2024, 2022 UK, 2016, 2016 Singapore, 2015, 2014 Chamber – Sydney Opera House, 2013
“I’ve met many fine Australian musicians during my 27 years in Europe but I’ve only been able to make music with a few of them. The AWO is a great way of bringing us all together and I look forward to what will surely be a fruitful exchange of ideas and experiences.”

Matthew Wilkie


Principal Emeritus – Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Principal – Chamber Orchestra of Europe

Australian Hometown(s): Canberra & Sydney
Education: Queensland Conservatorium of Music

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 joining the Sydney Symphony Orchestra 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 Mehta, 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 is a regular performer with the Australian World Orchestra where he has played under the baton of Maestro Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle and AWO Co-founder, Artistic Director & Chief Conductor Alexander Briger AO.

Last updated 2023