Oregon Bach Fest hires race-slur conductor

Oregon Bach Fest hires race-slur conductor


norman lebrecht

January 28, 2018

Once upon a time, there was a Bach Festival of international renown at the University of Oregon, in Eugene.

Its founder Helmut Rilling retired in 2011. His successor, the British conductor Matthew Halls, was fired last year after allegedly making a racial joke to his good friend Reggie Mobley, who said he took no offence.

Since then, the university has behaved like a bunch of clowns.

The latest mishap was to announce the engagement as a guest conductor of Jaap ter Linden, ‘a pioneer in the emergence of the historical performance movement,’ according to the website.



Then someone realised that Jaap ter Linden was fired three years ago by the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio after three students complained of a racial slur they said he used in rehearsal. Oberlin is a hotpot for such issues.

So Jaap ter Linden’s concert has now been dropped from the Bach Festival website.

Full story here.

Send in the clowns.



  • Pianofortissimo says:


  • Jim says:

    Oberlin is a hotpot for conductors saying racial slurs in rehearsals?

    • Doug says:

      I believe he means a hotspot for SJW types being perpetually offended.

      I must make a comment on the photo. What is it with musical artists being totally blind to visual aesthetic such as simple compisition of a photo? Does he not realize it appears he has a tuning peg emerging from his right ear? Sheesh!

  • Robert Holmén says:

    “…three students said he had repeatedly used a racial slur in a story he told at a rehearsal.”

    I’d be curious to know how he imagined the story was relevant to his rehearsal and worth the rehearsal time.