Matthew J. Hall performs on the harpsichord, organ, and clavichord as a solo recitalist and chamber music collaborator. His interpretation of Bach has been called a “beautifully virtuosic soliloquy” delivered with “perfect elegance and control” (Arts First Review). He has also received praise for his “lively…and adventurous” playing (Boston Musical Intelligencer) and his “wonderful understanding of the subtlety and expressive potential of the French style” (Arts Boston). In 2013 his recording on the fortepiano of the C. P. E. Bach quartets with Sarah Darling (viola) and Sarah Paysnick (traverso) was released on the Ad Parnassum label. His performances frequently incorporate improvisation in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century styles and completions of fragments by eighteenth-century composers.
Matthew studied music and linguistics at Harvard, completed a master’s degree in musicology at the University of Leeds (UK) on a Fulbright Scholarship while holding an organ scholarship at Leeds Cathedral, and completed a second master’s degree in harpsichord and organ performance under Peter Sykes at Boston University. He is now a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Cornell University. His research areas include J. S. Bach and his early reception, keyboard pedagogy in the eighteenth century, theory and analysis of counterpoint, and Renaissance studies; he has published on these subjects in Understanding Bach, Eighteenth-Century Music, Keyboard Perspectives, and The Journal of the Alamire Foundation. His dissertation, Copying Bach, studies the relationship between emulation and originality among Bach’s composition students and is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the American Bach Society. He also cultivates an expertise in 17th- and 18th-century French rhetoric and declamation, especially as these inform musical interpretation. His recitations of Classic French texts have been called “luscious” (Boston Musical Intelligencer).
In addition to his performing and scholarly activities, Matthew is also the founder and executive director of Ad Parnassum, Inc., a non-profit organization which seeks to engage the public in early music and other classical music idioms in ways that go beyond the traditional concert-going experience, concerns which were fostered through his teaching at The Cambridge Center for Adult Education. As a freelance writer Matthew has contributed to Harpsichord & Fortepiano magazine and Early Music Performer. He also worked as an editorial assistant at the Packard Humanities Institute, Cambridge, publishers of C.P.E. Bach: The Complete Works. He is proud to have served as the treasurer of the Chennai Children Foundation, an NGO that provided financial support for the education of child victims of human trafficking and at-risk children in Chennai, India.
Matthew J. Hall performs on the harpsichord, organ, and clavichord. He has received praise for his “lively and adventurous” playing and “eloquent virtuosity” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). He holds degrees in musicology, linguistics, and performance practice from Harvard University, Boston University, and the University of Leeds (UK) where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He is now a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Cornell University. His dissertation, Copying Bach, studies the relationship between emulation and originality among Bach’s composition students and is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the American Bach Society.