Multi-instrumentalist Matthew Berrill hails from Headford, County Galway.
He grew up surrounded by music, playing alongside his siblings and acquiring a rich and varied education in jazz, traditional and classical music from his parents, who are both music teachers. Following his secondary education, Matthew completed a one-year course in composition, funded by IMRO and run by Ronan Guilfoyle, at Newpark Music Centre, Dublin, and was awarded a Licentiate Diploma in Jazz Performance on saxophone and clarinet from the Guildhall School of Music, London. Subsequently, Matthew studied clarinet and saxophone at undergraduate level with John Ruocco at the Royal Conservatoire, Den Haag, The Netherlands, graduating with a BMus. (Hons.) Degree in Jazz Performance in 2008, and a master’s degree in 2010, with a focus on jazz composition.
During his studies, he won the “Grand Prix” in the Tremplin Jazz Competition in Avignon, France, as part of the Christian Mendoza Group, and was twice awarded a place at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Canada, which lead to a collaborative tour with the international ensemble Sound Circus. He is an integral member of numerous ensembles in the jazz, improvised and traditional Irish music spheres, including Cuar, The Irish Memory Orchestra and Ensemble Ériu, with whom he recorded three critically-acclaimed albums for Raelach Records, Ensemble Records and Diatribe Records, respectively. Matthew has recently completed a Master of Arts in Performance course at the Royal Academy of Music, London, on a scholarship. He is grateful for the generous support of the Arts Council.
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The Irish Times“The band is also blessed with an exceptional player in Berrill, whose clarinet solos on A Child Is Born and No Fehr were so logical and so well-sited within the pieces that they could almost have been written out. ”
The Irish Sunday Tribune“… Ronan Guilfoyle’s exploration of the Brazilian tradition in Jazz with wunderkind reed player Matthew Berrill. ”