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Matthew Halls is the Artistic Director of Retrospect Ensemble, one of the UK's most exciting young conductors and an acclaimed keyboard player.
Matthew Halls has rapidly established himself as one of Britain's most exciting young conductors as well as a leading harpsichordist and organist. He was Associate Director (2005-2007) and Artistic Director (2007-2009) of The King's Consort before taking up his current position as Artistic Director of the newly-formed Retrospect Ensemble. He studied at Oxford University, was organ scholar and later assistant organist at New College and graduated with a first-class degree in music. Whilst completing postgraduate research at Oxford he was also director of music at the University Church. In 1998 he joined the European Union Baroque Orchestra, with whom he toured extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East. Since leaving this orchestra he has enjoyed a busy and exciting career, playing with many of the world's leading period instrument orchestras, including the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Theatre of Early Music, Montreal and New York Collegium. As a keyboard soloist he has appeared at the Cheltenham International Festival; Händel Festspiele, Göttingen, Händel Festspiele, Halle; Enescu Festival, Bucharest; Ottawa International Chamber Festival; Antiquarium Festival, Moscow, Lamèque Festival, Canada and Dias da Mùsica, Lisbon.
As Artistic Director of The King's Consort he conducted in many of Europe's leading festivals and concert venues (most recently Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; La Cité de la Musique, Paris; and Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels) and broadcast extensively both on television and radio. His recently-released world premiere recording of Handel's ‘Parnasso in Festa' for the Hyperion record label met with widespread critical acclaim and was awarded the Stanley Sadie Handel Recording Prize in 2009. With Retrospect Ensemble he has recently directed tours to South Korea, Portugal and Israel in addition to their annual concert series at London's Wigmore Hall and further UK appearances at the Edinburgh International Festival and Norfolk and Norwich Festival. Besides his work with Retrospect Ensemble and The King's Consort, he has conducted many other period-instrument ensembles around the world, including The English Concert, Portland Baroque Orchestra, USA, and Holland Baroque Society.
Working regularly as a guest conductor with many of Europe's leading symphony orchestras, Matthew has recently made important début appearances with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Hessischer Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Hamburger Symphoniker and Ulster Orchestra. Matthew is also active in the opera world, having worked extensively as a freelance conductor and chorus master at De Nederlandse Opera and the Nationale Reisopera in The Netherlands, the Komische Oper in Berlin and the Bayrische Staatsoper, as well as with English Touring Opera and New Chamber Opera. Most recently he has conducted new productions of Rinaldo (Central City Opera, Colorado) and Floridante (International Handel-Festspiele, Halle).
For a number of years, Matthew was a tutor at St Peter's College Oxford and taught harpsichord at Oxford University. He is also a tutor for the European Union Baroque Orchestra and frequently leads courses on summer schools such as the Jerusalem Early Music Workshop and the Dartington International Summer School.
For further information - www.retrospectensemble.com
Management - www.hazardchase.co.uk
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