B i o g r a p h y
Anglo-Ghanaian conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren is recognised as one of the leading conductors of his generation in the UK. Consistently praised for his detailed and collaborative approach he was described by Mark Wigglesworth as an "exceptional talent". Particularly at home in the opera house - after a decade working as an opera singer - Matthew Kofi is known for his text-led approach to conducting opera and his dramatic readings. He was nominated for an International Opera Award in 2017 and an Olivier Award in 2019 for ENO's production of Paul Bunyan. Matthew Kofi has conducted for Royal Opera House (Linbury Theatre), English National Opera, Opera Holland Park, Opera North, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, G&S Opera Company, Scottish Opera, Tête a Tête and Grimeborn. Matthew Kofi enjoys a close rapport with the City of London Sinfonia, with whom he has worked in every season since 2011, and is proud to conduct for the Chineke! Foundation.
Born in Geneva, Matthew Kofi went on to read music at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and later studied at GSMD in London. He was the recipient of major early-career positions including the inaugural Christine Collins Young Artist conductor at Opera Holland Park where he was mentored by Manlio Benzi and the Mackerras Fellowship at English National Opera where he was mentored by Martyn Brabbins and Mark Wigglesworth.
Recognised for his affinity to Italian opera as well as English language opera of 20th and 21st centuries, Matthew Kofi's most recent and upcoming engagements include his a debut for Welsh National Opera, return engagements at Opera Holland Park and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, La bohème‚ Don Giovanni (Opera North)‚ Rigoletto, Un ballo in maschera‚ La traviata, La rondine (Opera Holland Park)‚ La cenerentola (West Green House Opera), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Linbury/Royal Opera House and Opera Holland Park)‚ Texting Heer (Linbury/Royal Opera House)‚ Paul Bunyan (ENO -nominated for an Olivier Award)‚ The Marriage of Figaro (ENO)‚ Gianni Schicchi, Les mamelles de Tirésias (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)‚ Pelléas Unwrapped (Scottish Opera).
Matthew Kofi is deeply proud of his long-standing association with Opera Holland Park for whom he has conducted critically-acclaimed performances since 2013. In recent seasons he has conducted Un ballo in maschera, La traviata‚ La rondine‚ La bohème‚ Lakmé‚ Il barbiere di Siviglia‚ Les pêcheurs de perles‚ Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‚ Gianni Schicchi‚ Zanetto‚ Rigoletto‚ and Fantastic Mr Fox. He returns to Opera Holland Park in 2020.
Matthew Kofi's debut studio recording of Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was highly acclaimed and released on Signum Classics; it entered the official specialist classical chart at number one.
Matthew Kofi has regularly conducted City of London Sinfonia, Chineke!, Orchestra of English National Opera‚ Orchestra of Opera North‚ Orchestra of Scottish Opera‚ National Festival Orchestra and London Mozart Players.