Bach Festival’s Halls to conduct UO choirs

Oct. 28, 2013—The University of Oregon School of Music and Dance is honored to welcome Matthew Halls, artistic director of the Oregon Bach Festival, as special guest conductor for a concert featuring UO choirs and the University Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, Nov. 17.

The concert, scheduled for 3 p.m. in historic Beall Concert Hall on the UO campus, will be part of Halls’ second annual residency with the UO School of Music and Dance. Tickets are $10 general, $8 for students and seniors, available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office in the Erb Memorial Union, 1222 E. 13th Avenue, 541-346-4363 or

The concert will also be live-streamed online for free at

Halls will conduct Mozart's “Mass in C Minor” with the University Singers and the University Symphony Orchestra.

The concert will also feature selections by the University of Oregon Chamber Choir, which placed first in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition at the Cork International Choir Festival in Ireland in May 2013. Under Halls’ Baton, the Chamber Choir will perform Benjamin Britten's “Hymn to St. Cecilia,” programmed to mark the Britten centenary.

A centerpiece of the afternoon’s music will be a performance by the Chamber Choir of Herbert Howell's “Take Him Earth for Cherishing,” a work composed in memory of John F. Kennedy, selected to mark the 50th anniversary of the president's death.

Born in the U.K. and Oxford-educated, Halls first came to prominence as a keyboard player and early music conductor. Still in his thirties, he has garnered acclaim 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 2011 Halls made his Oregon Bach Festival debut (which included Britten’s “Hymn to St. Cecilia”). Such was the impact of his performances that he was immediately asked to succeed Helmuth Rilling as artistic director, a post he assumed in July 2013.

Photo: Oregon Bach Festival-Jon Meyers