Shock death of a well-liked British critic

Shock death of a well-liked British critic


norman lebrecht

February 03, 2023

Barry Millington informs us of the sad death yesterday of Matthew Rye, long-serving chief sub-editor of BBC Music Magazine and latterly reviews editor at the Strad.  Matthew was 60.

It seems Matthew had an undiagnosed brain tumour and without warning suffered a fatal brain haemorrhage.

Barry writes: ‘Affable and quietly efficient, his knowledge of a wide spectrum of music, with late 19th- and early 20th-century opera a speciality, combined with his mastery of music-setting, databases and related systems, made him an indispensable asset.

‘He was also the much-valued Reviews Editor of The Wagner Journal.’


  • Stephen Maddock says:

    That is desperately sad. Matthew was a lovely guy and a quietly authoritative writer. RIP.

  • Brian says:

    Very sorry to read this. I wrote for Matthew for several years and he was a knowledgeable and perceptive editor, as well as a super nice guy. He seemed to be living a happy life, actively attending concerts and traveling. I’m sure his writing deepened many people’s appreciation for classical music.

  • Alan Shenton (ex Virgin Classics) says:

    This is very sad news. Matthew wrote wonderful notes for the first release of the Virgin Classics cd of Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, conducted by Libor Pesek and mentioned in my post on here following Libor’s death (26.10.22). I was really pleased that Matthew took such care over these, and added an extra dimension to that particular cd. Really sad news. RIP.

  • Ned Keene says:

    What an awful shock. Matthew was a funny, erudite and kind man. So sad to hear this news.

  • Barry Millington says:

    May I draw readers’ attention to the tribute page for Matthew at where colleagues can also leave their comments and reminiscences to be shared by his family and friends? Donations can be made here to Awards for Young Musicians, of which organisation Matthew was a Guardian Angel.

  • Lindsay Scandrett says:

    I knew Matthew via his life partner David. Matthew was such a lovely calm person; deeply introspective. Matthew neither needed nor sought attention. His wit was dry and his understatement was way past subtle. My heart goes out to David and to the families.