Matthew Kaner

Key details:

Academic Studies | Composition | Research
Professor of Composition and Academic Studies
Photo of Matthew Kaner in a performance rehearsal


Matthew Kaner (born 1986) is a composer based in London whose works are performed and broadcast widely in the UK and abroad. Described as “deftly able to draw the listener into his far-reaching imaginative world” (BBC Music Magazine 2023), he has been praised for his “orchestral imagination and poetic word-setting” (Bachtrack 2022) and his music’s “ultra-perceptive imagery, textural delicacy and illuminating precision” (the Scotsman 2022).

Matthew’s 2022 BBC Proms commission, Pearl, for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and baritone Roderick Williams, setting medieval poetry in modern translation by Simon Armitage, was reviewed as “spine-tingling… sparking electricity” (Guardian) and “a fascinating response to this transcendental text” (Bachtrack). His debut solo album, featuring his chamber works in performances by Guy Johnston, Mark Simpson, Benjamin Baker, Daniel Lebhardt and the Goldfield Ensemble, was released by Delphian Records in November 2022 to critical acclaim. In 2016, Matthew was selected to be the BBC Radio 3 Embedded Composer for the duration of the station’s 70th anniversary celebrations (in association with Sound and Music), during which he wrote many works for broadcast, for performers including Quatuor van Kuijk, the BBC Singers, Guy Johnston, Mark Simpson, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Trio Isimsiz and others.

Among his upcoming projects is a new concerto for violinist Benjamin Baker (co-commissioned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Amarillo Symphony), premiering in 2024-25. Previous highlights include commissions from the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Siglo de Oro and King’s College London Chapel Choir.

Matthew has been a Professor of Composition at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama since 2013. In 2015, he was the recipient of a Roche Young Composers’ commission for the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra. He was a winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize in 2013; he was the Margaret Lee Crofts Fellow in Composition at Tanglewood in 2012. He studied music at King’s College London and composition with Julian Anderson and Richard Baker at the Guildhall, and has been mentored by composers including Oliver Knussen, Wolfgang Rihm, Unsuk Chin, Colin Matthews and John Harbison. He is represented worldwide by Blom Music Management.

Research Interests and Doctoral Supervision

  • Practice as Research in Composition
  • Music and Narrative (post 1900)
  • Topic Theory
  • Musical Analysis
  • Jazz (particularly 1950-1970)

Matt welcomes doctoral supervisees for DMus/PhD topics related to any of his research and/or compositional interests.

Recent Research Outputs


Kaner, Matthew. Encounters. Lucerne, Switzerland, Lucerne Festival, 2017.


O Adonai

Kaner, Matthew. O Adonai. Edinburgh Delphian Recordings, 2016.


Duo Seraphim

Kaner, Matthew. Duo Seraphim. London KCL Chapel Choir, 2015.



Kaner, Matthew. Mosaic. London, Royal Festival Hall: Royal Philharmonic Society, 2014.