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
Browse 1-17 of 17 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    The John Eliot Gardiner Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826002 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Henry Purcell,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts  ... 
    CD: $104.49
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  • 2.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $148.49
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  • 3.
    Britten: Billy Budd / Harding, Bostridge, Gunn
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 19039 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Ian Bostridge,  Matthew Rose,  Jonathan Lemalu,  Neal Davies  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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    CD: $32.49
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  • 4.
    Stravinsky: The Rake's Progress / Riccardo Chailly
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 411644 Release Date: 10/02/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  John Dobson,  Astrid Varnay,  Matthew Best,  Stafford Dean  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Sinfonietta Chorus,  London Sinfonietta
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  • 5.
    Verdi: Don Carlo / Haitink, Cotrubas, Lima, Et Al
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2844 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Luis Lima,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Giorgio Zancanaro,  Robert Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
    On sale! $29.99
    DVD: $26.99
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  • 6.
    The Compact Opera Collection - Rossini: Il Barbiere/Marriner
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470434 Release Date: 08/20/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Francisco Araiza,  Domenico Trimarchi,  Agnes Baltsa,  Thomas Allen  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
    On sale! $42.99
    CD: $39.99
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  • 7.
    Essential Rossini - 23 Of His Greatest Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472213 Release Date: 04/09/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Henry Lewis,  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 8.
    Rossini: Il Barbiere Di Siviglia / Marriner, Baltsa, Allen, Best
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 446448 Release Date: 03/01/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Thomas Allen,  Matthew Best,  Robert Lloyd,  Sally Burgess  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
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  • 9.
    Vaughan Williams: Sir John In Love / Hickox, Varcoe, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9928 Release Date: 07/24/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Performer:  Adrian Thompson,  Susan Gritton,  Henry Moss,  Stephan Loges  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia,  Sinfonia Chorus
    CD: $34.99
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  • 10.
    Britten: Billy Budd / Hickox, Langridge, Keenlyslide, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9826 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Clive Bayley,  Richard Coxon,  Timothy Du Fore,  Christopher Keyte  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus,  Tiffin School Boys Chorus
    Recommendation
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  • 11.
    Opera In English - Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (Highlights) / Daniel, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3007 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Stephen Dawson,  Edward Thornton,  Matthew Best,  Brian Cookson  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Northern Philharmonia,  Opera North Chorus,  Leeds Parish Church Chorus
    CD: $14.99
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  • 12.
    Tippett Conducts Tippett - Concertos, Ritual Dances, Etc
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1759 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Michael Tippett
    Performer:  Linda Rhodes,  Michael Bochmann,  Nicolas Jones,  Alexander Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  William Boughton,  George Guest,  Stephen Darlington,  Michael Tippett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir  ... 
    On sale! $30.99
    CD: $26.99
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  • 13.
    Menotti: Martin's Lie, Five Songs, Etc / Richard Hickox
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9605 Release Date: 04/21/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gian Carlo Menotti
    Performer:  Malcolm Martineau,  Robin Leggate,  Judith Howarth,  Ben Dixon  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tees Valley Boys' Choir,  Northern Sinfonia
    CD: $18.99
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  • 14.
    Beethoven: Leonore / Gardiner, Martinpelto, Oelze, Et Al
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 453461 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Hillevi Martinpelto,  Franz Hawlata,  Christiane Oelze,  Kim Begley  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
    Recommendation
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 15.
    Complete Beethoven Edition Vol 4 - Leonore, Fidelio
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453719 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Christoph Bantzer,  Christiane Oelze,  Kim Begley,  Franz Hawlata  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Leonard Bernstein,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Elgar: The Dream Of Gerontius / Hill, Kendall, Fryer, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553885-86 Release Date: 08/05/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  William Kendall,  Sarah Fryer,  Matthew Best
    Conductor:  David Hill
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta Chorus,  Waynflete Singers
    CD: $19.99
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  • 17.
    Britten: Peter Grimes / Richard Hickox, Philip Langridge
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9447 Release Date: 04/23/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Janice Watson,  Alan Opie,  Ameral Gunson,  John Graham-Hall  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia,  London Symphony Chorus
    CD: $34.99
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