Matthew Kofi Waldren


Matthew Kofi Waldren is a conductor of mixed British and Ghanaian ancestry, who is renowned for his detailed, responsive and collaborative approach to music-making. ENO Mackerras Fellow (2016-18) and nominated at the International Opera Awards (2017), he is recognised for an innate sense of theatre, and has established himself as one of the UK’s foremost opera conductors, equally at home in the concert hall, recording studio and theatre pit.

Previously for ENO: Paul Bunyan, The Marriage of Figaro, as assistant conductor: The Barber of Seville, La bohème and Don Giovanni.

Career Highlights

Matthew Kofi’s 2022/23 season includes further performances of the epic opera Migrations and a new Ainadamar for WNO, a British premiere of award-winning American opera Blue for ENO, a semi-staged concert tour of The Pearlfishers for Opera North and his debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

During 2022/23, alongside co-founders Elizabeth Llewellyn and Matthew Swann, Matthew Kofi will also launch Your Turn Collective, a R&D incubator which connects music creators from under-represented backgrounds with partner organisations and enables them to realise their creative vision. Your Turn Collective will also partner Leeds University and Opera North to explore the history of colonialism and exoticism in the operatic canon, and the challenges facing the opera industry in presenting these works.

Matthew Kofi’s 2021/22 season saw him trailblazing new and “revolutionary” opera on a vast scale, recording symphonic repertoire by long-neglected composers, leading large-scale symphonic and operatic concerts in major concert halls, cementing his reputation for his work on 19th Century Italian Opera, and even recording the soundtrack to London’s new Elizabeth Line.

Credits included the acclaimed world premiere of Will Todd’s Migrations for WNO, his debut with CBSO and CBSO Chorus, concerts and recordings with Chineke! Orchestra – including a forthcoming disc of Grant Still’s Symphony No.1 and Price’s Symphony No. 3, a world premiere of a new orchestration of Jonathan Dove’s Flight for RCS Opera, L’elisir d’amore for West Green House Opera, and a revival of Opera Holland Park’s critically-acclaimed La traviata.

An acclaimed interpreter of Italian repertoire, and described by The Sunday Times as ‘one of the most adept and dynamic young British Verdians’, Matthew Kofi has conducted highly acclaimed readings of La traviataUn ballo in mascheraRigolettoLa rondineLa bohèmeGianni SchicchiZanettoIl barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Holland Park), La bohèmeDon GiovanniLa petite bohème (Opera North), The Marriage of Figaro (English National Opera), La cenerentola (West Green House Opera) and Gianni Schicchi (RCS).

Other recent operatic credits include the Olivier Award-nominated Paul Bunyan (English National Opera), Pelléas et Mélisande (Scottish Opera), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Opera Linbury Theatre, Signum Classic, Opera Holland Park), LakméLes pêcheurs de perlesFantastic Mr Fox (Opera Holland Park), FlightLes mamelles de Tirésias (RCS) and Texting Heer (Royal Opera R&D).

Last updated: 23rd March 2023