday the 9th of May. The performance was be broadcast live on Radio 4nl as part of the programme Spiegelzaal which hosts the live Sunday Morning Concert from the Hall of Mirrors each week.


Passau Festival

Here is a short film from the Passauer Saiten International Guitar Festival in Germany.

The film contains lots of footage from the concert, master-class and my travelling, all the audio is from the concert.

Barockmuseum, Salzburg

Aisling Agnew & Matthew McAllister will perform a recital at theBarockmuseum Salzburg as part of the MIM – MUSIC IN (E)MOTION Concert Series.

The recital will contain two World Premieres alongside a selction of Baroque &Contemporary repertoire.

Barockmuseum Salzburg
(Orangerie des Mirabellgartens)
Mirabellplatz 3 
5020 Salzburg

The concert begins at 6:30pm on Thursday 1st October


Sonata in E minor ~ Johann Sebastain Bach (1685 – 1750)
Adagio ma non tanto ~ Allegro ~ Andante ~ Allegro

Farewell to Stromness ~ Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (b.1934)

Duino II ~ Klaus Ager (b.1946)

Pluck Blow ~ Greg Caffrey (b.1963)


The Uses of Not ~ Greg Caffrey

Old Photo ~ Douglas Whates (b.1981)

Structures (Barbican Complex 2008) ~ Douglas Whates

Histoire du Tango ~ Astor Piazzolla (1921 ~ 1992)
Bordel 1900 ~ Cafe 1930 ~ Nightclub 1960 ~ Concert d’Aujourd’hui

Tuesday 27th January 
Time: 5pm
Tickets: LMN (Invited Audience) 
Venue: National Gallery 

Sunday 15th February 
Agnew / McAllister Duo
Time: 4pm
Tickets: £10
Venue: St Leonard’s Auditorium
St Andrew’s Music Club

Thursday 26th February 
Agnew / McAllister Duo
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: tbc
Venue: Ruthin Music Club


Maelasta – Feargus Hetherington & Matthew McAllister

PART of the enduring fascination with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is the darker, more melancholic side of his nature, which he often soothed by playing the violin.

The violin and guitar duo Maelasta shed some tantalising light on what music Holmes might have listened to, as well as what, and how, he might have played, with violinist Feargus Hetherington performing on the Sherlock Violin.

This had been carved by local violin maker Steve Burnett out of wood from a tree in the garden of the Edinburgh house where Conan Doyle grew up.

The mellow, earthy tones of the instrument were well suited to the quicksilver preludio from JS Bach’s Partita in E major. Apparently, Holmes preferred German music to French and Italian, particularly in his more introspective moments. He was also partial to long discussions with Watson about Paganini over a bottle of claret.

Guitarist Matthew McAllister pointed out that Paganini was also a superb guitarist, and his Cantabile for guitar and violin reveals a tender, less flamboyant side to the virtuoso.

A short film from a recent concert Matthew gave with his Maelasta duo partnerFeargus Hetherington featuring The Sherlock Violin. The film also features an interesting interview with Steve Burnett, the maker of The Sherlock Violin.

The concert took place at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh and featu

Frevo Quartet are giving the Saturday night concert during the Big Guitar Weekend in Glasgow. Come along and listen the quartet performing music from their latest recordings Histoire du Tango & Standing Stones.

Here is a video from a recent concert with the Organist Stuart Muir.

The footage is taken from their first ever concert together, the venue is The Caird HallDundee, where Stuart is the City Organist.

Muir & McAllister

“The only problem I have about a “brunch” is that it always leaves me wanting more of the same. That was exactly my feelings after yesterday’s lunchtime concert in the Caird Hall. Titled “Baroque for Brunch” it was a succession of tasty baroque morsels served up by Stuart Muir and Matthew McAllister, on organ and guitar respectively. Much more of the same would have gone down a treat.

Pluck, Blow II (the return) has been commissioned by RTE Lyric FM for Irish flautist Aisling Agnew and Scottish Classical Guitarist Matthew McAllister. 

The recording is now complete and is posted here by kind permission of RTELyric FM.

