Oregon Bach Festival dismisses Artistic Director Matthew Halls

Posted on: August 28, 2017

“Matthew Halls, the popular artistic director of the Oregon Bach Festival, has been unexpectedly fired from his job at OBF,” writes Bob Keller in Sunday’s (8/27) Eugene Weekly (Oregon). “ ‘I have been let go by the University of Oregon,’ he told Eugene Weekly in a phone call.… ‘And, as yet, I’m not sure why. It has not been revealed to me yet.’ Halls was mid-way through an initial four-year contract as artistic director. He was hired to replace founding artistic director Helmuth Rilling, a German choral conductor known for a big, lush, Romantic approach to Bach’s music.… Halls took the festival in a new direction musically, with more of an emphasis on historically informed performance.… Halls said he learned of his termination Thursday afternoon in a phone call and subsequent written notification.… UPDATE: Bach Festival spokesman Josh Gren sent a statement Sunday afternoon that said OBF has decided to rely on ‘guest curators’ to shape its musical programming beginning next year. ‘As part of the transition, OBF is parting ways with artistic director Matthew Halls,’ the statement said. ‘The transition is a strategic decision, made by OBF administrative leadership and the University of Oregon, and will keep the festival relevant in the ever-changing classical music industry.’ ”

Posted August 28, 2017