Graham Matthews (17th October 1935 -18th February 2024)

We are sad to announce that Graham Matthews died on the 18th February 2024. Graham was a Brother of the Charterhouse for nearly 20 years, after joining on us on 1st September 2004. He made an enormous contribution to Charterhouse life and was our resident organist following in such celebrated footsteps as Johann Pepusch, the composer of The Beggar’s Opera.

Born in London, he attended the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) on a scholarship – having gained a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM) in piano teaching as a schoolboy – and graduated with a BMus, as well as becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists with a Diploma in Choir Training FRCO (CHM). The Royal Academy of Music offered him an organ sub-professorship, and in 1979 awarded him an honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM). Graham was involved in choir-training, conducting, teaching and recital work – including broadcasts and recordings, and was also an official music festival adjudicator, an international examiner for The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and a part-time lecturer. Prior to his entry to the Charterhouse, Graham served in the church from 1958 to 1967 as Sub Organist at Winchester Cathedral, and from 1967 to 1991 as Cathedral Organist at Sheffield.

While at the Charterhouse Graham wrote a history of some of the organists who had lived here previously and petitioned for a memorial to the Scottish composer Tobias Hume, another former Brother and musician, which was later installed in the Chapel. As well as playing the organ in the Charterhouse right up until last year, Graham also invested in its conservation and preservation including adding more organ stops.

Graham was a gentlemanly presence and his distinctive chair, with a small plaque stating ‘Organist’, now sits empty. He will be very much missed.

Graham Matthews, 2022 Julian Calder © Julian Calder

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