Matthew Halls, conductor
British conductor Matthew Halls is quickly becoming known for his dynamic work with major symphony orchestras and opera companies, as well as for his probing and vibrant interpretations of music of all periods. The 2015/16 season marks his second as artistic director of the Oregon Bach Festival, having succeeded founding director Helmuth Rilling the previous year.
Increasingly in demand by North American symphony orchestras, Halls has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and the Utah Symphony in repertoire from Bach and Handel to Beethoven, Kernis, Mendelssohn, Messiaen, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, and Tippett. His debut with the Toronto Symphony, in which he led Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, “captured much of the energy and excitement that its first audience must have felt at its premiere nearly 200 years ago” (Toronto Star).
Halls’ 2015/16 North American appearances include the Nashville Symphony for the complete Brandenburg Concertos, Los Angeles and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Les Violons du Roy in Quebec.
European orchestras are equally eager to welcome Halls to their podiums. In spring 2014, he made a triumphant debut with Concentus Musicus Wien, substituting on short notice for Nikolaus Harnoncourt, in an acclaimed performance of Haydn’s Seasons. He has also appeared with the BBC Scottish Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and makes regular appearances in Austria and on tour with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra. Overseas this season, he appears with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Konzerthaus Berlin, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, and returns to the Moazarteum. He is also featured with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan and returns to both the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavik, and Musica Viva in Moscow. Halls is represented on disc with Handel’s Parnasso in Festa, winner of the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize, released by Hyperion. His recordings on Linn Records are highlighted by a set of four Bach Harpsichord Concertos conducted from the keyboard, which Gramophone welcomed as “joyful and invigorating.