Matthew Brook


"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"

Australian Stage

"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"

The Times

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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,

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,

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,

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,

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)

Hyperion CDA68031/2

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,

Matthew Brook sang with wise authority.

Graham Rickson,

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

Opera Now

Weber, Der Freischütz, Opera Comique, Paris / Gardiner

April 2011

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
Christmas Oratorio
Easter Oratorio
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
Choral Symphony
Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ (all bass/baritone roles)
Blow God spake sometime in visions
Blake Benedictus
Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes
Britten Cantata Misericordium
Burgon The fall of Lucifer
Carissimi Jephte
Charpentier Caecilia Virgo
Te Deum
Dvorak Mass in D
Stabat Mater
Te Deum
Dyson Canterbury Pilgrims
Elgar Apostles
Dream of Gerontius
The Kingdom
Faure Requiem
Finzi In terra pax
Let us garlands bring
Lo the full final sacrifice
Grieg Four Psalms
Grier Around the curve of the world
Handel Acis and Galatea
Alexander’s Feast
Apollo et Dafne
Dixit Dominus
Israel in Egypt
Judas Maccabeus
Sing unto the Lord
Utrecht Te Deum
Haydn Creation
Harmony Mass
Heilige Messe
Maria Therese Mass
Nelson Mass
Pauken Mass
St Nicholas Mass
Howells Requiem
Janacek Glagolitic Mass
Unvollendete Messe
Joubert The Magus
Kodaly Te Deum
Maunder Olivet to Calvary
Mendelssohn Elijah
Mozart Missa Brevis
Mass in C Minor
Mass in C
Regina Coeli
Requiem Vespers
Monteverdi Vespers
Book IV Madrigals
Purcell In guilty night
Ode to St Cecilia
Come ye sons of art
Anthony Powers Air and Angels
Orff Carmina Burana
Puccini Messe di Gloria
Rameau In convertendo
Rossini Stabat Mater
Petite Messe Solenelle
Stainer Crucifixion
Schütz Christmas Story
Stravinsky Canticum Sacrum
Tippett A child of our time
Vaughan Williams Benedicite
Dona nobis pacem
Sancta Civitas
Fantasia on Christmas Carols
5 Mystical Songs
Walton Belshazzar’s Feast

Matthew Brook Opera Repertoire

Bernstein A Quiet Place (Young Sam)
Bizet Carmen (Zuniga)
Britten Albert Herring (Vicar)
Noye’s Fludde (Noye)
Peter Grimes (Ned Keene)
Handel Acis and Galatea (Polyphemus)
Ariodante (Il Re)
Apollo et Dafne (Apollo)
Jephtha (Zadok)
Tolomeo (Eraspe)
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)
Puccini Tosca (Sacristan)
Rameau Anacréon (Anacréon)
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)

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