Matthew Kofi Waldren

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Anglo-Ghanaian born Matthew Kofi Waldren is known for his detailed, responsive and collaborative approach to music-making. Equally at home in the concert hall, recording studio and theatre pit, he has particularly established himself in the latter. Recognised for this innate sense of theatre he has become one of the UK’s foremost opera conductors. Matthew regularly collaborates with the UK’s major opera companies, orchestras, conservatoires and singers.

Recent seasons have included collaborations with Chineke!, Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre, English National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and West Green House Opera. Matthew maintains a special relationship with London’s Opera Holland Park where he has appeared regularly as a Guest Conductor. Future plans include debuts with CBSO and CBSO Chorus as well as leading the world premiere of Migrations for Welsh National Opera, Jeanine Tesori's Blue for ENO and Les pêcheurs de perles for Opera North.

An acclaimed interpreter of Italian repertoire, recent and upcoming highlights include Rigoletto, La traviata, Un ballo in maschera, La rondine, Zanetto, Il barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Holland Park), La bohème (Opera North, Opera Holland Park), Gianni Schicchi (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Opera Holland Park), Don Giovanni (Opera North), Le nozze di Figaro (English National Opera), L'Elisir d'Amore and La cenerentola (West Green House Opera). Other recent highlights include Pelléas et Mélisande (Scottish Opera), Lakmé, Les pêcheurs de perles and Fantastic Mr Fox (Opera Holland Park), Les mamelles de Tirésias (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Royal Opera Linbury Theatre, Opera Holland Park, Wilderness Festival), Texting Heer (Royal Opera R&D) and Paul Bunyan (English National Opera).

Matthew’s debut studio recording - Will Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on Signum Classics - entered the specialist Classical Chart at Number 1. Further recordings on disc and film include Un ballo in maschera (Opera Holland Park, available on Vimeo), La petite bohème (Opera North ONDemand), and The Orchestra of Stories (Tom Hickox, Chineke!, Onyx Brass).

Despite the dreadful Covid effects on the arts world, in 2020 Matthew embarked upon several exciting collaborations. With the Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North he recorded the soundtrack for the animation La petite bohème and collaborated with Neo-Soul singer Tawiah as part of Opera North’s Resonance programme. With the strings of Chineke! and Onyx Brass he conducted the recording of singer-songwriter Tom Hickox’s new album, The Orchestra of Stories. With Opera Holland Park and City of London Sinfonia he conducted a series of outdoor recordings and concerts featuring some of the UK’s finest singers.

Matthew was ENO Mackerras Fellow (2016-18) where his mentors including Mark Wigglesworth and Martyn Brabbins. Recent accolades include an Olivier Award nomination for ENO’s production Paul Bunyan at Wilton’s Music Hall and a ‘best newcomer’ nomination at the International Opera Awards.

Migrations - Welsh National Opera

With some 100 people on stage and some 60 instrumentalists in the pit, conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren is in secure musical charge of this vast enterprise. It’s an ambitious project that will undoubtedly have achieved many of its goals as well as showing WNO at its best.

The Stage (June 2022)

with the WNO orchestra on fine form, conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren. A testament to the power of multicultural collaboration, Migrations pulses with life.

The Times (June 2022)

conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren marshalled all the WNO forces, plus the Renewal Choir community chorus, with great flair throughout; the participants’ joy was palpable.

Guardian (June 2022)

This work represents revolutionary operatic theater… It could very well reframe how opera is created going forward... Perhaps one of the most neo-Wagnerian works staged in some time… Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren, director Sir David Pountney, composer and jazz pianist Will Todd, and six brilliant librettists were at the forefront of the collaborative giant

Opera Wire (July 2022)

La Traviata, Opera Holland Park

Under Matthew Kofi Waldren’s baton, the 16-strong orchestra from the City of London Sinfonia sounded well-sprung, sensitively paced and, when the occasion demanded, surprisingly massive, but with fine filigree work from woodwinds and solo violin.

The Arts Desk (June 2021)

Under Waldren's sympathetic direction the music was always stylish and never pushed out of shape.

In the pit, City of London Sinfonia were somewhat reduced, but that didn't seem to matter. They and Waldren produced full-fat feeling music even if technically the music was low-fat. I continue to enjoy Waldren's way with this music, he allows the singers time without over indulging and keeps the pulse. These are performances which allow for Verdi's remarkable modernism but which acknowledge his debt to his predecessors.

Planet Hugill (June 2021)

superbly conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren

Music OMH (June 2021)

The prelude—which takes its pulse from a brief sample of Violetta’s hollow, amplified breathing—sounds achingly beautiful under the baton of Matthew Kofi Waldren. Despite being reduced to chamber proportions, the orchestra responds very well to his taut, propulsive reading of the score.

Opera (August 2021)

Waldren is proving himself one of the most adept and dynamic young British Verdians

Sunday Times (July 2021)

Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren marshalling the musical forces with consummate stylistic expertise…this is world-class opera. (5 stars)

The Stage (July 2021)

Matthew Kofi Waldren’s sensitive accompaniment (a pocket-sized string section sings like the Vienna Phil). (4 stars)

iNews (July 2021)

La Bohème, Opera North

Music from the pit, under the baton of Matthew Kofi Waldren, was perfectly married with action on stage.

