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Matthew Best

Biography

Born: February 6, 1957; Farnborough, Kent, England  
Matthew Best began his career as a bass, singing at Covent Garden and at other leading operatic venues throughout the world. But since the mid-'80s he has turned increasingly toward conducting, recording many choral/orchestral and operatic works for Hyperion Records. Over the years his singing range has changed as well, placing him in the category of bass-baritone and including roles such as Scarpia and Amfortas.

Best was born in
Read more Farnborough, Kent, on February 6, 1957. He showed vocal talent in his youth and at age 16 (1973) founded the Corydon Singers, serving then and ever since as the ensemble's artistic director. He enrolled at King's College, Cambridge, and later at the National Opera Studio in London. His principal teachers included Robert Lloyd, Otakar Kraus, and Patrick McGuigan.

Best was signed on as a principal bass at Covent Garden in 1980 and two years later drew major notice when he was awarded the Decca-Kathleen Ferrier Prize. In 1985 he began an association with the English Chamber Orchestra, leading the ensemble in concerts and recordings, often with his Corydon Singers. He left Covent Garden the following year but continued singing with many other opera companies throughout the world, including the Scottish Opera and Nederlandse Opera.

Best founded the Corydon Orchestra in 1991, and together with the Corydon Singers has made numerous critically acclaimed recordings, including the Bruckner Mass in F minor and Psalm 150 (1992) and the Beethoven Opferlied and Meeresstille Cantatas (1996).

In 1998 Best became principal conductor of the Sussex-based Hanover Band, a highly respected period instrument chamber ensemble. But his increasing activity on the podium hardly diminished his operatic pursuits. He received high praise, in particular, for his portrayal of Amfortas in Wagner's Parsifal at the Scottish Opera in 2000, as well as for his Wotan in Wagner's Siegfried there in 2003. In the role of Kutuzov in Prokofiev's War and Peace at the English National Opera's 2001 English-language production, he scored a similar success. Read less
Tchaikovsky: Liturgy Of St. John Chrysostom / Matthew Best, Corydon Singers
Release Date: 12/11/2012   Label: Helios  
Catalog: 55437   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Choral Works / Best, Corydon Singers
Release Date: 06/10/2008   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 44321   Number of Discs: 4
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Durufle: Requiem, Four Motets / Matthew Best, Ann Murray
Release Date: 10/26/1992   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 66191   Number of Discs: 1
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Vaughan Williams: Toward The Unknown Region, Etc / Best
Release Date: 02/01/1994   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 66655   Number of Discs: 1
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Simpson: Canzona, Etc / Best, Corydon Singers, Quinn, Et Al
Release Date: 11/24/1998   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67016   Number of Discs: 1
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