Matthew & Aisling also made the world premeire recording of Pluck Blow which is included on their debut album Recital – check the discography page for more details.

In association with Live Music Now! children from Flora Stevenson Primary School in Edinburgh alongside children from primary schools all over the UKtook part in the latest BBC CBeebies series of Sugar Plum Story Timeintroduced by Charlie & Lola.

Listen to the episodes which feature Matthew performing for the children and working with them to form ideas for their imaginative stories.

 to listen to Episode One of Sugar Plum Story Time.

to listen to Episode Two of Sugar Plum Story Time.

Producer – Ben Eshmade Wise Buddah / BBC Radio 7 & CBeebies.

Friday 4th July 
Frevo Quartet
Time: 1:15pm
Tickets: 6 Euro
Venue: Christ Church Cathedral

Friday 4th July 
Frevo Quartet
Time: 8pm
Tickets: free
Venue: Rathfarnham Castle

Matthew is currently on tour for the rest of the summer. The Agnew McAllister Duo will be performing 6 concerts in LimaPeru, and 2 concerts in San Jose inCosta Rica, alongside various TV & Radio interviews and broadcasts.

The duo have been invited by the Centro Cultural Peruano Britanic to perform in the IV Festival de Ensambles Peruano Británico in Lima, Peru. Aisling and Matthew will give the world premeire of Elogio de las sombras by Elder Olaveduring the festival.

Lima, Peru Concerts
Saturday 15th August – Teatro Británico de Miraflores
Monday 17th August - Auditorio de Los Jardines,San Martín de Porres
Tuesday 18th August – Auditorio de San Borja
Wednesday 19th August – Auditorio de Pueblo Libre
Thursday 20th August – Auditorio de Surco,
Thursday 21st August – Auditorio de San Miguel

Thursday 8th May 
Agnew / McAllister Duo
Time: 7:30pm 
Tickets: £8, £4 & £1
Venue: Dundee University Chaplaincy 

Friday 9th May
Agnew / McAllister
Time: 1:15
Tickets: free
Venue: St Bride’s
Fleet Street

Saturday 17th May
Solo Recital
Time: 20:15
Tickets: tbc
Venue: SCC Hofdael 

Matthew drops in on Scottish luthier Colin Morison in his workshop situated in the grounds of Pitmuies Mill FarmFriockheim by Arbroath in Scotland.

Colin built Matthew’s first ever handmade classical guitar just in time for him embarking on his course at the Royal Scottish Academy.

Frevo Quartet’s recent album Histoire du Tango is reviewed in Classical Guitar Magazine.

The debut performance of the Kelvin Trio was the subject of much excitement and enthusiasm at St Paul’s Cathedral on the 19th of May. The trio performed sonatas by Bach, Telemann & Vivaldi in the popular lunchtime concert series.

Maelasta perform music by Filippo Gragnani (1767-1820) and Paganini (1782-1840), inspired by the Turner & Italy exhibition taking place in the Royal Scottish Academy Building in the National Galleries complex on the Mound –Edinburgh.

This major exhibition explores the enduring relationship between JMW Turner and Italy. Highlights include the artist’s great Rome from the Vatican of 1819, and his 1844 Approach to Venice.

This is the only UK showing of this blockbuster exhibition.

Thursday 31st May

Venue: National Gallery Edinburgh
Time: 6:30
Tickets: free admission
Concert details: Matthew & Feargus return to the Scotland’s National Gallery to give an early evening performance of music from Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Scotland and France.

National Museum, Paxton House & Milngavie Music Club

Sunday 30th March 

Time: 11am 
Tickets: free
Venue: National Museum 

Sunday 30th March
Time: 6:20pm
Tickets: tbc
Venue: Hayloft Gallery
Paxton House

Saturday 5th April
Agnew / McAllister Duo
Time: 12noon 
Tickets: free 
Venue: St Mary’s Church

Saturday 19th Apr

The members of the Forfar Arts Guild were treated to a wonderful recital on Thursday 24th January, given by the cellist Robert Irvine and the guitarist Matthew McAllister.

The Meffan Hall, liberally decorated by many portraits and other pictures, was an admirable place for such an event, much appreciated by the large number of members who attended.