The Northern Echo (October 2019)

It is an incredible delight to hear the huge group of musicians filling the room with their swirling yet precise sound. Tonight’s conductor was Matthew Kofi Waldren and he kept a tight ship throughout.

North East Theatre Guide (October 2019)

La Cenerentola, West Green House Opera

In the pit, Matthew Kofi Waldren acted the necessary role of traffic policeman admirably, keeping the complex ensembles on track, yet he also ensured that everything fizzed with excitement. With such a small orchestra (16 strings, single woodwind and horn) this was a very lithe performance, which suited the young voices and Waldren tailored his approach to this. But there was also plenty that was expressive, and having the music zip along did not preclude some beautifully touching moments, with plenty of space for the singers.

Planet Hugill (July 2019)

Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts a sensitively paced account of the score, not driving the rhythms too hard, and timing the comedy well.

Classical Source (July 2019)

...conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren consistently achieves the essential Rossinian balance of exhilarating dynamism and buoyant grace.

The Stage (July 2019)

Matthew Kofi Waldren’s conducting is highly accomplished as he elicits an extremely smooth and balanced sound from the West Green House Orchestra, which plays Jonathan Lyness’ reduced orchestration, and effectively captures not only the rhythms of the music but of the piece as a whole in terms of its overarching momentum, themes and humour.

MusicOMH (August 2019)

Giving support to those above stage was the West Green House Opera Orchestra skilfully directed by Matthew Kofi-Waldron. He secured stylish playing throughout and steered well-judged tempi that brought buoyancy and plenty of excitement without compromising ensemble. Altogether, a thoroughly enjoyable evening.Giving support to those above stage was the West Green House Opera Orchestra skilfully directed by Matthew Kofi-Waldron. He secured stylish playing throughout and steered well-judged tempi that brought buoyancy and plenty of excitement without compromising ensemble. Altogether, a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Opera Today (July 2019)

The comedy was built around a heroine of substance – this Angelina showed some spirit from the start – leaving space for tension, sentiment and tightly choreographed knockabout. Similarly, Matthew Kofi Waldren’s conducting consistently achieved the fundamental Rossinian balance of exhilarating dynamism and buoyant grace.

Opera Magazine (October 2019)

Un ballo in maschera, Opera Holland Park

Matthew Kofi Waldren’s conducting built the tension superbly, marshaling his excellent cast and orchestra with an aggressive elegance that suited the opera.

Opera Now (September 2019)

Yet this sterling cast and orchestra remained unfazed – especially the orchestra. Matthew Kofi Waldren kept the City of London Sinfonia on a very tight rein and it responded with a the tautest ensemble imaginable. Here was a conductor with a very clear idea of what he wanted and determined to get it. Not that he was relentless with his singers: he allowed Anne Sophie Duprels plenty of leeway with Verdi’s rest in Amellia’s ‘Ma dall’arido stelo divulsa’, while keeping the orchestral interjections tidy. Quite how the orchestra managed to continue playing in this vein, finger numb with cold, remained a mystery, but the strings were full-bodied and the brass, complete with cimbasso, gleamed.

Opera Magazine (August 2019)

That's four stars for fortitude as well as finesse...Almost from first note to last the rain pelted on that canvas roof, creating a din that obliterated anything under mezzo-forte. That the rapport between the singers and the excellent City of London Sinfonia didn’t waver for a moment is a tribute to the admirable conductor, Matthew Kofi Waldren.

The Times (June 2019)

The ball scene with its bloody denouement, powered with tremendous verve by Matthew Kofi Waldren in the pit…

The Independent (June 2019)

Musically, this challenging middle-period Verdi left little to be desired, thanks to Matthew Kofi Waldren’s superb conducting of a mostly convincing cast...

The Sunday Times (June 2019)

Matthew Kofi Waldren, meanwhile, conducts with passion and sensitivity.

The Guardian (June 2019)

The City of London Sinfonia played Verdi’s epic score with effervescent brightness and a full-bodied bloom under Matthew Kofi Waldren...

Bachtrack (June 2019)

Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren puts the City of London Sinfonia absolutely at the heart of Verdi’s scheming and yearning. There’s a spare, skeletal beauty to his Prelude, icy violin broken chords chilling the warmth of the cellos, and this spiky unease runs right through the performance, the music never fully surrendering or releasing into amorous comfort. The opening chords of Act I Scene II ring out like gunshots, and the chorus achieve a subtler menace in a magnificent final scene.

The Arts Desk (June 2019)

Waldren is a fine conductor, as his La rondine, the season opener in 2017, indicated, and he clearly has a very good feeling for Verdi, both in the felicities of scoring and in the larger picture.

Seen and Heard International (June 2019)

Orchestrally much of the distinct qualities of this score are evident. Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts a spirited and detailed account, and, in tandem with the cohesive staging, this is one of Opera Holland Park’s successful Verdian ventures.

