"Matthew Brook, who turns anything he sings to gold"
Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian
"Matthew Brook’s arias were rare gems of poignant phrasing rested in dramatic accuracy"
"The monster Polypheme in a monstrously satisfying performance by Matthew Brook: one of the most compelling giants on disc"
BBC Radio 3 CD Review
"Matthew Brook’s virile bass is outstanding"
Matthew Brook leapt to fame with his 2007 Gramophone Award winning recording of Handel’s Messiah with the Dunedin Consort, followed by equally critically acclaimed recordings of Acis and Galatea and St Matthew Passion.
Recent and future highlights include Argenio Imeneo at the Göttingen International Handel Festival, Fauré’s Requiem with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Monteverdi Vespers with the Dunedin Consort, Mozart’s Requiem with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with the Hallé Orchestra, Zoroastro Orlando with the English Concert, Handel’s Messiah with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, Il Re di Scozia Ariodante with the Staatstheater Stuttgart and on tour with the English Concert, Bach’s Lutheran Masses with the Academy of Ancient Music, and performances of Bach’s B Minor Mass and The Dream of Gerontius with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
Bach St John Passion, Handel & Haydn Society
Boston Symphony Hall (March 2016)
In bass-baritone Matthew Brook’s forthright performance, Jesus was a strong if enigmatic human presence… Immediately preceding the latter aria, the same two violinists accompanied bass-baritone Brook in a touchingly halting performance of the meditation “Betrachte, meine Seel.” The bass-baritone sounded a more urgent note in the aria “Eilt, ihr angefochtnen Seelen” (Hurry, you tormented souls), in which the rapid choral interjections of “Wohin?” (Where?) were uncannily soft, like echoes of disembodied souls.
David Wright, Boston Classical Review
Bass-baritone Matthew Brook sang the role of Jesus with mellifluous gravity and warm beauty of tone. Although additional singers are often employed for the tenor and bass arias, these were sung by Mulroy and Brook respectively, requiring a shift in character from narrator or active participant to grieving bystander, a role change they both handled convincingly. A highlight of the evening was the bass arioso, “Betrachte, meine Seel” (Ponder, my soul), the jagged intervals of the vocal line accompanied by two muted violins.
Virginia Newes, The Boston Musical Intelligencer
Purcell The Married Beau, The English Concert
Wigmore Hall (September 2016)
Matthew Brook [was] genial and gusty in his arias.
Neil Fisher, The Times
More engaging still was bass-baritone Matthew Brook, a born performer with something of the great Christopher Purves about his tone and dramatisation, in Cardenio's "Let the Dreadful Engines”.
David Nice, theartsdesk.com
Matthew Brook gave us a characterful and delightfully swaggering rogue in When the World first knew creation. A lively Aire and another Hornpipe were followed by Brook's performance of Let the Dreadful Engines, a song in which the singer mistakenly believes his love has rejected him. The result was a highly dramatic sequence, full of free arioso with some lovely bravura moments, as well as charm and quiet passion. Brook really brought out the words, and turned the piece into a real tour de force.
Robert Hugill, planethuggill.com
Cryptic, Fantasy and Madness, Dunedin Consort
Assembly Roxy, Edinburgh (October 2016)
Singers Mhairi Lawson and Matthew Brook – both ruddy-cheeked and grinning suggestively – gave brilliantly vivid performances, full of vocal theatrics, savouring every word for its dramatic potential
David Kettle The Scotsman
Bach St Matthew Passion, Three Choirs Festival
Hereford Cathedral (July 2015)
Bass Matthew Brook brought a shining dignity to his portrayal of Christ.
Stephen Prichard, The Observer
The superlative bass-baritone Matthew Brook as Christ.
Roderic Dunnett, bachtrack.com
Bach St Matthew Passion (1727 Version), York Bach Choir / Peter Seymour
Signum SIGCD385 (June 2015)
The second bass is Matthew Brook, who…firmly captures the dichotomy of articulate precision and dramatic desperation in ‘Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder'.
David Vickers, Gramophone
Handel Messiah, Cardiff Polyphonic Choir 50th Anniversary
St David's Hall, Cardiff (December 2014)
But it was bass Matthew Brook’s vivid projection and the dramatic immediacy he brought that had most impact. His final aria 'The trumpet shall sound' with its instrumental obbligato, Ross Brown on valveless trumpet, was as stirring as Handel intended.
Rian Evans, The Guardian
Bach St John & St Matthew Passions, Seattle Symphony
Benaroya Hall (February 2014)
Matthew Brook had room in the St. John to demonstrate profoundly moving artistry both as Jesus and in the arias.
Bernard Jacobson, The Seattle Times
The rest of the soloists also were impressive, particularly bass-baritone Matthew Brook.
Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times
Beethoven Missa Solemnis, Royal Northern Sinfonia/Zehetmair
The Sage Gateshead (June 2014)
Matthew Brook’s expressive introduction to the Agnus Dei was another highlight.
