Matthew Rowe is Music Director of Dutch National Ballet and Artistic Director of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra. He is also much sought-after as a guest conductor across the world. Renowned for his skill and experience in both the classics and in new works, his extensive repertoire also encompasses symphonic and operatic repertoire.

Ⓒ Frances Marshall – Marshall Light Studio

Matthew Rowe made his debut with Dutch National Ballet in 2004, returning as a guest every season until his double appointment as Music Director of Dutch National Ballet and Artistic Director of the Dutch Ballet Orchestra in 2013. In this dual function he plays a vital role in the musical and artistic co-operation of the two organisations.

Notable recent productions with Dutch National Ballet and the Dutch Ballet Orchestra have included the world premieres of David Dawson’s Requiem with music by Gavin Bryars, and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Frida with music by Peter Salem.

Rowe stands out in the conducting world for his skill and experience with complex collaborative productions. An exceptionally versatile conductor with a wide repertoire, he is respected and acknowledged for his passion, commitment and energy. His dynamic conducting style, exceptional technique and attention to detail are the trademarks of his approach. He is passionate about building bridges between art forms and demonstrates remarkable adaptability in responding to the diverse challenges of collaborative music-making in the 21st century.

Praised internationally for his work, noteworthy ballet productions have included Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella, Alexei Ratmansky’s Firebird, and world premieres of Shen Wei’s Sacre du Printemps, Hans van Manen’s Variations for Two Couples and Ted Brandsen’s Mata Hari, while his extensive repertoire embraces the work of many renowned choreographers – including numerous works of George Balanchine, Hans van Manen, David Dawson and Krzysztof Pastor. Furthermore, Rowe also conducts the classics including Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quichot, Giselle and Coppelia.

Matthew Rowe has a long-standing association with Nederlands Dans Theater, where he has collaborated with many contemporary choreographers including Jiří Kylián, Lightfoot León, Marco Goecke, Alexander Ekman, Hofesh Shechter and Crystal Pite. Most recently he directed Kunstkamer, a production celebrating 60 years of NDT. He also appears as a guest conductor with numerous international dance companies, including San Francisco Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet, English National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet, Polish National Ballet and the Royal Danish Ballet.

Symphonic appearances have included all the BBC orchestras, as well as other British orchestras (London Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra). Rowe has also worked extensively across Scandinavia, including with the Royal Danish Orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Malmo Symphony Orchestra as well as with orchestras in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, USA and Mexico.

In the operatic field Rowe’s many engagements have included Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte

and Le nozze di Figaro, Bizet’s Carmen, Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins and Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann and several world premieres. He has also demonstrated an exceptional ability to handle the demanding requirements of live orchestral accompaniments to silent movies, including performances of Chaplin’s City Lights, Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin and D.W. Griffith’s epic The Birth of a Nation.

Ⓒ Frances Marshall – Marshall Light Studio

From 2009 to 2013, Rowe was Director of Orchestral Studies at San Diego State University. He directed all the major music ensembles as well as opera and contemporary music groups. As Professor of Conducting, he was responsible for all undergraduate and graduate conducting education. Rowe is still widely recognised for his skills as a teacher, and remains deeply committed to education and outreach work. He has led many large-scale participation projects in the UK, the USA and in Europe, including performances of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps with the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and a production of Bernstein’s West Side Story celebrating 125 years of the Concertgebouw.

Matthew Rowe is also a skilled communicator off the podium and is much in demand as a motivational speaker and workshop leader in the corporate world. He has also presented a variety of BBC productions, including radio features, pre-concert talks, online projects and was a mentor for the original Maestro TV series.

Born in London, Rowe studied conducting with Colin Metters, George Hurst and John Carewe. In 1990 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore to study under Frederik Prausnitz. Rowe found early success in his conducting career, winning top prizes at a number of international conducting competitions, including the 1995 Nicolai Malko Competition in Denmark, the 1995 Lovro von Matačić Competition in Zagreb, and the 1999 Leeds Conductors Competition.


Watch Matthew Rowe in this performance of the Finale of Stravinsky’s The Firebird with the Dutch Ballet Orchestra.