Matthew Agnew is the principal cellist of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2002. He also plays with several Chicago area orchestras, including Chicago Opera Theater, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra and the Joffrey Ballet. In 2005 he was awarded the assistant principal position with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra, a summer festival orchestra in Lancaster, Ohio.
Matthew studied Suzuki cello from age four with Marilyn Kesler in Okemos, Michigan. In High School he had the benefit of orchestra instruction and guidance from Shirley Mullins, a Janos Starker student, and cello instruction from Jane Katsuyama of the Dayton Philharmonic. He attended DePaul University on scholarship and studied with William Cernota from the Lyric Opera Orchestra. In 2001 he won second place at the Lansing Matinee Musicale Richardson Awards.