Classical Source (June 2019)

Waldren has his finger on the pulse of Verdi and an unerring feeling for the music's inner beats and rhythms. Walking that tightrope between dragging and rushing is a gift and a skill that the audience can relax into, carried along at a rate that is as right and natural as your own heartbeat. Luckily, he has the City of London Sinfonia and the Opera Holland Park Chorus at his beck and call. There was such lovely solo playing from the pit on opening night , notably from the principal cellist, flautist and clarinet. Oh and all the rest...As for that chorus. You just want to take them all home...this is an outstanding production, musically, visually and theatrically.

Culture Whisper (June 2019)

Matthew Kofi Waldren, who impressed so much with his Traviata last year, exercises acute control over the pacing and ensures that we're enthalled. The musical temperature of each moment is brilliantly judged, and varied; and the passion is as much driven by rhythm as it is by melody or colour.

Opera Today (June 2019)

Musically it's exemplary... Underpinning it all is Matthew Kofi Waldren’s restless orchestra, an unsettling, Hitchcockian engine for this stylish tragedy.

The Spectator (June 2019)

Gianni Schicchi and Les Mamelles de Tiresias‚ RCS

Anyone doubting whether a conservatoire could summon the necessary style and fluency would have been quickly disabused by these performances. Standards of singing‚ acting and orchestral playing were uniformly high‚ with production values to match. So hats off first to Matthew Kofi Waldren for eliciting such alert and idiomatic responses from his musicians...

Opera Magazine (April 2019)

Matthew Kofi Waldren conducted a lively orchestra‚ the students taking the tricky pacing and balance in the Puccini in their stride. I have only seen the two-piano version by Britten of the Poulenc‚ so the full orchestration was a revelation with its lush harmonies (premonition of Carmélites)‚ sweeping phrases and many vignettes including a polka for the gamblers and a waltz for Thérèse.

BachTrack (January 2019)

What connects the two performances is an unstoppable sense of entertainment... Les Mamelles de Tirésias is spectacular in every sense‚ with outstanding performances across the board... Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren’s orchestra comes fully to life in the Poulenc‚ as does everything.

The Scotsman (January 2019)

Gianni Schicchi‚ RCS

Central to the enterprise was the excellent student orchestra under the dedicated control of a new guest conductor‚ Matthew Kofi Waldren. On opening night his pacing was just right.

Opera Scotland (January 2019)

Les Mamelles de Tiresias‚ RCS

Having previously heard the light‚ slightly brittle‚ piano reduction‚ it was fascinating to hear Poulenc’s original thoughts for the orchestra. Just in the opening minutes‚ during the Theatre Director’s prologue‚ we heard from the orchestra phrases and colours reminiscent of the Organ Concerto and Gloria‚ which were followed by a foretaste of that wonderful opera Dialogues des Carmélites. All these lovely colours were projected quite beautifully by the student orchestra under guest conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren.

Opera Scotland (January 2019)

Paul Bunyan‚ English National Opera at Wilton’s Music Hall

...the score sounded sumptuous under the baton of Matthew Kofi Waldren.

Opera Magazine (November 2018)

The pacing‚ musical preparation and orchestral playing were exemplary under ENO’s Mackerras Fellow Matthew Kofi Waldren.

BachTrack (September 2018)

Matthew Kofi Waldren – Mackerras Fellow at ENO – conducts with finesse...

Classical Source (September 2018)

Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts his admirable players with calm assurance...

Culture Whisper (September 2018)

But perhaps the biggest potential star of all is the conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren. I have been impressed with him at Opera Holland Park‚ and even more so here.

Daily Mail (September 2018)

The ENO musicians played marvellously for conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren.

Opera Canada (September 2018)

Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren stitched together the eclectic idioms with fluency and brightly coloured zest‚ the orchestra (Britten’s revised instrumentation was used) tiered on stage and spilling into the side-aisles.

Opera Today (September 2018)

Matthew Kofi Waldren had perfect control between band and stage; unobtrusive‚ but most effectively judged.

Seen & Heard International (September 2018)

Matthew Kofi Waldren‚ a deserving former beneficiary of the company’s Mackerras Conducting Fellowship‚ is a perfect choice to draw a company together.

The Arts Desk (September 2018)

Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts with neat efficiency.

The Guardian (September 2018)

Musical standards‚ under the baton of Matthew Kofi Waldren‚ were excellent...

The Observer (September 2018)

Under the immaculate direction of Matthew Kofi Waldren — the straight man to Manton’s joker — the chorus gives it the full Broadway‚ triple threats to a man...It all adds up to a fine evening’s entertainment.

The Spectator (September 2018)

...while Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts a spick and span performance.

The Stage (September 2018)

...Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts the band with warm affection.

The Telegraph (September 2018)

With the band in front‚ percussion to the right‚ singers behind and chorus all around‚ the conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren keeps it all moving as tightly as he can.

The Times (September 2018)

The dynamic young conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren energises an ENO orchestra that’s been splattered over the Wilton’s walls...

What’s on Stage (September 2018)

La Traviata‚ Opera Holland Park

The conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren has risen through the ranks to become an OHP regular‚ with good reason. He is stylish Verdian who knows how to maintain pace without forcing it; he has a keen ear for Italian colour‚ here delivered by the City of London Sinfonia with considerale panache; and he is naturally attentive to the singers’ needs.

