Guitarist Matthew Glover comes back home and Bach to the classics

Guitarist Matthew Glover comes back home and Bach to the classics
© photo courtesy Matthew Glover Matthew Glover has had a long career as a musician in the United States and in his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

When Matthew Glover was growing up and playing guitar in Placentia, he never thought much about traditional Newfoundland and Labrador music.  

“I kind of took it for granted, growing up around the bay,” said Glover. 

He got started in music as a child by his mother Patricia, who taught him how to play her own, nylon stringed classical guitar.  

By the time Glover was 17 years old, he was studying jazz guitar at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. 

International nights 

It was Berklee’s International Nights, evenings where international students performed music from their home countries and traditions, that became a turning point for Glover . 

“That really got me thinking about my own culture, something I didn’t really didn’t appreciate growing up.” 

Glover said his rediscovery of traditional Newfoundland and Labrador music turned into a lifelong journey of learning.  

“That led me eastward, to Ireland, to eastern European music, and then music all over the world.”  

Full circle

After Glover graduated from Berklee, he remained based in Boston for many years, playing and touring with several Irish and world music bands.  

In 2016, Glover decided to move back to Newfoundland and Labrador,  and he settled in Conception Bay South. 

Moving back home, said Glover brought him full circle to revisiting classical music for guitar. Glover completed a graduate degree in Performance and Pedagogy at Memorial University’s School of Music in 2020. 

Classical and trad 

That program inspired him to make a recording of Renaissance and Baroque music for lute, arranged for guitar, by composers John Dowland and J.S. Bach. 

Glover said that music has more in common with traditional music from all of the world than listeners might think – especially in the way that musicians of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries added their own personal touches to the written scores with ornamentation. 

These days, Glover is a busy teacher and performer.  He plays many genres of music, but finds himself in particular demand as an Irish and traditional Newfoundland music player.  

“It’s interesting how, when you leave your home, you have a different perspective,” 

Do you have a new album of music that Weekend AM should know about for First Listen? Email us wam@cbc.ca and tell us about it. 

You can hear First Listen Sundays on Weekend AM from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in Labrador) on CBC Radio One.

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