It was very thoughtful of Robert to give an introdution before each piece played; some pieces were fairly familar, such as the “Valse Sentimental” by Tchaikovsky or the “Swan” by Saint-Saens, but some, I reckon, were totally unknown to most. How many knew of composers called “Zenamon” or “Domeniconi”, for instance? Robert did mention that some of these lesser-known works were obscure in the extreme, and not at all easy to follow, but nevertheless they were well worth listening to. And they were!

Throughout the whole recital, both Robert and Matthew displayed not only very high levels of musicianship, but quite excellent togetherness; they clearly relished playing. But as well as playing together, they gave three “solos” – Robert played part of one of the very well-known solo cello suites by Bach, and Matt played various guitar pieces, one in particular known to be a favourite piece of Segovia’s.

Friday 10th October 
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: tbc
Venue: Auchtertool Kirk 

Saturday 11th October 
Frevo Quartet
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: tbc
Venue: Flowerfield Arts Centre 
Northern Ireland

Friday 17th October 
Frevo Quartet
Time: 7:30pm
Tickets: tbc
Venue: Muckross House 

Read the Classical Guitar Magazine review of the Agnew McAllister Duo’s concert in the Ilkley Manor House.

Frevo Quartet are on the verge of releasing their latest volume from their series of themed EP’s. Standing Stones features stunning arrangements of traditional music from Scotland & Ireland.

The Agnew / McAllister Duo is delighted to have been featured on the latest release from RTÉ lyric fmHiccup.

The Duo’s 2007 recording of Greg Caffrey’s Pluck blow II (The Return) was one of the works chosen by RTÉ to feature on this latest release!

RTÉ lyric fm has commissioned over sixty five works from more than fifty composers since 2002.

These include songs, solo works, chamber music, orchestral compositions with narrator, electroacoustic pieces and improvisatory works. The musical styles range from quite tonal pieces in classical, world and jazz styles to the most challenging of contemporary music.

Hiccup includes works by

Oregon Public Broadcasting play Merula by Matthew McAllister.

The Frog Galliard and Mr Dowland’s Midnight from album Merula were played on OPB Radio’s Eclecticity show with David Christensen.

Frevo Quartet's first release features their own arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango.

Watch the trailer now!

In this, the first in a series of themed EPs, Frevo Quartet present their stunning new arrangement of Astor Piazzolla’s Histoire du Tango

Recorded live in concert, this dynamic performance exudes the vivacity and excitement of tango music.

Matthew’s recent solo performance in the lunchtime concert series at St Bride’s of Fleet Street London has been reviewed in the August 2008 edition of Classical Guitar Magazine.

Recital is a CD where two musicians, Matthew McAllister (guitar) and Aisling Agnew (flute) play a very wide variety of music, from Bach (his sonata BWV1034) to very modern works by Dave Heath, Greg Caffrey and David Fennessy – with plenty of works in between! I found the whole CD quite enthralling, wonderful individual musicianship and yet quite obvious “togetherness”. It was simply amazing how much just these two instruments could achieve, and how much they could put over to the listener. To say it is worth listening to is putting it very mildly! Whether it is the variety of flute-playing demonstrated, or the continuo of the guitar (in the Bach sonata particularly), every note is well worth repeated playing!

I had never heard some of the modern works, but their impact is tremendous, whether it is the power of “Pluck, Blow” (Greg Caffrey) or the mystery of “Continuity Error “ (David Fennessy), and one can easily listen to “Gentle Dreams” (Dave Heath) again and again. These three form the middle par

Saturday 12th May

The Agnew & McAllister Duo 
Venue: Strathgarry Concert Hall
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: Adults – £15 – children & students £7.30
Optional dinner after – £23 inc. wine
Concert details: The duo perform as part of The Tunnell Trust’s Strathgarry Showcase, music by Bach, Shostakovich, Arrieu & Elgar.