Opera Magazine (August 2018)

Sterling work from the orchestra under Matthew Kofi Waldren’s baton underpins the whole. This music is full of colour and Waldren allows us to see and hear it all – assisted by the clear acoustic in this venue which places the orchestra on the level in front of the stage. The work from the brass during the deathbed scene is especially noteworthy.

Lark Reviews (June 2018)

In the pit‚ the hugely promising Matthew Kofi Waldren led a fine performance‚ with excellent support from his chorus and orchestra.

Mail On Sunday (June 2018)

The City of London Sinfonia under conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren plays the score with passionate verve. Absolutely not to be missed!

Sunday Express (June 2018)

The Opera Holland Park Chorus gave a lively performance and conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren drew a sensitive and balanced performance from the City of London Sinfonia.

BachTrack (May 2018)

Matthew Kofi Waldren has become an OHP regular‚ and with good reason. He has an innate sense of Verdian style‚ keeping momentum simmering and very clear about nuance and colour. He is very attentive to the singers’ needs‚ and is as persuasive in detail as he is in the big ensembles and Finales. This is Opera Holland Park at the top of its game.

Classical Source (May 2018)

La traviata is conducted with spirit and sensitivity by Matthew Kofi Waldren.

Culture Whisper (May 2018)

Matthew Kofi Waldren conducts the City of London Sinfonia with immense vigour and skill‚ and the result is an extremely strong and moving opening to Opera Holland Park’s 2018 season

MusicOMH (May 2018)

Matthew Kofi Waldren encouraged ever more responsive playing from the City of London Sinfonia and the precision in the final act was complemented by impassioned warmth. Waldren doesn’t hang about and that only serves to enhance the sure dramatic thrust established by Gaitanou and Chisholm.

Opera Today (May 2018)

In the pit Matthew Kofi Waldren drew a lithely expressive performance from the City of London Sinfonia. This was an admirably paced account of the opera‚ one which breathed and flowed but also had urgency to it…this production of La traviata made an engaging‚ sophisticated and musically satisfying start to the season‚ complete with vocal fireworks.

Planet Hugill (May 2018)

Musically‚ it’s extremely strong. Matthew Kofi Waldren‚ conducting the City of London Sinfonia‚ propels the score urgently forward‚ admirably avoiding sentimentality.

The Guardian (May 2018)

...Flora’s party goes like the wind‚ with its gypsy women straight out of a Toulouse-Lautrec poster‚ and powered by top-notch orchestral playing under Matthew Kofi Waldren’s direction.

The Independent (May 2018)

Having risen through the ranks to enjoy a burgeoning career‚ Anglo-Ghanaian conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren shows a keen appreciation of the drama inherent in Verdi’s music.

The Stage (May 2018)

Matthew Kofi Waldren‚ once a member of OHP’s chorus‚ has found his metier as a conductor and paints Verdi’s tensile phrases in particularly vivid colours.

The Times (May 2018)

Cards on Flora Bervoix’ table‚ this is the most distinguished new Traviata to reach London in years. Not only is it radiantly sung and splendidly played by the City of London Sinfonia under Matthew Kofi Waldren...

What’s on Stage (May 2018)

The Marriage of Figaro‚ English National Opera

It should be noted that he [Matthew Kofi Waldren] is one of the winners of the Charles Mackerras Fellowship and that he is clearly a deserving winner. Note his name and watch out for him...leading a splendid performance musically.

Plays to See (April 2018)

Don Giovanni‚ Opera North

'Add in Matthew Kofi Waldren’s incisive conducting‚ high-octane singing and dancing from the Chorus and much fizzy playing by the Orchestra - and you have a night at the opera to remember.'

Nottingham Post (March 2018)

La Rondine‚ Opera Holland Park

Matthew Kofi Waldren drew a first-class performance from the City of London Sinfonia‚ revelling in the glorious froth and whimsy of the score‚ occasionally threatening to overpower the singers early on in the performance‚ but highlighting so much of the sweeping beauty and orchestral detail of Puccini’s writing that one could sit there and wallow in that alone. As an opening to Opera Holland Park’s 2017 season‚ this was a resounding success.

BachTrack (June 2017)

Matthew Kofi Waldren‚ who has with good reason been nurtured by Opera Holland Park‚ has a clear idea of the score’s show-time versus high-opera inclinations. There were moments when the music sounded too driven‚ but there was plenty of warmth‚ detail and attention to the singers.

Classical Source (June 2017)

With two strong voices on the stage‚ conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren allows the City of London Sinfonia to raise its decibel levels above the average at Holland Park‚ and La rondine comes across as a more full-blooded opera as a result.

Financial Times (June 2017)

I don’t expect to see anything much better this summer than OHP’s opener… idiomatic conducting by Matthew Kofi Waldren – this a great start to what promises to be an exceptional season.

Mail on Sunday (June 2017)

Super musical direction of the City of London Sinfonia by Matthew Waldren brought the score fully to life‚ with excellent singing and choreographic action by the chorus. (June 2017)

Matthew Kofi Waldren is excellent at steering the deft mood-changes and easy lilt of the score...

