Denis Matthews

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
File:Denis Matthews.jpg
Denis Matthews

Denis Matthews (27 February 1919 – 25 December 1988) was an English pianist and musicologist.


Denis James Matthews was born in Coventry, the son of a motor salesman. He attended Arnold Lodge School, Leamington Spa, from 1927 to 1932 and Warwick School from October 1932 to the summer of 1936, when he left to study at the Royal Academy of Music. While there, he lodged with Harold Craxton and his wife Essie in St John's Wood. He made his professional debut in 1939 before joining up in 1940 and serving with the RAF until 1946.

Resuming his professional career after the war, he toured extensively as a concert pianist and formed successful partnerships with the Griller Quartet and the Amadeus Quartet. His particular liking was for the music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, and his edition of the Mozart piano sonatas, prepared with Stanley Sadie, became widely used. He also produced many recordings, especially of modern British piano music.

His autobiography In Pursuit of Music appeared in 1966. Between 1971 and 1984 he was Professor of Music at Newcastle University, and in 1985 he published a study of Beethoven in the Dent "Master Musicians" series. His short book (published by the BBC) on Beethoven's piano sonatas is particularly valuable.

File:Denis matthews, 1954. first of two acclaimed Southern Africa tours arranged by Hans Adler.jpg
1954 dedicated photo on first of two acclaimed tours of Southern Africa.[1]

In the few years before his death, he and his third wife, Beryl Chempin, taught at the Birmingham School of Music.

Denis Matthews committed suicide[1] on 25 December 1988.



  1. Whetstone, David (4 December 2007). "Prodigy's travels bring her back to home patch". Retrieved 3 June 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Obituary published in The Portcullis, the Chronicle of Warwick School, October 1989.
  • "In Pursuit of Music" by Denis Matthews, Victor Gollancz Ltd, London 1966. ISBN 978-0-575-00215-9
  • Denis Matthews Memorial Trust,[dead link]