60 seconds with… Matthew Halls

Black tie or all black?
All black, it’s much easier to clean…

Red or white (wine)?
At this time of year red wins hands down I’d say….

Monteverdi: Madrigals or Vespers?
Is this a trick question?! Impossible to call….

Do you have any pre-concert rituals?
I’m currently half way through learning the Tai ch’i short form and this is something I now do before concerts as a way of calming and focussing the mind. That’s the principal at least and it seems to be more effective than the two espressos I used to habitually drink in my late twenties!

What’s the most played track from your MP3 player/CD collection?
It’s neck and neck between Sting: A thousand Years and Bach’s Kyrie from the Lutheran Mass in G.

Why did you want to take part in the Winter Festival?
Having performed in the Festival before, I was immediately struck by the atmosphere in Hawksmoor’s beautiful church. It’s the perfect place to perform and the warmth of the Festival audience is infectious. The programming is always bold and daring with performances of the very highest standards.

What do you think your breakthrough moment was?
Hanging up my organ-playing shoes after almost a decade working up in some distant Cathedral organ loft and discovering that there was a whole new world of music to be discovered and enjoyed. For the first time I was able to communicate with other musicians without the aid of a megaphone and I was immediately hooked…there was no going back!

What’s the best quality in a musician?
Professionalism, passion and a deep-seated desire to embrace the complex challenges of music-making with a healthy and positive spirit of collaboration.

Matthew Halls and Retrospect Ensemble appear at the Winter Festival on
Friday 7 January 2011.

Box Office: 020 7377 1362/spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk

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