The London Symphony Orchestra have announced that François-Xavier Roth, their Principal Guest Conductor, will give the premiere of Colin Matthews’ latest orchestral work Mosaics on 23 May 2023 at the Barbican Centre.

The 24-minute piece is a set of eleven studies for orchestra, covering varied musical terrain as they unfold, alternating more rapid and rhythmically rambunctious movements with slower, more processional ones. The LSO perform Mosaics in a programme that includes music by Béla Bartók, Lili Boulanger, Jonathan Woolgar, and Cassie Kinoshi.

The commission continues Matthews’ longstanding relationship with the LSO, where he was Associate Composer from 1992-1999. The orchestra have given world premieres of numerous works, including Quatrain (1989), Machines and Dreams (1991), the orchestral version of Hidden Variables (1992), Memorial, M50 (1995), and subsequently recorded by the LSO under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas. In 1996 Matthews also composed his Concerto for Cello No.2 for the LSO and Mstislav Rostropovich.

Matthews’ involvement with the orchestra extends to his pivotal role in the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme, devised by the Orchestra in association with Lady Panufnik in memory of her late husband Sir Andrzej Panufnik, which fosters emerging compositional talent. Matthews has been supporting and mentoring students in their orchestral writing on the scheme since its inception in 2005.  

This month sees Matthews’ Exodos for horn trio premiere at London’s Purcell Room on 27 November, as part of a concert by Jane’s Minstrels. The programmes celebrates the extraordinary creative partnership of soprano Jane Manning and composer Anthony Payne, and also sees the world premiere of Matthews’ completion of Payne’s Hollows, (Abyss), Cliffs, Troughs, Fells, Gullies, Ravines.