French conductor tears up German contract

French conductor tears up German contract


norman lebrecht

February 04, 2020

It’s official: Ariane Matiakh has quit as general music director in Halle, as of last Thursday, in the middle of her first season.

Sehr geehrte Medienvertreter*innen,
die Theater, Oper und Orchester GmbH Halle und Frau Ariane Matiakh sind übereingekommen, den Dienstvertrag der Generalmusikdirektorin der Staatskapelle Halle zum 31.01.2020 auf Wunsch von Frau Matiakh einvernehmlich aufzuheben.
Frau Matiakh wird dennoch dem Hallenser Publikum erhalten bleiben, da sie alle mit ihr als Dirigentin angekündigten und geplanten Sinfoniekonzerte in der laufenden und kommenden Spielzeit dirigieren wird.

Dear Media Representatives,
Theatre, opera and orchestra gmbh Halle and Ms Ariane Matiakh have agreed to cancel the contract of the general music director of the staatskapelle Halle on 31.01.2020 at the request of Ms. Matiakh.
Ms. Matiakh will still be available to the Halle audience as she will conduct all planned symphony concerts in the current season.


Ms Matiakh issued a subsequent statement, attacking media reports:

Theater, Oper und Orchester GmbH Halle and I (Ariane Matiakh) have mutually agreed to terminate the contract of my employment as General Music Director of the Staatskapelle Halle as of 31.01.2020 at my request.
Neither an alleged lack of presence nor my international commitments played any role in this decision. Reports to the contrary in various newspapers are untrue. This is proven by the fact that I will be honouring all of my planned engagements with the Staatskapelle in Halle – I will conduct all previously announced symphonic concerts in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.
I regret the recent misrepresentations in various media. They do not depict the nature of the situation correctly.
I am looking forward to my contiued work with the Staatskapelle Halle next month, including several concerts and a new recording dedicated to Max Bruch.

She seems to be the only one who does not find it odd that a music director resigns halfway through the first year of her contract without giving any reasonable explanation.


  • HP says:

    Sounds like she needs some decent management.

  • anon says:

    This raises the thought that perhaps the orchestra was treating her badly. Any substantiated info about that from anyone?

  • Max says:

    This is sad…instead of fulfilling the responsibility that she took on, she is jumping ship to guest conduct more.
    But sure, when you’re a woman and a halfway decent conductor, your inbox must be exploding of requests. The demand for woman conductors is just so much bigger than the resources.

  • Sellm says:

    Problems in Halle, what else

  • pageturner says:

    Something obviously has gone very wrong in that relationship, and once trust is lost between management (aka “manglement”), an orchestra and conductor it is very hard to recover.

  • Dick says:

    If you could ever write a complete story, we might know more then your subjective comments at the end. Maybe some journalism school would help.

  • Alanc says:

    The Halle is famously difficult and Matiakh is known for being a poor conductor. If it wasn’t for this current fashion of prioritizing women in hirings and signings, we would had never heard of her.

  • Mark says:

    The incel community is alive and well here, I see. She’s an excellent young conductor. Just listen to her recent work with hr-symphonie. Distinct voice. Very capable and confident. Huge range.

    • Bone says:

      So when someone questions a female conductor’s skills you would immediately assume the questioner is incapable of getting laid? Fascinating – hope Ariane awards her white knight appropriately after seeing your defense here.