Matthew McDonald | Picture: Stefan Höderath



Born in Canberra, Australia
Member since 01.01.2009


As a child, Matthew McDonald was actually interested in playing only jazz and rock music. His parents gave him an electric bass for Christmas – but only under the condition that he would also learn to play the double bass. Matthew quickly fell in love with the big instrument’s dark, mellow sound. In 1996, he began his studies with Max McBride at the Canberra School of Music, later continuing with Kees Boersma in Sydney, where he completed his bachelor’s (BMus) degree in 2000. From 2000 to 2001 he was a scholar of the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Orchestra Academy, and then was immediately engaged as deputy principal bass of the Danish National Orchestra.

He relinquished that position in order to prepare for his concert exam with Esko Laine at the Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin. Engagements followed as principal bass with the Ensemble Modern (2003-06) and with Berlin’s Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester and Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester before he came to the Berliner Philharmoniker. As a chamber player, Matthew McDonald is a regular visitor to the Open Chamber Music seminar at Prussia Cove in Cornwall. He devotes his free time to his family, first and foremost, and also enjoys reading and going to the cinema.

If I were not a musician ...
Matthew McDonald loves poetry – and not only in music

Read the portrait
Matthew McDonald | Picture: Paula Winkler / Ostkreuz

Matthew McDonald plays Gerald Barry Concerto for double bass
Concert clip

Gerald Barry: From “The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant” for double bass and orchestra, Matthew McDonald (double bass), John Storgårds (conductor), recorded at the Philharmonie Berlin, 4 June 2022

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