Matthew was born in Tanzania and went to Saltash Comprehensive School in Cornwall. After gaining a first in music and history at Keele University, followed by an MMus with distinction at Goldsmiths College London University in ethnomusicology, he completed a DPhil at Magdalen College, Oxford. He also enjoyed a gap year at Sarah Lawrence College USA, and studied lute and early music performance at the Royal College of Music. Matthew was Reader in Music at Bath Spa University 2004-2020 and is now Visiting Research Fellow. Formally he taught at London Guildhall University, where he held a three-year Leverhulme Research Fellowship (1989-92), followed by a period as music lecturer at Birmingham University (1999-2004). His History of the Lute in Britain was published by OUP in 2001 and won the international Bessaraboff prize from The American Musical Instrument Society (AMIS), and his edition of the Balcarres Manuscript (AHRC award) was published in 2010. He performs with a number of Early Music ensembles and has appeared on over 50 recordings.
Matthew Spring studied lute with Diana Poulton and Jacob Lindberg at the Royal College of Music and plays medieval, renaissance and baroque lutes. He has performed as a soloist and continuo player with many groups (Sirinu, Galliarda, Bath Baroque, Chalemie, Elizabethan Consort). His recent solo recording of Scottish lute music from the Balcarres Lute Book is the culmination of a long study of the book and production of a scholarly edition for the Music of Scotland series. Matthew performs in the St John’s passion playing both the lute and viol solos. He has worked in duo with various other artists: Swedish Storyteller Christina Claesson; poet Leslie Saunders; dancer Barbara Segal.
Matthew has wide interests in Early Music with a specialism in music for the lute and related instruments. Through working in Bath for 25 years he developed an interest in the music of Georgian Bath and British provincial music. He is working on number of large editing projects including a 2-volume anthology of English solo lute music for The Music Britannica Trust.