Jane Shuttleworth, bachtrack.com
Bach St Matthew Passion, Yorkshire Bach Choir & Baroque Soloists
St Michael-le-Belfrey, York (March 2014)
Matthew Brook’s Christus was the backbone of the evening, mightily resilient.
Martin Dreyer, The York Press
Mozart Requiem, Dunedin Consort
Linn Records CKD 449
Matthew Brook's bass responds sonorously to the sounding of the last trumpet in the 'Tuba mirum’.
David Threasher, Gramophone
Bach St John Passion, Britten Sinfonia
Barbican Centre, London (April 2014)
Matthew Brook sang Christus and the bass arias with measured nobility.
George Hall, The Guardian
Bach St Matthew Passion, Soli Deo Gloria
Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago (April 2014)
Matthew Brook was eloquent in everything he sang, not least the great aria ‘Gerne will ich mich bequemen’.
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
Bass-baritone Matthew Brook provided worthy vocalism in his solo moments as well.
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
Matthew Brook…contributed impressively in [his] solos.
Adam Dahlgren, Splash Magazines
Bach Christmas Oratorio, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Layton)
Matthew Brook's resplendent all-guns-blazing ‘Grosser Herr'.
Paul Riley, BBC Music Magazine
I was most impressed with the soloists, particularly Matthew Brook’s resonant bass.
Graham Lock, Early Music Magazine
Matthew Brook's arias have a most enjoyable vigour.
Carl Rosman, International Record Review
Brahms Requiem, Royal Northern Sinfonia (Thomas Zehetmair)
The Sage, Gateshead (September 2013)
The other soloist, bass Matthew Brook was also excellent, powerful throughout the range and with particularly rich low notes. The bass soloist pleads God to teach us to know that we all have an end, and his words are echoed by the choir; Matthew Brook gave this passage a firm assurance, and with the interesting effect of a master teaching his students who repeat and accept his lesson.
Jane Shuttleworth, bachtrack.com
Matthew Brook sang with wise authority.
Graham Rickson, theartsdesk.com
Handel Esther (Haman), Dunedin Consort
Wigmore Hall, London (April 2013)
As the venomous Haman, Matthew Brook dark bass-baritone registered with malign force, though he also highlighted the sympathy finally allowed the king's official when he is condemned to death.
George Hall, The Guardian
It is Haman who has the first air, “Pluck root and branch from out the land”, and here the commanding bass Matthew Brook established his core vocal strength, to be balanced by the vigorous and perfectly balanced chorus.
Colin Clarke, Seen and Hear International
Handel Messiah, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
St. David’s Hall, Cardiff (December 2012)
But for me two of the most satisfying parts of the evening were given to us by Bass-baritone Matthew Brook whose singing of the Airs "Why do the nations so furiously rage together" and, in particular, "The trumpet shall sound" were memorable indeed.
Peter Collins, The Western Mail
Pilate and bass-baritone soloist (St John Passion), The Three Choirs Festival
Hereford Cathedral (July 2012)
Bowen's lineup of soloists were also strong. Matthew Brook tellingly defined Pilate's dilemma as well as finding a mellifluous flow in the bass arias.
Rian Evans, The Guardian
Matthew Brook was in very fine voice. He sang the recitative part of Pilate intelligently and did his arias very well. . . We got a much better view of Brook’s vocal prowess in Betrachte, mein Seel. Here he could deploy a very pleasing rounded tone and excellent, even legato. He sang the aria warmly and with fine expression. I also enjoyed very much ‘Mein teurer Heiland’ for the same reasons.
John Quinn, Seen and Heard International
Haman (Handel’s Esther - First Reconstructable Version (Cannons), 1720)
The Dunedin Consort/Butt, CD Linn CKD397
Brook’s performance of the villain Haman’s ‘Turn not, O Queen’ transfixes everyone
David Vickers, Gramophone
Brook’s noble singing of Haman’s (futile) plea for mercy to Esther and his admonitory final aria give the oratorio’s villain near-tragic grandeur
Richard Wigmore, Gramophone
Brahms, Ein deutsches Requiem, Monteverdi Choir/Gardiner
CD SDG706 (May 2012)
Matthew Brook’s dark-hued baritone is excellent for the role
Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine
The baritone Matthew Brook opens ‘Herr, lehre doch mich’ with a simple eloquence that is very persuasive…The combination of an unaffected solo baritone and period woodwind at ‘Ach, wie gar nichts sind alle Menschen’ is extremely effective...
Nigel Simeone , International Record Review
J. S. Bach, Cantata No. 207
The Dunedin Consort/Butt (May 2012)
The gauzy mystery of this aria, unlike anything else in Bach, was caught by the players with delicate care, and bass Matthew Brook sang with a lovely grave eloquence.