Sunday 13th May
The Agnew & McAllister Duo
Venue: Strathgarry Concert Hall
Time: 11.30am 
Tickets: Adults – £15 – children & students £7.50
Optional Buffet Lunch – £10
Concert details: The duo perform as part of The Tunnell Trust’s Strathgarry Showcase, music by Piazzolla, Brahms, Mozart, Poulenc & Haydn.

Matthew and Maelasta duo partner Feargus Hetherington visited Henshaws Society for Blind People, working for the prestigious organisation Live Music Now! they gave workshops and concerts for the residents.

…McAllister’s considerable charisma and comfortable stage presence filtered through to his witty, yet tender and considered playing throughout…

Belfast Telegraph

“The Solos to Septets series of lunchtime concerts continues, presenting some fine musicians from the region, as well as performers from other parts of the UK.

Concerts are informal and informative, with the artists introducing the music to the audience.”

Monday 22nd January 2007
The Reid Hall – Edinburgh – Scotland 
Time: 11am 
Tickets: free admission 
Concert details: Maelasta give a mini concert and performance seminar for BMus 1st & 2nd year students at Edinburgh University

Thursday 25th January 2007
Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh –Scotland 
Time: 6pm 
Tickets: Free admission 
Concert details: Agnew / McAllister duo perform in the ‘After Hours’ concert series in the gallery

Saturday 27th January 2007
The Crescent Arts Centre – Belfast 
Time: 7.30pm 
Tickets: £8 / £5 
Concert details: Agnew / McAllister duo perform at The Crescent Arts Centre

Monday 29th January 2007
St Michaels Church – Edinburgh – Scotland 
Time: 2pm 
Tickets: free admission 
Concert details: Maelasta give an afternoon concert for Live Music Now!


Earlier this year Matthew was invited to perform and teach at The Metu International Guitar Festival in Ankara – Turkey.

The festival ran over 8 days at the end of March and featured concerts by M.Safa Yeprem, Mehmet Özkanoğlu, Ricardo Moyano and Matthew.

I have started to collate video footage from concerts, tours, recording sessions and home recordings. The various videos are being uploaded to a new channel on the video sharing website YouTube.

I hope you enjoy the videos, there is much in the way of live performance but also an insight into the life and preparation of musicians for concerts and tours.

In October Matthew joined his flute and guitar duo partner Aisling Agnew as they embarked on a series of concerts and masterclasses in America.

The tour included performances

Check out the latest tour video which features live concert footagetv performancesradio shows and a tour diary from Matthew’s recent tour in South America.


During August of 2008 Matthew embarked on a month long tour of South America performing in ArequipaTacnaMollendoIloIquiqueCamana and Aplao.

Works 300 years old and 3 years young: A musical partnership of gentle contours.”

Click here to read Tobias Fischer’s review of The Agnew & McAllister duo’s album Recital.

In other news The Agnew & McAllister Flute and Guitar Duo have been invited by the Tunnell Trust to take part in an eight-day residency in Strathgarry, Perthshire.

Matthew has been featured in the April 2007 edition of Classical Guitar Magazine. 

Although the focus for most on Saturday would have been Six Nations rugby union, St Pauls’ Cathedral, Dundee, had its own Five Nations but of a musical not a sporting theme. Music from composers from Argentina, Germany, Brazil, France and Spain were on show, courtesy of Matthew McAllister ( guitar) and Aisling Agnew ( flute). In this, Matthew’s role was more of a supportive accompanist, leaving the limelight to Aisling. This she took full advantage of with a perfect display of phrasing, tone and control. 

Tobias Fischer at recently conducted an interview with me, 

Click here to read ’15 questions to Matthew McAllister’.

This article is a collection of news stories and features from late last year rounding off some of the concerts and events that took place after my trip to Malaysia.

2006 ended with more international concerts for Matthew with ‘Maelasta’ giving a recital in The Academy of Music and Communication in Esbjerg – Denmark. Feargus and Matthew were performing for and coaching students interested in the Live Music Now! scheme which is setting up a base in Esbjerg at the conservatoire.

Matthew was this years ‘artist in residence’ at 8th Classical Guitar Society of Malaysia’s annual camp. The event is held in the atmospheric setting of Fraser’s Hill which rises 1,500 meters above sea-level on the Titiwangsa mountain range of Peninsular Malaysia.

