Matthew Toogood was born in Adelaide, South Australia. He obtained his Bachelor of Music in piano at the University of Melbourne, followed by a Masters of Music in Conducting, studying with Professor John Hopkins.
After completing his studies, Matthew Toogood was artistic director and chief conductor of the Heidelberg Choral Society in Melbourne from 2006 to 2010. He conducted numerous choral symphonic works, including Bach's B MINOR MASS, Brahms EIN DEUTSCHES REQUIEM and Handel's MESSIAH, while giving strong impetus to the artistic development of the choir through operatic concert performances of Puccini’s TURANDOT, and Verdi's NABUCCO and MACBETH.
From 2007 to 2010 he was choirmaster, conductor and repetiteur at Melbourne Opera, where he conducted performances of LA BOHEME, TOSCA, LA TRAVIATA, PAGLIACCI and CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA.
In 2010 the young conductor came to Germany, beginning at the Frankfurt Opera before he was hired at the Komische Oper Berlin. From the 2010/2011 to 2014/2015 season he was under contract as a solo coach at the Komische Oper Berlin. He made his house debut as a conductor with Marino's PUSS IN BOOTS. Other performances followed with Humperdinck’s HÄNSEL UND GRETEL and Prokofiev’s PETER UND DER WOLF as part of the Prokofiev Festival. In addition, he assisted in over 40 different works in the repertoire - from Monteverdi to Puccini and Verdi to Cole Porter and some world premieres.
In 2013 and 2015, Matthew Toogood assisted Sir Simon Rattle in performances of Britten's NOAHS FLUT and Jonathan Dove’s WAS LAUERT DA IM LABYRINTH with the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2015/2016 several guest assistant positions led him to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Matthew Toogood returned to the Komische Oper as a guest conductor in 2017, where he directed the revision of Monteverdi's / Kats-Chernin's THE CORONATION OF POPPEA and the revival of Monteverdi's ORPHEUS, also arranged by Elena Katz-Chernin. In December 2017 he was a guest conductor of HÄNSEL UND GRETEL at the Chemnitz Theater.
From the 2016/17 until 2018/19 seasons Matthew Toogood held the position of Kapellmeister and Assistant to the General Music Director at the Nationaltheater Mannheim. During his tenure he conducted the premiere of the new production of Spoliansky's WIE WERDE ICH REICH UND GLÜCKLICH, recorded and conducted the world premiere production of VESPERTINE with music by Björk, and conducted and played piano concerto for the dance premiere SANSSCOUCI. Prolific repertoire performances included revivals of HÄNSEL UND GRETEL, TURANDOT, THE LOVE OF THREE ORANGES, AIDA, NORMA, LA CENERENTOLA, DON GIOVANNI, CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA, I PAGLIACCI, DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, MY FAIR LADY, THE MERRY WIDOW, CARMINA BURANA, and ORPHEUS IN DER UNTERWELT. As Assistant to GMD Alexander Soddy, Matthew Toogood prepared productions of ELEKTRA, SALOME, DER ROSENKAVALIER, DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG, PARSIFAL, TANNHÄUSER, PELLEAS ET MÉLISANDE and more.
For a two year interim period 2019 to 2021, Matthew Toogood was appointed First Kapellmeister and Musical Director of the Opera at the Konzert Theater Bern in Switzerland. During his first season he conducted the premieres of Szymanowski's KRÓL ROGER, Smetana's THE BARTERED BRIDE, Rossini's IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA and conducted performances of MADAMA BUTTERFLY and CARMEN. In the 2020/2021 season he successfully premiered Verdi’s OTELLO, completely re-arranged JENUFA for a corona-compatible and reduced orchestral version, which he of course conducted himself, and conducted performances of DIE FLEDERMAUS. His planned performances of PARSIFAL and Britten’s RAPE OF LUCRETIA were unfortunately cancelled due to the pandemic.
Future tasks in the 2021/2022 season include two premieres with the Berlin Opera Academy of Puccini's SUOR ANGELICA and GIANNI SCHICCHi in Kandersteg (CH), the musical assistance of Jonathan Nott at the Grand Teatre in Geneva of the new production of ELEKTRA, and conducting the revival of Monteverdi/Kats-Chernin’s ORPHEUS at the Komische Oper Berlin.