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph
‘Welt, gute Nacht’ (J.C.Bach), English Baroque Soloists/Gardiner,
CD SDG715, December 2011
Matthew Brook’s powerful, richly-hued Wie bist du den, o Gott with its incredible two-octave vocal range
Charlotte Gardner, Classic FM
The King of Scotland (Ariodante), Il Complesso Barocco/Curtis,
Virgin Classics 0 70844-2, May 2011
The Briton Matthew Brook [...] proves himself an outstanding Handel bass as the King of Scotland
Hugh Canning, International Record Review
Seneca (L’Incoronazione di Poppea),
Festival del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino/Curtis, June 2011
Only Matthew Brook as Seneca, Anders Dahlin as Ottone and Nicola Marchesini as the Nurse had any real grasp of Monteverdian style
Weber, Der Freischütz, Opera Comique, Paris / Gardiner
The singing was first rate...Matthew Brook made an impressive Kouno
James Jolly, Gramophone
Bach, Christmas Oratorio / The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Butt
Queen Elizabeth Hall, December 2010
“Brook's baritone realised the greatest variety of expressive tone-colour”
Rhian Evans, The Guardian
“Bach and Beyond”, Australian Chamber Orchestra/Richard Tognetti
(Australia, April 2010)
Brook’s agile bass.
Clive O’Connell,The Age
animated; especially Matthew Brook (bass), whose delivery is assertive; commanding, even.
Lloyd Bradford Syke, The Australian Stage
Friar Tuck (Ivanhoe), BBC National Orchestra of Wales/David Lloyd-Jones,
Chandos Records CHAN10578 (January 2010)
“’Ho, jolly Jenkin’… spiritedly tossed off by Matthew Brook.”
John T. Hughes, International Record Review
“vigorous and spirited rendition of “Ho, jolly Jenkin.”
– Faye Courtney, Opera Britannia
“very well-sung by Matthew Brook”
David Laviska, Musical Criticism
Vaughan Williams, Sancta Civitas, Bach Choir/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/David Hill
Naxos 8.572424 (May 2010)
[Vaughan Williams] would have appreciated these fine soloists, chief among them Matthew Brook, who turns anything he sings to gold.
Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian
There is infinite compassion, in the third movement … from baritone Matthew Brook, whose grainy timbre I can best compare to that of a youthful John Tomlinson
Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review
Handel Messiah, Handel and Haydn Society/Harry Christophers
(Boston Symphony Hall, December 2010)
Tenor Tom Randle and baritone Matthew Brook both had powerful, robust voices that served them well at the most dramatic moments.
David Weininger, The Boston Globe
Matthew Brook Concert Repertoire
|Bach||Magnificat including interpolations
Masses in A, G, and F
B Minor Mass
St John Passion
St Matthew Passion
Cantatas including numbers: 13, 18, 27, 32, 52, 56, 62, 66, 70, 78, 82, 85, 106, 110, 132, 140, 150, 151, 152, 158, 161, 164, 165, 182, 211
|JC Bach||Wie bist du den O Gott|
|Buxtehude||Jesu membra nostre|
|Beethoven||Mass in C
|Berlioz||L’Enfance du Christ (all bass/baritone roles)|
|Blow||God spake sometime in visions|
|Burgon||The fall of Lucifer|
|Dvorak||Mass in D
Dream of Gerontius
|Finzi||In terra pax
Let us garlands bring
Lo the full final sacrifice
|Grier||Around the curve of the world|
|Handel||Acis and Galatea
Apollo et Dafne
Israel in Egypt
Sing unto the Lord
Utrecht Te Deum
Maria Therese Mass
St Nicholas Mass
|Maunder||Olivet to Calvary|
Mass in C Minor
Mass in C
Book IV Madrigals
|Purcell||In guilty night
Ode to St Cecilia
Come ye sons of art
|Anthony Powers||Air and Angels|
|Puccini||Messe di Gloria|
Petite Messe Solenelle
|Tippett||A child of our time|
Dona nobis pacem
Fantasia on Christmas Carols
5 Mystical Songs
Matthew Brook Opera Repertoire
|Bernstein||A Quiet Place (Young Sam)|
|Britten||Albert Herring (Vicar)
Noye’s Fludde (Noye)
Peter Grimes (Ned Keene)
|Handel||Acis and Galatea (Polyphemus)
Ariodante (Il Re)
Apollo et Dafne (Apollo)
|Janáček||Jenufa (Starek) (Mayor)|
|Menotti||Amahl and the Night Visitors (Melchior)|
|Monteverdi||L'incoronazione di Poppea (Seneca)|
|Mozart||Don Giovanni (Leporello)
Le nozze di Figaro (Figaro)
Die Zauberflöte (Papageno)
|Purcell||Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas)
The Indian Queen (Ismeron)
Castor et Pollux (Jupiter)
|Sullivan||Trial by Jury (Counsel)
Ivanhoe (Friar Tuck)
|Tchaikovsky||Eugene Onegin (Onegin) (Zaretsky)|
|Vaughan Williams||The Pilgrim’s Progress (John Bunyan) (Lord Hategood) (Watchful)(Obstinate) and (First Shepherd)|
|Walton||Troilus and Cressida (Antenor, Calkas)|
|Weber||Der Freischütz (Kuno)|