Born 1986 in Finland, Ville Einar Matvejeff has established himself as an exceptionally wide-ranging musician enjoying success as conductor, composer and pianist. He trained at the Sibelius Academy (M.Mus.) and Espoo Music Institute.
Matvejeff has established a solid international conducting career both in the opera and symphonic repertoire. His term as the Principal Guest Conductor of Norrlandsoperan Symphony Orchestra begins in September 2022. Priorly, he served as the Chief Conductor of Jyväskylä Sinfonia in 2014-2022 and continues as their Artistic Advisor until the end of 2023. In 2014-2020 he was the Principal Guest Conductor and Music Advisor of the Croatian National Theatre HNK Zajc in Rijeka, and was given the title of Honorary Guest Conductor after his term there. Recent and upcoming seasons sees Matvejeff debuting and re-invited to the Helsinki, Duisburg and Tampere Philharmonic Orchestras and the Tapiola Sinfonietta, as well as the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Lahtai, Ulster Orchestra, Gothenburg Opera, and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir. Matvejeff has developed a broad repertoire extending from the classical through to the 20th century and contemporary, and has conducted numerous world premieres of composers such as Éric Tanguy, Kalevi Aho, Aulis Sallinen, Lotta Wennäkoski, Antti Auvinen, Cecilia Damström and Olli Virtaperko among others. A bass-baritone with solo performances on both concert and opera stages to his credit, he is equally conversant with a wide choral and oratorio repertoire.
Matvejeff was appointed the artistic director of Savonlinna Opera Festival from 1.9.2019 on and is currently extended until the festival of 2027. He was priorly serving as the Artistic Director of Turku Music Festival from 2016 until 2018. Matvejeff conducts a diversity of opera repertoire ranging from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and to contemporary productions such as Aribert Reimann’s Lear, Joonas Kokkonen’s Last Temptations and operas by Aulis Sallinen and Kaija Saariaho. In 2017 he led concert performances of Parsifal with a cast featuring Klaus Florian Vogt and Karita Mattila at the Turku Music Festival and a run of Hansel and Gretel at Malmö Opera, whilst at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc he has conducted productions including Elektra, Tristan und Isolde, La Bohème, Aida, Falstaff, and Otello. Recent opera highlights include Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Gothenburg Opera, Aida at the Savonlinna Opera Festival as well as the world premiere of Aulis Sallinen’s Castle in the Water. Matvejeff started his opera career in the early 2010s with positions at the Malmö Opera and the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, as well as working as assistant with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen and Leif Segerstam.
A musical polymath, Matvejeff is also a pianist and composer. He made his soloist debut as pianist at the age of 18 with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and has since toured the world in a recital partnership with soprano Karita Mattila. The Spring 2017 saw the duo on a European tour with performances at the Vienna State Opera, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Zürich Opera House amongst others. As a composer, he has received commissions from the Finnish Chamber Orchestra and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, for whom he wrote his Violin Concerto to celebrate the inauguration of the Helsinki Music Centre in September 2011. His passion for the human voice has led him to write a substantial amount of choral music, while recordings of his orchestral works Ad Astra and Cello Concerto Crossroads have been released on the Alba label.