The University that fired Matthew Halls as artistic director of the Oregon Bach Festival has finally come out from its nuclear bunker to make a public statement.
Unfortunately, the statement is less than truthful. Halls says he was fired and doesn’t know why. The UO says it is ‘disappointed and saddened’ that his relationship with the festival has ended.
Jayanth Banavar, the provost who has signed this bizarre and meaningless statement, is a recent arrival from the computer, mathematical and natural sciences college of the University of Maryland. He is paid $475,000 a year – a $100,000 salary hike, plus a $1,000-per-month car allowance – to come up with this self-deceptive piffle. He ought to try telling the truth.
Here’s the UO statement in full:
The University is disappointed and saddened that Matthew Halls’ relationship with the Oregon Bach Festival (OBF) has drawn to a close. We are thrilled with the successful series of performances orchestrated by Mr. Halls and by his creative conducting. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for there to be differences among the parties involved in such festivals. We appreciate Mr. Hall’s many positive contributions to the Festival, which include creating the Organ Institute and Vocal Fellows Program, facilitating the participation of the University of Oregon Chamber Choir in the Festival, annual residency at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance each Fall, and developing the Berwick Academy–an elite orchestral academy that has drawn students from around the world. Everyone at the University and OBF sincerely wish nothing but continued success for Mr. Halls.
The University looks forward to working collaboratively and in consultation with the Bach Festival Board to refine the framework through which OBF blends excellence in musical performance with innovative educational opportunities to create an inspired community of musicians and music lovers. As the Festival approaches its 50th year in 2020, everyone involved in the Festival is eager to move forward with programing and activities that are consistent with the legacy established by Helmuth Rilling and Royce Saltzman. The OBF will continue to bring music and education to the local and worldwide community that is built around the monumental contributions to music of J.S. Bach.
Provost and Senior Vice President
The University of Oregon