Matthew Halls

The word “versatile” is often applied to musicians; in the case of the British conductor Matthew Halls, it is particularly well deserved. Along with his probing and vibrant interpretations of music of all periods, he is known for his dynamic and intelligent work with major orchestras and opera companies.

In July 2011 he appeared for the first time at the Oregon Bach Festival. Such was the impact of his performances there, he was immediately asked to succeed Helmuth Rilling as Artistic Director at the close of the 2013 Festival. During his festival appearances, he has led performances of repertoire ranging from Monteverdi’s Vespers to Mahler’s Symphony No 2, as well as his own reconstruction of Bach’s St Mark Passion. Summer 2015 saw the Oregon Bach Festival launch the Berwick Academy for Historically Informed Performance under his leadership.

In Europe, Halls has led performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony, RTÉ National Symphony, Concentus Musicus Wien, Tonkünstler Orchestra in Austria, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Musica Viva Chamber Orchestra in Moscow amongst others. He regularly appears in Austria and goes on tour with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra with whom he made his Salzburg Festival début in 2015. Further afield, Halls toured Australia in 2014 conducting the Adelaide, Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. This season he makes his début with Konzerthausorchester Berlin and returns to the Bremen Philharmonic and Iceland Symphony Orchestras. Recent North American engagements include his début with the Philadelphia Orchestra and re-invitations from the Cleveland Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Toronto Symphony and Washington National Symphony.

In the opera house, Halls has worked with companies such as Bayerische Staatsoper, Central City Opera in Colorado, Handelfestspiele Halle, Salzburg Landestheater and the Netherlands Opera in repertoire such as Britten’s Peter Grimes and Bellini’s Norma. Spring 2014 saw him lead Handel’s Ariodante at Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, resulting in a re-invitation in the 2015/2016 season.

Halls is represented on disc with Handel’s Parnasso in Festa, winner of the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize, released by Hyperion. On Linn Records, he has recorded a set of four Bach Harpsichord Concertos conducted from the keyboard, Bach’s Easter and Ascension Oratorios, as well as award-winning discs of Purcell’s Sonatas in Three and Four Parts.

Matthew Halls was educated at Oxford University and subsequently taught at the University for five years. Passionately committed to education and working with young musicians, he has taught regularly at summer schools and courses.

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©Jon Christopher Meyers