The Arts Desk (June 2017)

Matthew Kofi Waldren shows a fine Italian hand in the pit. With the chorus on fabulous form in the big set-piece ensembles‚ it all adds up to a glorious season opener.

The Metro (June 2017)

Conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren kept the tempi fluid and well paced. This was a buoyant start to a varied season.

The Observer (June 2017)

There’s lush support from the City of London Sinfonia under Matthew Kofi Waldren and the energetic Opera Holland Park Chorus.

The Stage (June 2017)

This swallow soars thanks to their stylish work on stage‚ effectively using the remains of Holland Park House as a backdrop for the Riviera act (with added disused swimming pool)‚ as well as to an idiomatic conductor‚ Matthew Kofi Waldren‚ who gets the City of London Sinfonia to wallow in Puccini’s lush‚ glittering orchestrations...

The Sunday Times (June 2017)

With Matthew Kofi Waldren conducting the City of London Sinfonia with warm affection and Martin Lloyd-Evans presenting a likeable staging updated to the Paris of the nouvelle vague era‚ this is an operatic confection that can be warmly recommended to anyone with a sweet-tooth and a soft heart.

The Telegraph (June 2017)

Matthew Kofi Waldren’s conducting is lithe and bright.

The Times (June 2017)

The ever-splendid City of London Sinfonia‚ whose annual residence is one of the company’s outstanding boasts‚ played the score for all its worth under Matthew Kofi Waldren’s elegantly energised baton.

What’s On Stage (June 2017)

And yet in many ways the night belongs to conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren‚ spinning a sparkling City of London Sinfonia like a top. One swallow may not make a summer‚ but this Rondine has certainly made mine.

Culture Whisper (June 2017)

a production that is wholly idiomatic and satisfying both musically and dramatically…The City of London Sinfonia is clearly in fine form this season. The brisk tempi and flexible rubato set by regular conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren kept things moving without putting the singers under unreasonable pressure in their most exposed moments…some exquisite points of solo detail from the harp‚ woodwind and percussion that serve to remind us how much of a pointillist craftsman Puccini was in his layered orchestration.

Live Theatre UK (June 2017)

...conductor Matthew Kofi Waldren demonstrated a superior empathy with Puccini’s late style and an easy command of the City of London Sinfonia in the pit.

Opera News (June 2017)

Matthew Kofi Waldren kept the ensemble scenes in the first two acts moving with vivid impetus‚ encouraging the orchestra to provide characterful‚ full-blooded drama which complemented the stage though occasionally I would have liked vibrancy to give way to something more relaxed. But in the duets‚ Waldren showed that he could balance things‚ allowing the singers to shape Puccini’s melodies. This wasn’t the most luxuriant account of the score‚ but the playing of the City of London Sinfonia brought out the vibrant colours and details of Puccini’s writing.

Opera Today (June 2017)

The City of London Sinfonia under Matthew Kofi Waldren gives a fine performance of Puccini’s evocative score.

The Express (June 2017)

La Bohème‚ Opera Holland Park

Matthew Waldren‚ conducting the City of London Sinfonia‚ led a full-blooded‚ big hearted‚ open-air performance...

Opera Magazine (August 2016)

The musical performance is also first rate – Matthew Waldren conducting a fine and loving account of the score with verve and the City of London Sinfonia responding in kind.

Classical Source (June 2016)

The City of London Sinfonia forms the orchestra‚ and the conducting of Matthew Waldren‚ who was recently awarded an ENO Charles Mackerras Fellowship‚ reveals a keen eye for detail and balance while still capturing something of the sweeping nature of Puccini’s enigmatic score.

MusicOMH (June 2016)

Waldren conducts with real passion.

The Guardian (June 2016)

Matthew Waldren conducts an account that is as perceptive in realising the detail of Puccini’s score as it is surefooted in overview. He energises the alert musicians of the City of London Sinfonia.

The Stage (June 2016)

In general this is a vigorous show‚ driven by firm voices‚ a conductor‚ Matthew Waldren‚ with a clear grip‚ and a very crisp City of London Sinfonia.

The Times (June 2016)

The crisp playing of the City of London Sinfonia under Matthew Waldren is arrestingly good‚

What’s On Stage (June 2016)

Matthew Waldren provided assured direction to the cast‚ orchestra and chorus throughout... Waldren and the City of London Sinfonia provided a flexible and richly coloured accompaniment.

Seen and Heard International (June 2016)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‚ OHP at Linbury Theatre

The twelve-piece orchestra – under conductor Matthew Waldren – does what it has to do well starting with the fairly traditional musical overture‚ then embracing all the changes of style and effectively accompanying the solos and ensembles‚ as well as‚ keeping everything moving forward.

Seen & Heard International (November 2015)

Lakmé‚ Opera Holland Park

In the pit‚ the City of London Sinfonia played the well-crafted score for all it was worth‚ while conductor Matthew Waldren explored and extolled its many subtle French niceties.

OperaNews (November 2015)

Matthew Waldren got the orchestra in the right zone of ethereal foofla‚ and any longueurs were certainly down to Delibes.

