Matthew constructed his first violin at the age of 17, under the supervision of the eminent Australian violin-maker, C. A. Vatiliotis. He also constructed his first classical guitar at this time. Over the subsequent five years he continued to develop his craft to a high level, building violins, violas (both baroque and modern), cellos, classical guitars, mandolins, and a bass viol.
His excellence was recognised in 1988 when he was accepted for study at the prestigious Kantonale Geigenbauschule Brienz, in Switzerland. Whilst in Switzerland he took the opportunity of working as a violin repairer in Basel, where he was exposed to the repair requirements of instruments made by the European Masters. His travels at this time extended to the most important sites of Italian and German violin-making, including Cremona and Mittenwald, where he was taken back to the golden age of the craft.
More recent embellishments to Matthew’s expertise include an intensive course in stringed instrument restoration at Oberlin, Ohio (USA), and a workshop in Quebec, where he built a double bass.
All that he has learned, Matthew has brought back to his home in Newport, on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. But Matthew’s instruments are much more than the sum of his training. With the same hands that in Europe learned respect for the Masters, and which have even repaired their work, Matthew continues to make his own very personal contribution to an age-old craft.