top of page
Matthew playing Gittler.jpg



PhD – Organology – University of Edinburgh, June 2014
MMus – Organology/Musical Museum Studies – University of Edinburgh, 2005
BMus (Hons) 1st Class – Composition – Edinburgh Napier University, 2004




(selected clients)

Nacho Banos, Spain (2020 -2021)

  • Editor of Nacho Banos and Lynn Wheelwright, The Pinecaster: Early  Electric Guitars 1920-1955 (Manfredo Music, 2021) four volume, 960 page work.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA (2017-2018)

  • Wrote chapter “History of the Rhythm Section” in Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll (Yale University Press, 2019) catalog accompanying “Play It Loud,” a joint exhibition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Rostov Kremlin Museum, Rostov the Great, Russian Federation (2016-2019)

  • Helped with translation and creation of English-language audio guides. Recorded voiceovers for English language audio guides. Consulted on museum exhibition of historical bells. Consulted on tourism initiative Ростов в Хима (“Rostov in Winter”.)

  • Interviewed by Russian national television, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Yaroslavl television on the history and importance of Rostov Kremlin and its bells.

S. S. Prokofiev Museum, Moscow, Russian Federation (2015-2017)

  • Helped with translation and creation of English-language audio guides.

 National Music Museum, Vermillion SD, USA (2016)

  • Catalogued and parts of special collection. Performed on video recording of various historically significant 20th-century American musical instruments.

Rickenbacker International Corporation, Santa Ana, USA (2014-2015)

·    Expert witness in trademark infringement lawsuit.

South Lanarkshire Council, Scotland (2014)

·    Consulted on museum accreditation materials for Dean Castle collection of musical instruments (2014).

Aficionado Media, New York, USA (2014)

·    Curated and created online content for start-up social media app and website for iPad.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA (2013)

·    Catalogued and evaluated a significant part of the museum’s guitar and electric musical instrument collection.

National Music Centre, Calgary, Canada (2013-present)

·    Evaluated, appraised, and wrote condition reports for over 100 of the collection’s most important objects, ranging from 18th-century harpsichords to the Rolling Stones’ 1970s mobile recording studio.

George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA (2011-2012)

·          Catalogued, appraised, and evaluated the University’s collection of historic analogue synthesizers, one of the largest such collections in the world. Made recommendations for display, research access, and conservation.



  • Supervised movement of curatorial and archives from former to present museum location. Developed exhibitions and planned upcoming curatorial and exhibit calendar.

  • Began process of museum accreditation and Smithsonian affiliation.

  • Was one of the public faces of the museum:

    • Giving interviews and promoting the museum in media.

    • Being MC at concerts and events.

    • Liaising with artists to promote the museum.

    • Creating promotional videos and social media.



  • Travelled around the UK photographing and researching museum objects for the MINIM UK Project, which created a UK-wide online database of musical instrument in museums.

  • Wrote promotional material and created social media content to publicize MINIM UK Project.



·    Curated the “Orientation”, “USA” and “Canada” galleries, including “Native America”, over 35 exhibits in total.

o Helped to create and design gallery floor plans.

o Curated wide range of exhibits on popular music, including hip-hop, electronica, country western, and Norteño music.

o For the Native America gallery, managed a team of consultants, mostly Native

Americans, which included academics, artists, linguists, and tribal leaders.

·    Liaised with artists, musical manufacturers and other donors regarding partnerships.

·    Worked closely with the development team to identify and acquire private and corporate donations, including objects and in-kind donations.

·    Identified, evaluated and acquired musical instruments and other objects to assist in building the museum's collection from 60 objects to over 15,000.

·    Involved in the creation of 250 museum exhibits and was personally in charge of over 45 of these. Helped to plan travelling exhibitions and collaborations with other institutions.

  • Was one of the public faces of the museum:

    • giving interviews and promoting the museum in media:

      • was interviewed by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los

      • Angeles Times, Arizona Republic, Associated Press, and other local and national newspapers.

      • Gave multiple radio interviews for National Public Radio.

      • Gave on camera interviews for CBS television, CNN cable network, NBC affiliate network, Ukrainian national television, and others.

      • Was featured in a special on the creation of the Musical Instrument Museum that was broadcast on A&E network.

      • Gave multiple talks promoting the museum for a variety of different audiences.

      • Created multiple videos for YouTube

·    Co-authored the museum’s policies and procedures regarding the display, conservation and playing of instruments, including determination of the optimum environmental conditions for objects, e.g. humidity and light levels.

·    Co-wrote curatorial statement on application for Smithsonian accreditation.

·    Co-designed and co-implemented custom TMS (The Museum System) collections management software platform.

