Matthew Searles is Assistant Master of the Music at Buckfast Abbey, an active Benedictine Monastery in the heart of Devon. Alongside the accompaniment of the monastic community in the Divine Office on the new Ruffatti organ, Matthew works with the Abbey’s professional choir and has particular oversight of the new provision of choristers, drawn from St Mary's Catholic Primary School. Last December, at the conclusion of the Abbey’s millennium year, Matthew accompanied Midnight Mass, which was televised live on BBC One.
Prior to this, Matthew spent two years as Sub-Organist of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral where he accompanied the Cathedral Choir in the daily liturgies, on the iconic Walker organ in the largest Catholic church in England.
Matthew is a prizewinning graduate of Royal Holloway, University of London, where he received First Class Honours and the Driver Prize for ‘outstanding musical performance’. As Organ Scholar at Royal Holloway, Matthew worked under Rupert Gough with the acclaimed Chapel Choir, whom he accompanied in regular services, concerts, recordings, broadcasts and tours. These included appearances at St John’s Smith Square, St Martin-in-the-fields, live on BBC Radio 3 and on multiple discs for the Hyperion label. In his final year Matthew played for the ceremony in celebration of the music department Regius Professorship, in the Presence of H. M. the Queen.
Matthew continued his studies, in both the organ and the harpsichord, at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Poitiers, France. His teachers have included Andrew Reid and Olivier Houette. He is an Associate of the Royal College of Organists.
Matthew recently made his orchestral debut, playing the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony in Église Sainte-Radegonde de Poitiers as part of Orgue en France's Jour de l’orgue. Other recent engagements have included recitals at Cathédrale Saint-Sacerdos de Sarlat and Église de la Madeleine in Paris.
In addition to his duties at Buckfast, Matthew is Musical Director of the Brent Singers and maintains a full and varied schedule as a recitalist, continuo player and conductor.