October 27, 2014—In what is fast becoming an annual tradition, the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance is pleased to welcome Oregon Bach Festival artistic director Matthew Halls back to Beall Concert Hall for a special concert on Sunday, November 9 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office.
Titled “Deep in My Soul Forever Stay,” the concert will recognize Veteran’s Day in this, the centennial year of the outbreak of World War I. In the first half of this program featuring works of prayer and remembrance, the award-winning UO Chamber Choir will present the music of Baroque English composer Henry Purcell and contemporary Scottish composer James MacMillan, including Purcell's beautiful “Funeral Sentences” and MacMillan's moving "A Child's Prayer," honoring the children killed in a 1996 school shooting in Scotland.
In the concluding half of the program, Halls will conduct the University Singers and Oregon Wind Ensemble in a performance of Bruckner's E Minor Mass scored for chorus and winds.
A prolific conductor and expert in historically informed musical performance, Halls, still in his thirties, is 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. In 2013, he made his Toronto Symphony debut, performing a critically acclaimed interpretation of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. He first led Washington, D.C.’s National Symphony in 2011, with performances of Handel’s Messiah returning the following season to lead works by Ravel, Dutilleux, and Vaughan Williams.
In July 2011 Halls appeared for the first time at the Oregon Bach Festival. Such was the impact of his performances here, he was immediately asked to succeed Helmuth Rilling as artistic director. Matthew Halls was educated at Oxford University, where he subsequently taught for five years. Following his time in Oxford, Halls has held positions as artistic director of the King’s Consort and the Retrospect Ensemble, which he founded in 2009. Passionately committed to education and working with young musicians, he has taught regularly at summer schools and courses.
In May 2013, the UO Chamber Choir, under the direction of Prof. Sharon J. Paul, won the Fleischmann Trophy at the Cork International Choral Festival. In April 2011, the UO Chamber Choir, again under Paul’s direction, took top honors in two categories (Renaissance/Baroque and Chamber Choir) at the 12th International Tallinn Choir Festival in Tallinn, Estonia.