Miguel Harth-Bedoya / photo by Michal Novak

Bach to Eugene

Former Eugene Symphony conductor among contenders to be Bach’s new artistic director

The Oregon Bach Festival has named three finalists in its search for an artistic director to replace Matthew Halls.

They are Miguel Harth-Bedoya, music director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, chief conductor of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and former Eugene Symphony head; Craig Hella Johnson, music director of Conspirare, a choral ensemble in Austin, Texas; and Julian Wachner, director of music and the arts at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City.

Each of the three candidates is to conduct a major Bach choral work as well as a smaller chamber piece at this summer’s festival in Eugene before the final selection is made.

Begun in 1970, OBF is run by the University of Oregon under its School of Music and Dance. The announcement on Jan. 23 reflects the festival’s effort to rebuild itself after Halls’ sudden and controversial firing, which has never been fully explained by the University of Oregon.