The Oregon Bach Festival has summarily fired Matthew Halls, halfway through a four-year contract.
‘I have been let go by the University of Oregon,’ he told Eugene Weekly. ‘As yet, I’m not sure why. It has not been revealed to me yet.’
Halls succeeded the festival’s founder Helmut Rilling, who held control for 43 years.
Last night the festival issued this statement:
August 27, 2017 – [Eugene, OR] – Oregon Bach Festival (OBF) is moving forward in an exciting direction that will bring new voices, points of views and artists with more diverse backgrounds to festival audiences. Starting in summer 2018, guest curators will work with OBF staff to build a season of dynamic and engaging musical selections led by world-renowned conductors.
As part of the transition, OBF is parting ways with artistic director Matthew Halls. Halls leaves the Festival with a legacy that includes the establishment of the Organ Institute, the Vocal Fellows program, and the Berwick Academy for Historically Informed Performance. During his tenure, Halls conducted many of Bach’s masterworks, including his own reconstruction of the composer’s lost St. Mark Passion, as well the world premiere of A European Requiem from Sir James MacMillan.