Principal Emeritus Bassoon
Nelson Meers Foundation Chair
Matthew Wilkie grew up in Canberra and in 1979, after studying at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, went to Europe, where he ended up staying for 23 years. While studying bassoon in Hanover, Germany with Klaus Thunemann, he was a prize winner at the International Music Competition in Geneva. He has since appeared as soloist with many orchestras, including the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, Württemberg Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe, as well as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, which he joined as Principal Bassoon in 2000.
He has been a member of the COE since 1986, travelling to Europe five times a year, and has worked under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Meta, Roger Norrington, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Bernard Haitink. He appears on countless recordings with the COE, many of which have received international awards. His solo and chamber music recordings include concertos by Mozart, Vivaldi and Richard Strauss; the complete wind chamber music of Mozart and Richard Strauss; and six trio sonatas by Zelenka. His 2009 recording of Bach and Telemann sonatas, The Galant Bassoon, was shortlisted for an ARIA award and has been praised internationally. He has also appeared at many international festivals and is a regular guest at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, and is much in demand as a teacher, giving masterclasses in Europe and Japan.
Matthew Wilkie’s solo appearances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra include Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto (2008), the premiere of James Ledger’s Outposts bassoon concerto (2011), which was written for him, and a Playlist series concert (2018).