Dear Friends, 


We sent you a letter two weeks ago introducing you to the three finalists for our artistic director position at the Oregon Bach Festival, and telling you about the performances they would be leading at our upcoming 50th anniversary season.


One of those candidates, Craig Hella Johnson, contacted us earlier this week to let us know that he had made the decision to withdraw from the artistic director search and from the concerts we had planned for him to conduct this summer.

Craig shared with us that he had suffered a series of difficult personal losses lately, culminating with the passing of his beloved mother just a few months ago.


He told us that he had been honored to be considered as a finalist, and to have been a part of the conversation about shaping the future of the festival that had meant so much to him since he first attended as a young conductor more than 30 years ago.


However, upon reflection, Craig came to the realization that he needed time to focus on his own personal healing and recovery, and would be unable to move forward with his candidacy.


Our thoughts and sincere prayers are with Craig during this difficult time. We wish him all the best as he seeks solace amid these setbacks, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with him in future.


Those of you who live here in Eugene will still get a chance to see Craig perform prior to the festival, when he conducts Conspirare in his original composition Considering Matthew Shepard at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts on May 16.  I hope to see you at this beautiful and poignant performance.


We are currently in talks with one of the other talented conductors we met during our interview process, who was identified by our search committee as their top choice should the need for an alternate arise, to replace Craig as our third candidate and fill his performance slots on the festival calendar.


We are excited to share more details about them with you, and are grateful to our search committee, under the leadership of Roger Saydack, for the depth of talent among the amazing pool of candidates they have assembled for us to consider.


Thank you for being part of this process of choosing a new artistic director to lead the Oregon Bach Festival into the future.


Even though we may encounter a few unexpected twists and turns along the way, we know that our final destination will make the entire journey worthwhile.



A photo of Phyllis and Andrew Berwick Dean and Professor of Dance Sabrina Madison-Cannon

Sabrina Madison-Cannon

Phyllis and Andrew Berwick Dean, University of Oregon School of Music & Dance

View this email in your browser
You are receiving this email because of your relationship with Oregon Bach Festival. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here.
This message was sent from to
1257 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 97403

Update Profile/Email Address | Forward Email | Report Abuse