B I O G R A P H Y
10 String guitarist Matthew Fagan has a reputation of being a leading all round acoustic guitarist and has developed unique and versatile performances surprising audiences with his modern interpretations of original arrangements, compositions and virtuosity on guitar
Matthew has toured and performed with an extraordinary array of international dignitaries and celebrities- 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.”
Touring with Michael Crawford provided a great opportunity for Matthew to perform as a solo artist to some 60,000 people within 5 days, including the Adelaide Festival Centre and Melbourne Park. Matthew performed to capacity audiences for Billy Connolly at the Melbourne Concert Hall, The Capitol Theatre in Sydney and at the Sydney Opera House. He performed for Shirley Bassey with a full orchestra at the Sydney Entertainment Centre. Matthew has also performed for His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Parliament of World Religions.
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.
A prolific journeyman of the music world, Matthew has entertained audiences in more that 120 countries worldwide as a soloist and with orchestra and bands including extensive touring across Europe, South America, Alaska, Canada, China, Japan and South East Asia as a guest artist with Princess Cruises. Matthew has also been a finalist in the Winfield International Fingerstyle competition in Kansas, U.S.A in 2009-2012.
Matthew has performed Solo guitar, Flamenco Shows and with Irish and "Gypsy Jazz" ensembles better known as "Gypsy Fire" at festivals i.e. Cygnet Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, National Festival and Major Concert arenas i.e Performing Arts Centres and has amazed corporate clients as diverse as Domaine Chandon, The Australian Grand Prix Corporation, National Gallery of Australia, Federation Square and Crown Casino.
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.
WESLEY MUSIC CENTRE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
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.
In May 2014 Matthew was the Sponsor, Promoter and performer for the National tour with World Renowned Jazz and Fingerstyle Guitarist Martin Taylor MBE from the UK. Matthew also hosted the Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival at Burrinja Cultural Centre in Upwey, Victoria in 2015 and 2016 in Upwey and the Inaugral and very successful Emerald Ukulele Festival on the 31st May 2014 which was supported by the Australian Arts Council.
Beyond performing, Fagan also enjoys an active career as a composer for film and orchestra with many commissions to his credit including being Commissioned as a composer and director by the Victorian Government and Pan Events for a World Music Orchestra for the Australia Day Concerts performed to audiences over 30,000.
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". This has led to a further 12 commissions to compose for orchestra up to 2010. Most notably, his composition, Voyages, commissioned by Arts Victoria and the Australia Arts Council, as part of the Shepparton Festival featuring full symphony orchestra, world musicians and Aboriginal didgeridoo, will tour throughout Australia.
Matthew is a graduate in Music from the Victorian College of the Arts and Monash University. Matthew has had great experience with musicians from around the world and has worked and studied with masters, such as John Williams, Paco Pena, Leo Kotkke, Joe Pass, John Maclauchlan, Martin Taylor, Tommy Emmanuel, Slava Grigoryan and Bob Brozman amongst others.
As a performer, Fagan is entertaining, engaging and encourages audience participation in amusing situations. This includes Matthew's own "guitar challenge" where he performs audience requests spontaneously in his show. Stories from his life of travel and entertaining are a special feature of his show. Matthew is an exhilarating, breathtaking and captivating performer. His shows are not to be missed.
**** “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.” The Advertiser
“Matthew is the best artist I have 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.
CLICK HERE To See Matthew performing Tocatta live on Youtube
Melbourne Guitar Festival Promotion-
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 appeared as a Flamenco Guitarist and his original composition “Morning Song” was heard in its entirety for the closing love scene. Over 1 million viewers watched this episode.
Matthew regularly featured on the Channel 31 Television Program Guitar Gods. Matthew performed his original composition Renaissance which features on his recent solo album "One Day in Nashville". CLICK HERE to listen on youtube
“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”
CLICK HERE to listen to and Purchase Music
CLICK HERE to watch VIDEO VIRTUOSO SHOW REEL
CLICK HERE to watch LORD OF THE STRINGS SHOW REEL
CLICK HERE to watch FILM CLIPS