Matthew McKinney – Tenor

Matthew McKinney is a Scottish tenor, currently in his second year of Masters at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a recipient of the John Mather Rising Star scholarship and Help Musicians (Ian Fleming) award. In 2020 he sang as a chorister with the New Generation Festival in their production of La Cenerentola at the Palazzo Corsini in Florence.

As a soloist Matthew has sung Haydn’s Creation, Harmoniemesse and Nelson Mass with the RCS Symphony Orchestra and Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and Mass in C Minor, Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G minor, Howell’s Requiem, Tippett’s 5 Negro Spirituals, Bernstein’s Chinchester Psalms and Goodhall’s Eternal Light Requiem. In 2019 Matthew premiered a new English arrangement of Erwin Schulhoff’s The Communist Manifesto and appeared as a soloist in the Usher Hall as part of Edinburgh International Festival’s concert series celebrating Young performers. 

Matthew has performed as a chorus member in Berlioz’ La Damnation du Faust, Jonathan Dove’s The Day After, Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel, Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Kurt Weill’s Street Scene and as a Ghost Soldier in Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave.

Matthew has twice appeared with the Monteverdi Choir at the BBC Proms and in France for a performance of Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust. He joined the prestigious Genesis 16 choral apprenticeship programme and was one of four young singers joining Dunedin Consort as part of the Bridging the Gap initiative (2018-19). In 2016 he featured as a soloist in the National Youth Choir of Scotland’s US tour with concerts including the annual 4th of July Independence Day celebration in Grant Park, Chicago.

At the RCS Matthew has won the Norma Grieg French Song competition, the Molly Robb competition for voice (adjudicated by Karen Cargill) and the RCS Governors’ recital prize for chamber ensembleHe was a finalist in the annual Elgar/Spedding Memorial Lieder Prize, commended in the Jean Highgate singing competition and highly commended in the Glasgow Grand Opera Society Cup for Voice. Matthew is especially grateful to the Robertson Trust, John Mather Rising Star scholarship, Help Musicians (Ian Fleming) Award, Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarship, WFT Anderson Scholarship, The Underwood Trust Scholarship and The Dale Scholarship for supporting him through his studies and to his voice tutor Professor Stephen Robertson.

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YouTube playlist includes:

  • Phidylé, Duparc (recorded as live, with an audience Dec 2020)
  • At Day-Close in November, Winter Words, Britten (recorded in 2020)
  • Midnight on the Great Western or The Journeying Boy, Winter Words, Britten (recorded in 2020)
  • Wagtail and Baby (A Satire), Winter Words, Britten (recorded in 2020)
  • That I did always love, Jake Heggie (recorded remotely during lockdown in 2020)


Elle est gravement gaie, Clairières dans le ciel, Boulanger
Hébé, Op. 2 no.6., Chausson


“A thrilling, sophisticated recital displaying great musical integrity.”

Robin Bowman

“Leoncavallo’s Mattinata brought out a real Italianate romanticism and outstanding quality of voice with the wonderful O! Quand je dors (Liszt) blending romantic, stylistic, emotion with a physical freedom.”

Patricia MacMahon


Credit: Sofia Yang Martinez