Matthew Best began his music education at Kings College, Cambridge, and at the National Opera Studio. He studied with the late Otakar Kraus, Robert Lloyd and Patrick McGuigan. He started his career as a principal bass with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and as a guest with many other companies. In recent years he has moved into the bass-baritone and Helden-bariton repertory, and performed successfully in the rôles of Wotan/The Wanderer in Scottish Opera's new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, first performed at the Edinburgh International Music Festival.
Other engagements have included Scarpia Tosca, Amfortas Parsifal, Kurwenal Tristan und Isolde, Vladislav Dalibor, Don Pizarro Fidelio and the High Priest Alceste for Scottish Opera; Swallow Peter Grimes for ROH, Scarpia for Florida Grand Opera; Count Walter Luisa Miller and Scarpia for Opera North; Kurwenal in Nancy; the title role in The Flying Dutchman, Wotan The Rhinegold, Marke Tristan und Isolde, Jochanaan Salome and Marshall Kutuzov War and Peace for ENO; Jochanaan for WNO; Cadmus The Bassarids at the Chatelet, Paris and in Cologne; Jochanaan and Mr. Flint Billy Budd (also recorded by Chandos) with LSO/Richard Hickox; Kurwenal Tristan und Isolde with La Monnaie, Brussels; Don Pizarro Leonore under Gardiner at the Proms, Salzburg Festival, the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and the Lincoln Center Festival, New York (also recorded by DG); and Pizarro in concert performances of Fidelio with CBSO and with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
Recordings include Beethoven's Leonore, Berlioz' L'enfance du Christ, Britten's Billy Budd and Peter Grimes, Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius, Falla's El Retablo di Maese Pedro, Menotti's Martin's Lie and Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Matthew Best's conducting career has a long-standing association with the Corydon Orchestra and Singers, of which he is founder and artistic director. He also appears regularly as guest conductor with the English Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia, Royal Seville Symphony Orchestra, English Northern Philharmonia, the New Queen's Hall Orchestra, the RTE Concert Orchestra, The Manchester Camerata and The Hanover Band (where he was Principal Conductor for the 1998/99 season). In December 2000 he made his debut with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and then he began an association with the Northern Sinfonia.
Matthew Best won in 1982 the Decca-Kathleen Ferrier Prize.
Role: Classical Artist