Halls is best known for his dynamic and intelligent work with major symphony orchestras and opera companies, and for his probing and vibrant interpretations of music of all periods.
As Artistic Director of the Oregon Bach Festival he has led performances ranging from Monteverdi Vespers to Mahler’s Symphony no.2. Orchestra appearances include Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Cleveland Orchestra, Concentus Musicus Wien, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Houston Symphony, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Mozarteumorchester Salzburg, Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony and Washington National Symphony.
The word “versatile” is often applied to musicians; in the case of the British conductor Matthew Halls, it is particularly well deserved. Along with his probing and vibrant interpretations of music of all periods, he is known for his dynamic and intelligent work with major symphony orchestras and opera companies
In July 2011 he appeared for the first time at the Oregon Bach Festival. Such was the impact of his performances there, he was immediately asked to succeed Helmuth Rilling as Artistic Director at the close of the 2013 Festival. During his festival appearances, he has led performances of repertoire ranging from Monteverdi Vespers to Mahler’s Symphony no.2, as well as his own reconstruction of Bach’s St Mark Passion. Summer 2015 saw the Oregon Bach Festival launch the Berwick Academy for Historically Informed Performance under his leadership, a new national training programme for advanced students.
In Europe, Halls has led performances with the BBC Scottish Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Concentus Musicus Wien, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Musica Viva Moscow, Royal Northern Sinfonia, RTE National Symphony, and Tonkünstler Orchestra NÖ amongst others. He regularly appears in Austria and on tour with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra with whom he made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2015. Further afield, Halls toured Australia in 2014 conducting the Adelaide, Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras. This season he makes his debut with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and returns to the Bremen Philharmonic and Iceland Symphony orchestras. In the United Kingdom, he appears with the Ulster Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
Recent and upcoming North American engagements include his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra and re-invitations from the Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony and Washington National Symphony.
In the opera house, Halls has worked with companies such as the Bayerische Staatsoper, Central City Opera Colorado, Handelfestspiele Halle, Salzburg Landestheater and the Netherlands Opera in repertoire such as Britten’s Peter Grimes and Bellini’s Norma. Spring 2014 saw him lead Handel’s Ariodante at the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, resulting in a re-invitation to conduct performances of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in the 2015/16 season.
Halls is represented on disc with Handel’s Parnasso in Festa, winner of the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize, released by Hyperion. On Linn Records, he has recorded a set of four Bach Harpsichord Concertos conducted from the keyboard, and Bach’s Easter and Ascension oratorios, as well as award-winning discs of Purcell’s Sonatas in Three and Four Parts.
Matthew Halls was educated at Oxford University and subsequently taught at the University for five years. Passionately committed to education and working with young musicians, he has taught regularly at summer schools and courses.
Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version.
Email: Catherine Gardiner