Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2023, Onyx Brass continues to be the leading light in establishing the brass quintet as a medium for serious chamber music, combining ‘staggering virtuosity’ (BBC Radio 3) with the entertaining and articulate style that has become the group’s trademark. The group’s extensive discography has received huge critical acclaim: Gramophone hail ‘some of the most thrilling chamber brass-playing of its kind’ and Record Review described the group as a ‘wonderful, virtuosic brass quintet’. Education has always been central to the remit of Onyx Brass and the group has held several residencies, including 15 years at Imperial College, London.
Matthew Searles is Assistant Master of the Music at Buckfast Abbey. In this role, he shares in the accompaniment of the Abbey Choir and Monastic Community in the Opus Dei, and has oversight of the Abbey Choristers. In 2018, at the conclusion of Buckfast’s millennium celebrations, Matthew played for Midnight Mass, which was televised live on BBC One. Prior to this, Matthew spent two years as Sub-Organist of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
Matthew studied at Royal Holloway, University of London, where as organ scholar he graduated with first class honours and the Driver Prize for ‘outstanding musical performance’. Matthew continued his studies, in both organ and harpsichord, at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Poitiers, France. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.
George Nicholls is the Organ Scholar at Royal Holloway, University of London, and is a final-year music student. He began his musical studies with Paul Carr and in 2015 continued at the Royal Birmingham Junior Conservatoire. From 2017 to 2019 he was the Organ Scholar at St Alban the Martyr, Birmingham, where he found a passion for improvisation which now plays an important part in his musical practices. George studies improvisation with John Pryer and is currently learning organ under Rupert Gough. At Royal Holloway, in addition to accompanying the choir in their weekly services and concerts, George’s playing has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Television. Some of his recent recital venues have included St Aposteln Kirch, Cologne and l’Oratoire du Louvre, Paris.