B i o g r a p h y
Matthew Kofi Waldren is a British conductor of Anglo-Ghanaian heritage. Recognised as one the UK’s leading opera conductors of his generation, recent accolades include an Olivier nomination for ENO’s production of Paul Bunyan at Wilton’s Music Hall, and a ‘best newcomer’ nomination at the International Opera Awards. The 2020-21 season includes returns to Opera Holland Park and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, with debuts at Welsh National Opera and CBSO.
Praised for his collaborative, idiomatic, detailed and text-led approach to opera-making, he has conducted at Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre, English National Opera (where he held the Mackerras Fellowship, 2016-2018), Scottish Opera, Opera North, West Green House Opera, G&S Opera Company, Tete a Tete, Grimeborn, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and debuts at Welsh National Opera with a major new commission in 2021.
Matthew Kofi is closely connected with Opera Holland Park and City of London Sinfonia; he has conducted a production in every season since 2013 and previously held the positions of Associate Conductor and Chorus Master. In 2020, he leads OHP and CLS in several major outdoor concerts as the UK emerges from the 'lockdown'.
Recent and upcoming highlights include Rigoletto, Un ballo in maschera, La traviata, La rondine, Zanetto, Il barbiere di Siviglia (OHP), La bohème (Opera North, OHP), Gianni Schicchi (RCS, OHP), La cenerentola (WGHO), Don Giovanni (Opera North), Le nozze di Figaro (ENO), Les mamelles de Tirésias (RCS), Pelléas et Mélisande (Scottish Opera), Lakmé, Les pêcheurs de perles (OHP), Paul Bunyan (ENO), Flight (RCS), Texting Heer (ROH R&D), Fantastic Mr Fox (OHP), and Strekosa y Muravej (Tete a Tete & Grimeborn). Matthew Kofi collaborates closely with composer Will Todd: He conducted Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (ROH Linbury, OHP, Wilderness, Signum Classics) and will conduct the world premiere of Migrations for WNO in 2021.
Matthew Kofi is an advocate for extending opportunities for participation, and for access to, classical music. He has taken orchestras including London Mozart Players and the Orchestra of ENO to new audiences at Wilton’s Music Hall, Camp Bestival and Wilderness and Harvest Festivals. He conducted the ROH Community Chorus at Watercity Festival and has conducted several QEH concerts with Chineke! With OHP he has conducted the UK’s first ‘relaxed’ opera performance, ‘minute maestro’ workshops, and over 80 performances of their family operas. In 2020 he collaborated with neo-soul singer Tawiah as part of Opera North's resonance programme.