Opera Now (October 2015)

That the evening hung together so well was down to Matthew Waldren’s conducting‚ which brought out the score’s well-mannered colours‚ its nudges into drama and its sensuousness‚ with excellent playing from the City of London Sinfonia. Even Waldren‚ though‚ has his work cut out keeping our attention in the two-hour stretch of Acts 1 and 2‚ but he kept his cool in a style that drifts from ballet prettiness into bel canto and dabs of Impressionism.

Opera (September 2015)

Conductor Matthew Waldren whipped up a storm from the City of London Sinfonia when needed‚ but also found space for the chamber sonorities of the many delicate instrumental solos – especially from the flute and other woodwinds. It was a real pleasure to see the full orchestra rather than losing them to view in a conventional pit‚ and the good balance between singers and players throughout the evening confirmed the wisdom of this decision.

British Theatre (August 2015)

Matthew Waldren and the City of London Sinfonia played Delibes’ fragrant orchestrations to the manner born.

Opera Britannia (July 2015)

There’s consistently impressive playing from the City of London Sinfonia‚ while conductor Matthew Waldren maintains a focused eye on the music’s expressive aims...Verdict; Conducted with distinction by Matthew Waldren.

The Stage (July 2015)

Matthew Waldren led a vivid account of Delibes’ colourful score‚ sparkling nicely in the Opéra Comique style choruses and the quintet for the Brits in Act II.

BachTrack (July 2015)

The excellence of the performance is rounded out by elegant and sensitive singing from the Opera Holland Park Chorus‚ and an assured contribution from the City of London Sinfonia that responds ably to Matthew Waldren – the pathos of that ‘Flower Duet’ owing in no small part to the alertness of his conducting.

Classical Source (July 2015)

Matthew Waldren gets clean playing from the orchestra.

Financial Times (July 2015)

...the superb playing of the City of London Sinfonia under conductor Matthew Waldren.

Independent (July 2015)

Under conductor Matthew Waldren‚ City of London Sinfonia manages a convincing French accent.

London Evening Standard (July 2015)

This opera is full of wonderful moments to which Matthew Waldren in the orchestra pit gave great effect with a mix of liveliness‚ charm and solemnity.

MarkRonan (July 2015)

Matthew Waldren conducts superbly‚ keeping everything balanced and precise‚ which is not easy given both the tented area’s acoustic and the specific demands of this opera.

MusicOMH (July 2015)

Delibes’s Lakmé – the opera about the Hindu priestess and her intoxicated lover‚ the British officer Gerald – almost flew by on the second night of Opera Holland Park’s new staging‚ thanks to terrific musical standards...Given that the first two acts before the interval at Opera Holland Park last exactly two hours‚ any sense of lift-off was some achievement on the part of all involved: Matthew Waldren conducting‚ with zestful‚ finely shaped playing from the City of London Sinfonia.

Observer on Sunday (July 2015)

There was certainly considerable attention to the detail‚ and a sustained‚ thoughtful expressiveness to the instrumentalists’ phrasing; the individual voices could be clearly heard‚ as if characters in the opera — and it certainly sounded as if the players cared about the music...conductor Matthew Waldren was in full command of the details.

Opera Today (July 2015)

Musically‚ the opera works beautifully. The City of London Sinfonia under conductor Matthew Waldren captures the lushness of the score.

Sunday Express (July 2015)

Under Mathew Waldren the City of London Sinfonia played remarkably well.

Sunday Times (July 2015)

Its scene-painting is atmospheric‚ its melodies are sensuous‚ its orchestration lush‚ its pace languorous – and it is to the credit of Matthew Waldren that his shapely conducting doesn’t soup or whip it up factitiously. The City of London Sinfonia plays every note lovingly.

Telegraph (July 2015)

[the] expert baton of Matthew Waldren‚ conducting a very fine City of London Sinfonia with some first-rate wind solos and wacky timpani playing from Tristan Fry in the Act Two divertissement.

The Arts Desk (July 2015)

Musically‚ everything is at a consistently high level. Matthew Waldren conducts crisply and the City of London Sinfonia’s playing is full of good things.

The Guardian (July 2015)

The City of London Sinfonia‚ conducted by Matthew Waldren‚ lap up every woodwind caress and piquant phrase.

The Spectator (July 2015)

Matthew Waldren conducts a handsome account of this heavily upholstered score.

The Times (July 2015)

Derivative hokum though it is‚ those ravishing melodies carry it along and this crisp‚ hurtling account by Matthew Waldren and the City of London Sinfonia runs an electric charge through Delibes’ score.

What’s On Stage (July 2015)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‚ Opera Holland Park

The music is also contrived to work well out of doors. Much of it is cunning underscoring that does not interfere with the projection of the text to the audience. But there is also a great deal of stylistic variation – plenty of Latin‚ Calypso and Jazz rhythms and many echoes of familiar composers – for example‚ the Bernstein of West Side Story. There is plenty of tongue-in-cheek pastiche‚ always elegantly carried off. The twelve-piece orchestra has a lot to do: it gets us going with a lively scene-setting overture and there are plenty of characterful solos in what follows. It is no easy task for conductor Matthew Waldren to manage these disparate forces in the open air and on the move‚ but he set lively tempi and managed to keep everyone together without any visible problems.

British Theatre (August 2015)

The ‘Alice band’ delivers a rich soundscape.

