Praised by the New York Times for his “outrageous fiddling,” Matthew Szemela is a violinist who crosses musical genres with ease. He has performed as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in several renowned concert halls both domestically (Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully, Merkin Recital Hall, Library of Congress, Kennedy Center), and abroad (Japan, China, Korea, Belgium, Luxembourg, Australia, Italy).
Matthew has collaborated, recorded, and performed with a myriad of artists including Jay-Z, Questlove of The Roots, Beyonce, Rihanna, Savion Glover, Sting, Lana Del Rey, Josh Groban, Garth Brooks, Placido Domingo, Warren Haynes, Bob Weir, Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, Billy Childs, Lisa Fischer, Laurence Hobgood, Marcus Lovett, Mark O’Connor, Brian Blade, Cassandra Wilson, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Vernon Reid of Living Colour, Susan Sarandon, Johnny Mathis, Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo, and Olivia Newton John.
In the fall of 2007 Matthew portrayed an Irish rock violinist in the Warner Brothers film August Rush, working with famed music producer Phil Ramone. TV appearances include Good Morning America (with Josh Groban), The View (with Rihanna), and American Idol (with Lana Del Rey). Upon moving to Berkeley, CA in the summer of 2011, Matthew began performing with the Berkeley Symphony. As of 2017, he is the assistant concertmaster of the Opera San Jose Orchestra. Matthew maintains a busy domestic and international touring schedule with Rupa & The April Fishes, as well as with Tango Del Cielo.
An active member of the Bay Area music scene, he can be often be seen collaborating with such groups as Vadalma (Hungarian Folk), Incognito Express (Balkan), Musical Art Quintet (Nuevo Chamber), and Classical Revolution.