·    Managed consultants in order to create specialized exhibits.

·    Co-managed a team of five curatorial assistants.

·    Co-developed educational materials in collaboration with Education Officer.



Organized, catalogued, and documented the collection, including photographing instruments, assigning accession numbers, initiating access and display policies, implementing a conservation plan, and organizing and storing archival material.

Prior to my experience in the museum field, I was a professional musician and recording artist in Los Angeles, Nashville, and the United Kingdom.


Book Review: “Cyclopedia of Lutherie Terms”. Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, Summer 2021

“George Beauchamp and the Rise of the Electric Guitar, 1740 to 1939”. PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, 2014

Curator and Consultant for The Ultimate Guitar Collection. Seattle: Becker & Mayer, 2012

Book Review: “The Synthesizer– a History”. Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society, Spring 2015

“George Breed and his American Electrified Guitar of 1890”. Galpin Society Journal, Spring 2008

Book Review: “The Electric Guitar – History of an American Icon”. Journal of the American

Musical Instrument Society, Spring 2008

“Who Invented the Electric Guitar?” Article in the exhibition catalogue for “Rock Chic, The

Life and Times of the Electric Guitar”, National Museum of Ireland, Dublin. January 2007



“Being Nimble in the New Normal; Re-energizing the Responsive and Effective Museum in a Post-Pandemic World.” - International Council of Museums (ICOM) CIMCIM, London, UK, September, 2021

“ ‘The Play(ing)’s The Thing’ ; The picking parlor as undirected education at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum” - International Council of Museums (ICOM) CIMCIM, Kyoto, Japan, September, 2019

“The Tololoche Problem – A case study of museum taxonomy” - International Council of Museums (ICOM) CIMCIM, Shanghai, China, September, 2018

“(Re)Introducing the Octobasse: A Case Study of Using Online Video and Social Media to build

Museum Awareness” – International Council of Museums (ICOM) CIMCIM Meeting, Moscow, June-July, 2015

“‘The Gittler Guitar:  Two Faces of Musical Instrument Minimalism” – American Musical

Instrument Society Meeting; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, June, 2015

“Exhibiting   Celebrity   Musical   Instruments in Museums; Perceptions and Problems”

International Council of Museums (ICOM) CIMCIM, Stockholm, August, 2014

“The Rise of the Electric Guitar 1740– 1940” – University of Edinburgh, May, 2014 (Invited)

“The Birth of the Electric Guitar” – Wichita-Sedgewick County Historical Museum, Wichita, Kansas, 2008 (Invited)

“‘The Miessener Matter’  –  Miessener Inventions Inc. and  the Development of  the Electric

Musical Instrument Market” – American Musical Instrument Society Meeting; Cantos Music

Foundation, Calgary, 2008

“A Re-examination of the Rickenbacker ‘Frying Pan’, the First Electric Guitar” – American

Musical Instrument Society Meeting; Yale University, 2007

“The Rise of the Electric Guitar 1890 – 1940” – “Rock Chic” exhibition, National Museum of

Ireland, Dublin, 2007

“Who Invented the Electric Guitar?” – “Born to Rock” exhibition – Harrods, London, 2007

“George Breed and his Electrified Guitar of 1890” – Joint CIMCIM (ICOM)/Galpin Society/American Musical Instrument Society Meeting; National Music Museum, Vermillion, South Dakota, 2006

“An Early Martin Guitar or a Later European One?” – American Musical Instrument Society

Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2005


Curator for “Born to Rock” – Harrods, London. (Gold Award winner for “External Live and

Experiential Communications” at the International Visual Communications Association awards, London. 2008)

Curator for “Rock Chic – The Life and Times of the Electric Guitar” exhibition – National

Museum of Ireland, Dublin. 2006-2007

Curator of “Brother Musician, Listen to a Miracle!” – Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad, California. 2005


Member of the International Society of Appraisers (ISA)

Governor of the American Musical Instrument Society (Board of Governors), 2012-2015, 2015-2018

·    Member, Densmore Committee (prize for best journal article), 2014-2016

·    Chairman, Gribbon (student scholarship) Committee, 2011-2014

·    Member, Annual Meeting Local Arrangements Committee, 2011

Member of BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.)

Member of the Galpin Society (UK)

Member of ICOM (International Committee on Museums) CIMCIM (Subcomittee on Music Museums)

Member of Musicians Union (UK)

Member of the Society of American Archivists


Hosted weekly radio show on Forth FM (Scotland)

Contributor to New Grove Dictionary of Music, Oxford University Press, 2014

Proficient at TMS (The Museum System), Past Perfect, and other museum collection management software systems

Curriculum Vitae: Resume
bottom of page