Bargain Theatre Land (July 2015)

The live orchestra sparks a bit of outdoor magic into the performance.

A Younger Theatre (July 2015)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‚ CD review

Tunefully engaging‚ Todd’s work combines wit and charm in equal measure‚ even finding sonic equivalents for Carroll’s lyrical flights of literary fancy‚ along with beguiling melodies‚ all played soaringly by an ensemble of 11 players under conductor Matthew Waldren‚ and sung beautifully by a first-rate cast.

FlipSideReviews (December 2015)

There is strong support from...the tightly-knit contribution of the makeshift band under the lightly-worn authority of Mathew Waldren’s baton.

Opera (December 2015)

The cast...and orchestra‚ conducted by Matthew Waldren‚ put on a good show.

Gramaphone (July 2015)

Conductor Matthew Waldren draws bright‚ breezy playing from his orchestra.

Music Web International (July 2015)

Matthew Waldren conducts the 11 piece orchestra with aplomb‚ and recorded in the studio we get to appreciate far more of the detail in Will Todd’s orchestration.

Planet Hugill (July 2015)

Conductor Matthew Waldren holds the 11-piece ensemble together with panache and fizz.

Sinfini Music (July 2015)

It has bags of energy and colour

Telegraph (July 2015) can admit to yourself‚ at home with a drink-me glass of merlot or two‚ that it’s not just toddlers who’ll enjoy Todd’s music...On record‚ all words are crystal clear‚ supported by a small but colouful orchestra that includes an accordian and sax.

The Times (July 2015)

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‚ Opera Holland Park

The music matches the libretto in style: modern classical sounds give way to elements from music hall or jazz for certain sections in Will Todd’s beautifully-crafted score. It is well judged for the venue and the forces and rightly doesn’t compromise on complexity for a young audience‚ with some superb ensembles...Outdoor acoustic performances are notoriously hard to balance for sound but this mostly succeeded here...the ensemble and tuning were excellent‚ particularly considering the spaces across which performers were working‚ with the attentive but not noiseless audience sometimes positioned in between the cast and orchestra.

BachTrack (July 2014)

Another bravo goes to the orchestra‚ who have to run after the actors during scene changes in order to provide a musical background...We are quite sure this opera will be back on stage at Holland Park next year as well — seeing how brilliant it is.

Londonist (July 2014)

A thoughtfully selected and wonderfully conducted (Matthew Waldren) 11 piece musical group (strings‚ some brass and wind‚ percussion and the addition of a valuable‚ and unusual‚ accordion) we’re at the usual standard of music an audience can expect from this company.

The Public Reviews (July 2014)

The 11-piece orchestra of glorious strings knit together with more unusual sounds from the accordion‚ saxophone and flute.

The Upcoming (July 2014)

Conductor Matthew Waldren and his 11-strong orchestra do a sterling job in the heat‚ the music always delivered with gusto and skill.

Views from the Gods (July 2014)

Il barbiere di Siviglia‚ Opera Holland Park

From the first attention grabbing chord‚ the City of London Sinfonia under Matthew Waldren revelled in every jokey phrase and bouncing rhythm.

Opera (August 2014)

(The overture) zipped along vivaciously with raucous woodwinds and spirited percussion contributions.

BachTrack (June 2014)

The Overture was generously shaped and fully anticipated all the mischief waiting in the wings...he looked after the singers well and built up a fine Act one finale.

Classical Source (June 2014)

The Overture was generously shaped and fully anticipated all the mischief waiting in the wings...he looked after the singers well and built up a fine Act one finale.

MusicOMH (June 2014)

Conductor Matthew Waldren led the City of London Sinfonia through a sparkling overture...there was much attention to detail...the string ensemble was good‚ and the woodwind and horn solos sang warmly.

Opera Today (June 2014)

The musical directing [is] superb and the performance provides all the hilarity you could expect from Rossini‚ and sometimes more.

Plays To See (June 2014)

Matthew Waldren did a great job in keeping the arias and big set piece numbers on track. I loved the orchestra’s mock heroics‚ playfulness and winning exuberance in the overture (the woodwind section were particularly good). Waldren provided a very attentive accompaniment to the principals and set piece numbers were superb – I loved the way the the Act 1 finale was allowed to build nicely into a frothy‚ riotous piece of high camp.

Seen & Heard International (June 2014)

The City of London Sinfonia responded well to Matthew Waldren’s baton‚ his apt tempo choices and a persuasive musical momentum. The strings were on gleaming form.

What’s On Stage (June 2014)

Strekosa I Muravej‚ Tête à Tête

Matthew Waldren was ably in control‚ getting a fine performance from the instrumental ensemble and ensuring the whole show ran without a hitch.

Planet Hugill (August 2013)

The orchestra was the highlight of the evening. The music‚ composed by Brian Hosefros‚ ws absolutely fantastic; a breath-taking blend of mainly strings and woodwind‚ resulting in haunting melodies which were very tense at times. The strings were plucked‚ macabre and insect-like...Conductor Matthew Waldren was captivating to watch [displaying] confidence with the chillingly evocative pieces.