Matthew has been invited to give masterclasses, individual lessons and an evening recital at The Guitar Society of Malaysia’s annual Guitar Camp.

I was recently invited to give masterclasses and concerts during the 4th Ordu international guitar festival 2006. The festival is held in Ordu a beautiful city situated in the Black Sea region of Turkey. This was a young festival which has captured the imagination of the people of Ordu, artists played to packed theatres and encores were always demanded by the enthusiasm of the audiences!

The teaching side of the festival was still in it’s infancy during my visit, but there were some very talented local guitarist and others from Ankara and Istanbul. Already within the plans for the 2007 festival, tuition and masterclasses have been allotted much more time and importance.

Ordu was a fantastic place in which to perform and the people of the city and those involved with the festival were incredibly welcoming and friendly.

This year Matthew and Irish Flautist Aisling Agnew made a welcome return to Ireland for their 2006 Heritage Week tour.

This years tour included music from their recently released album Recital and features a wide range of virtuosic and beautiful music from around the globe.

The duo gave 8 concerts, performing twice in Ireland’s capital city, Dublin and giving recitals in many of Ireland’s atmospheric castles and heritage sites.

Summer seems to be lingering on, and if anyone has a special reason for wanting it to continue for a few more weeks it’s Dundee University music co-ordinator Graeme Stevenson. Last night in the Chaplaincy Centre saw the first in his four-part series of Music For A Summer Evening. Graeme might be on to a winner here, because the audience was significantly bigger than the usual mid-week concerts he organises. The choice of performer might have something to do with this because guitarist Matthew McAllister is well-known to Chaplaincy audiences. Apart from some quality playing, he has a nice laid-back style of presentation which did much to make the evening an extremely enjoyable one. 

Matthew has just released a new album on the naturalstudio label.

The album entitled Recital is a collaboration with Irish flautist Aisling Agnew and features a wide range of virtuosic and beautiful music from around the globe.

… a sought after performer and skilled exponent of the guitar [with] a fine sense of style, a wealth of tone, an enviable fluency, and a sensitive ear …

Matthew McAllister and Feargus Hetherington (violin) have been performing as a duo for several years. The genesis of this new quartet was borne out of a successful collaboration on their 2005 album, Maelasta, which saw Aisling Agnew (flute) and Douglas Whates (bass) join the duo for Piazzolla’s Libertango and Gismonti’s Agua e Vinho. The sound was addictive and the joy of playing together was such that it proved only a matter of time before the new quartet emerged.

Steven Flanagan presenter of Cereal Sounds on Radio North Angus invites Matthew to perform live on the Thursday morning show.

BBC Nottingham – Live Outside Broadcast – 10th June

Matthew perfomed guitar works by Ralph Towner from his debut album ‘Merula’ live on Dave Marshall’s morning show on Saga 105.2 FM.

Matthew will direct an afternoon masterclass with performances from local students and enthusiasts. All levels welcome, soloists and ensembles.

There will soon come the time where I will once again be asked by some curious music lover what classical guitar CD I recommend they buy in order to introduce themselves to the instrument. When that time arrives, Matthew McAllister will be the name that will spring to mind.

Read Tobias Fischer’s insightful review of Matthew’s 2004 debut solo album Merula.

It has almost become a general consensus that classical and contemporary repertoire need to be treated fundamentally different. “Merula”, however, works exactly because it defies the dogma.

The Maelasta duo formed during the summer of 2003 after a chance meeting between Matthew McAllister – the duo’s guitarist and violinist Feargus Hetherington. The two almost bumped into each other on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall street. Feargus had just returned from the U.S.A after finishing his postgraduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Matthew had just graduated from the R.S.A.M.D.

Technical issues with specific regard to the left and right hands of a classical guitarist.

For those of you who had left messages in my old guestbook, I have archived them here. All the messages people have left over the past few years can still be viewed.

Oct 10, 8:52am, Li Wei. 
Hello, I’m the student who practising guitar in Heriot-Watt.
Thanks for your direction after the concert.

RSS feed