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Mahler Resurrection Symphony: Matthew Halls steps in for Juanjo Mena

April 15, 2019

Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena sincerely regrets that due to illness he must withdraw from this week’s performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). In his place, acclaimed British conductor Matthew Halls will lead the concerts. Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"—April 17, 18 & 20—features soprano Joélle Harvey, contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, and the combined forces of the Amadeus Choir and the Elmer Iseler Singers, as previously announced.

The word “versatile” is an apt description for Maestro Halls. He first came to prominence as a keyboard player and early-music conductor, but Halls is now better 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.

Increasingly in demand by North American symphony orchestras, Halls has performed with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; Dallas, Pittsburgh, Houston, Seattle, Indianapolis, and Utah Symphonies; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; and National Arts Centre Orchestra. His TSO début in February 2013, in which he led Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, “captured much of the energy and excitement that its first audience must have felt at its premiere nearly 200 years ago” (Toronto Star). Since then, he has been a regular guest with the TSO, where he last appeared in December 2017 conducting Handel’s Messiah.

Having served as Artistic Director of the Oregon Bach Festival for five years, Halls is equally at home conducting baroque and contemporary repertoire.

In 2018/19, Halls’s North American guest appearances include his début with the Chicago Symphony and returns to the St. Louis, Dallas, and Indianapolis Symphonies, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. In addition, Halls conducts the San Diego and Jacksonville Symphonies, as well as the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston. Last season, he made his New York début with Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival in a performance with violinist Joshua Bell.

In recent seasons, Halls has performed in Australia with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and with the Auckland Philharmonia. He is a regular with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, recently having presented a series of five performances traversing all of Beethoven’s piano concerti with Paul Lewis. Recent European appearances include Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic, Mozarteum Salzburg, Philharmonie Zuidenderland, and Capriccio Barockorchester.

Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"
Matthew Halls, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, contralto
Amadeus Choir and Elmer Iseler Singers

Wed, Apr 17 at 8:00pm
Thu, Apr 18 at 8:00pm
Sat, Apr 20 at 8:00pm

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