Plays to See (August 2013)

Les pêcheurs de perles‚ Opera Holland Park

Matthew Waldren’s sympathetic music direction went a considerable distance in making this a very cultivated Pecheurs...The conductor Matthew Waldren did well to avoid the saccharine in a score with such a penchant for prettiness‚ and I much admired the way in which he folded in the reappearances of the the big duet tune to give the drama an unexpected sense of direction and psychological truth. The City of London Sinfonia’s playing was responsive and stylish.

Opera (September 2013)

Matthew Waldren takes it all very seriously and draws attractive playing from the City of London Sinfonia.

The Daily Telegraph (June 2013)

The music provides a host of situations in which to display some of the fondest harmonic and orchestral subtleties - all of which are nicely brought to the fore in the current Opera Holland Park production by the City of London Sinfonia under the young baton of Matthew Waldren...By any measure‚ the best performance came from the orchestra. It was there‚ in the pit‚ that Bizet’s eclectic score tried hardest to come out fully in all its various‚ intermingling‚ contrasting facets‚ supplying...musical cunning.

BachTrack (June 2013)

The City of London Sinfonia...under Matthew Waldren‚ a dynamic musician who won his spurs at OHP as an exceptional chorus-master between 2009 and 2011. It is typical of this company to keep faith with its home-grown talent and the young conductor repaid the investment handsomely. He shaped Bizet’s score with great sensitivity‚ alive to its exotic colours‚ and keen to display the melodic orchestrations to their best advantage. The players responded with style....Pace and dynamics were ideal: Waldren is a talent to watch.

Classical Source (June 2013)

It would be disastrously bad form to not mention the evocative playing of the City of London Sinfonia‚ conducted by Matthew Waldren. The young conductor brought out the subtleties of Bizet’s score with aptitude seemingly beyond his years: tempi were well chosen--especially for that oh-so-famous duet/theme that runs rampant throughout--and he led the chorus through their difficult moments with style.

Musical Criticism (June 2013)

Throughout the evening Matthew Waldren drew lovely playing from the City of London Sinfonia.

Opera Britannia (June 2013)

The City of London Sinfonia summoned up a surprisingly rich array of tints and shades under the proficient baton of Matthew Waldren. The woodwind and string soloists rose admirably to their respective challenges and there was some wonderfully soft playing from the horns.

Opera Today (June 2013)

Les Pecheurs de Perles‚ a musical treat under the baton of Matthew Waldren.

Oxford Times (June 2013)

Conductor Matthew Waldren was highly sympathetic accompanist. He didn’t drag things out and allow the big tunes to become self-indulgent‚ but he allowed the singers great flexibility which counted a lot towards our enjoyment. Hearing a fine singer shaping a line and bringing small rubatos to phrases is one of life’s pleasures in this sort of music. Waldren was aided and abetted by the City of London Sinfonia‚ who brought great style to their performance. Les Pecheurs is [an] opera which critics love to chunter about. But here‚ Waldren and Platt [dir.] paid it the compliment of taking the work seriously. They and their cast performed it with winning directness which was rightly popular with the audience.

Planet Hugill (June 2013)

Conductor Matthew Waldren directs an efficient reading‚ getting lovely clarity from the strings and some beautifully blended work from the horns‚ and musically this is an enjoyable evening...Meantime‚ it’s a show worth hearing.

The Arts Desk (June 2013)

Matthew Waldren extracts some very fine singing and playing from his chorus and orchestra‚ whose violist‚ oboist and harpist rise nobly to their respective challenges...musically it’s pretty much the biz.

The Independent (June 2013)

In the pit‚ the conductor Matthew Waldren...has an ear for Bizet’s silky textures and is a steady hand.

The Times (June 2013)

But it’s conductor Matthew Waldren and the City of London Sinfonia who best exploit the score’s lush sonorities and provide the evening’s richest pleasures.

Time Out (June 2013)

Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers‚ which closed last weekend‚ was a musical delight from start to finish‚ conducted by young Matthew Waldren.

What’s On Stage (June 2013)

Gianni Schicchi‚ Opera Holland Park

Matthew Waldren encouraged the City of London Sinfonia to deliver its contribution to the coruscating humour as well as to the sentimentality of the piece.

Classical Source (July 2012)

Zanetto / Gianni Schicchi‚ Opera Holland Park

charming lyricism...the music swelled forth...superb conducting by young Associate Conductor Matthew Waldren.

Mark Ronan (July 2012)

Zanetto‚ Opera Holland Park

Under conductor Matthew Waldren‚ the City of London Sinfonia sang their way through Mascagni’s score‚ giving the long breathed melodies life.

Planet Hugill (July 2012)

The changes of mood in the musical paragraphs and the instrumental colourings which accompanied them were allowed to register without undue haste...Matthew Waldren conducted what amounted to a chamber orchestra with restraint and refinement.

Classical Source (July 2012)

Fantastic Mr Fox‚ Opera Holland Park

Matthew Waldren excels in leading a fiercely talented medley of musicians; the entire troop work in harmony with one another to create a brilliant sound which fleets across stage to each scene.

StageWo (July 2011)

02nd October, 2022

Migrations - Welsh National Opera

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
15th October, 2022

Migrations - Welsh National Opera

Venue Cymru, Llandudno
Signum Classics

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Will Todd