Matthew Halls

UO Music School Confirms Names of New Bach Steering Committee

A statement released this afternoon by dean of the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance confirms the names of the seven-person committee that is to direct the planning of the 2018 Oregon Bach Festival. Eugene Weekly reported the names based on a source on Oct. 9.

The statement also sets the date for the 2018 festival and confirms that some previously planned events, such as premieres of works by Richard Danielpour and Phillip Glass, will move forward.

Perhaps notably, it doesn’t mention the “guest curator” plan proposed by executive director Janelle McCoy in the immediate aftermath of the still-unexplained Aug. 24 firing of artistic director Matthew Halls. McCoy is not mentioned in today’s statement and has been virtually invisible in recent weeks.

Here is the full text of Dean Brad Foley’s statement:

Dear Friends of Oregon Bach Festival:

Following the grand opening of Berwick Hall earlier this month, all of us at Oregon Bach Festival are looking ahead to next season. The musical performance in the Don and Willie Tykeson Rehearsal Hall was an important reminder of what OBF does best – deliver an exceptional level of music performance and education to our community. Sitting in the state-of-the-art space, I was inspired by the music, the performers, and the audience members. I received feedback from a number of supporters that the experience gave them a strong feeling of hope and optimism for our beloved Festival. I also received a number of questions about what was next for OBF.

As you are aware, management of the Festival has been moved under my direction at the School of Music and Dance. I have been immensely grateful for the steadfast support of the Board of the Friends of Oregon Bach Festival, which released a statementreaffirming its collective dedication to helping the Festival flourish as a cultural cornerstone of our community. The OBF team is also extremely dedicated to the Festival’s legacy. I am working closely with both groups, as well as the music school faculty, outside musicians and conductors, donors, and patrons to ensure that the Festival continues to deliver on its mission of celebrating the music, legacy, and spirit of J.S. Bach.

To that end, I have assembled (and will chair) a highly-qualified artistic committeefrom the staff, faculty, and board to assist with planning for the 2018 Festival:

• Royce Saltzman, Director Emeritus and OBF Board member

• Michael Anderson, OBF Director of Artistic Administration

• Josh Gren, OBF Director of Marketing and Communications

• Steve Vacchi, Professor of Bassoon, OBF Orchestra member, and OBF Board member

• Sharon Paul, Professor of Choral Activities, Director of the UO Chamber Choir (an OBF ensemble)

• Peter Van de Graaff, KWAX Music Director, Program Director of the Beethoven Satellite Network, bass-baritone soloist

Many of the artistic programming activities of past years will be preserved. In addition to the world premiere of Richard Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua and the regional premiere of Philip Glass’ Piano Concerto No. 3 with pianist Simone Dinnerstein, we are planning an opening concert of choral and orchestral music by J.S. Bach, performances of Bach cantatas within the Discovery Series, and a large choral-orchestral work to close the 2018 Festival. A number of other guest artists are currently in talks to join us. The artistic committee is working diligently on all aspects of programming for the coming summer and they hope to have more definitive information to share with everyone in the coming weeks.

I would welcome the opportunity to connect with you and dialogue about where we are now, as well as our plans for the 2018 season. Until that time, I am exceedingly grateful for all you have done to support the vision and legacy of Oregon Bach Festival.

With deepest appreciation,

Brad Foley
Dean, University of Oregon School of Music & Dance

P.S. Save the dates of June 28 – July 15 for next year’s gala and Festival!

Brad Foley
Dean, University of Oregon School of Music & Dance

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