B I O G R A P H Y
As a touring musician, Matthew has followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Milton Parkes who toured with the Australian Opera legend Dame Nellie Melba throughout the United States in the early 20th century.
Matthew has toured with international 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 guest artist I have ever 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.
He has also played 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.
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.
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.