Handel and Haydn Society and Grant Llewellyn Reunite In Spirited Program of Classical Masters

By October 9, 2013 Uncategorized

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Former Music Director returns to Boston to conduct Period Orchestra;

H&H kicks off 2013-2014 young professionals program, H2.


October 9, 2013 (Boston, MA) – On November 1 and 3, 2013, the Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) welcomes conductor and former Music Director Grant Llewellyn to Symphony Hall in Llewellyn’s first Boston appearance since 2008. A dynamic conductor who built a reputation as a superb interpreter of Baroque and Classical repertoire during his five years leading H&H, Llewellyn will conduct the H&H Period Orchestra in music by Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn. Llewellyn will conduct the H&H Period Instrument Orchestra in a program exploring compositions written within a 20-year period by three great classical composers; the program features Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, Haffner; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2, and Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin, cello, oboe, and bassoon. The latter work features soloists from the H&H ensemble, including concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky, violin; Guy Fishman, principal cello; Stephen Hammer, principal oboe; and Andrew Schwartz, principal bassoon. Currently the Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony, and in demand with symphony orchestras and opera companies around the world, Llewellyn has a long history in Boston. Prior to his prolific career with H&H between 2001 and 2006, which saw major artistic collaborations, innovative commissions, and two recordings, Llewellyn served as a Conducting Fellow at Tanglewood in the 1980s and was Assistant Conductor of Boston Symphony Orchestra in the 1990s under Seiji Ozawa, leading the orchestra and the Boston Pops.The performance will be followed by the season’s first H2 Young Professionals event, held at Lucca Back Bay. Handel and Haydn’s audience is comprised of 30% 18–44 year olds, and the H2 program holds post-concert receptions throughout the year for these young attendees to mingle with musicians and each other.

About the Repertoire

Mozart began composing Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 385, in the summer of 1782 as a commission for the Haffners, a prominent and wealthy Salzburg family. Originally composing a Serenade for the occasion of his childhood friend Sigmund Haffner’s ennoblement, Mozart later reworked the composition into a symphony. He premiered the symphony in Vienna in March 1785 before an audience that included the Emperor; the work was an immediate success. Popular and frequently performed ever since, Haffner is considered a superb example of Mozart’s brilliant late symphonies.

Ten years later, Haydn composed his Sinfonia Concertante for violin, cello, oboe, and bassoon in response to a commission from London impresario and violinist Johann Peter Salomon, which also resulted in the first six of the composer’s famed “London symphonies.” Unlike his contemporaries, including Mozart, Haydn had little interest in the sinfonia concertante, a popular genre during the Classical period that combined the concerto (featuring multiple soloists) and the symphony (featuring the orchestra), and this is the only sinfonia concertante he ever composed. Although he reportedly created the piece hastily over two weeks, it nevertheless is a mature and exuberant work that reveals Haydn at his most assured. With its thematic development it also exhibits Haydn’s mastery of and commitment to the symphonic form. When it debuted in 1792, Salomon himself performed the violin solo. H&H Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky takes up this role alongside her colleagues, who perform solo cello, oboe, and bassoon.

In 1802, Beethoven composed Symphony No. 2 during the same period that he wrote the “Heiligenstadt Testament,” a document expressing anguish over his growing deafness and contemplating suicide. Despite the composer’s personal despair, the symphony is cheerful and full of humor, and known for its sly and rollicking finale. Hector Berlioz called it a “noteworthy, colossal work” that is “smiling throughout.” Along with Beethoven’s first symphony, Symphony No. 2 is regarded as an apt example of the composer’s earlier, Classical compositions—before he shaped his inimitable, innovative style bridging the Classical and Romantic periods. Beethoven himself conducted the premiere performance of Symphony No. 2, on April 5, 1803.

The Handel and Haydn Society November 1 performance kicks off the 2013–2014 season for H2, H&H’s young professionals’ group. This popular and growing group will enjoy an after-party following the performance at Lucca Back Bay. For more information, visit www.handelandhaydn.org/concerts/h2.



Friday, November 1, 2013, at 8 pm
Sunday, November 3, 2013, at 3 pm


Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA


Wolfgang Amadé Mozart: Symphony No. 35 in D Major, K. 386, Haffner
Joseph Haydn: Sinfonia Concertante in B-Flat Major, Hob. I:105
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36<


Conductor Grant Llewellyn
Handel and Haydn Society Period Orchestra
Soloists Aisslinn Nosky, violin; Guy Fishman, cello; Stephen Hammer, oboe; Andrew Schwartz, bassoon

Range from $20–$86.

Are available through Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) Box Office: by phone at 617 266 3605; online at handelandhaydn.org; or in person at the Handel and Haydn Society office, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M–F, 10am–6pm).

Student rush is available starting 90 minutes before the performance: $15 cash only with valid ID, best available seats subject to availability.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.



Music Director of the Handel and Haydn Society from 2001–2006, this concert marks Grant Llewellyn’s first return to H&H since 2008. Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony, Llewellyn is renowned for his exceptional charisma, energy and easy authority in music of all styles and periods. To date, Llewellyn’s career has led him to hold positions with three European orchestras: Principal Conductor of the Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and Associate Guest Conductor with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Notable recent guest engagements have included the Helsinki Philharmonic, Northern Sinfonia, Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música, and Toronto Symphony. Llewellyn has conducted many orchestras in North America, most notably the symphonies of Atlanta, Boston, Houston, Montreal, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Toronto. As Music Director of the Handel and Haydn Society, Llewellyn gained a reputation as a formidable interpreter of music of the Baroque and classical periods. His recent recording of American music with the North Carolina Symphony and Branford Marsalis for the Swedish label BIS has been released to critical acclaim with The Gramophone commenting “…the performances are more than just enthusiastic, with discipline remarkably tight…the result is a winner.”


Aisslinn Nosky was appointed Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society in 2011. With a reputation for being one of the most dynamic and versatile violinists of her generation, Nosky is in great demand internationally as a soloist, leader, and concertmaster. Recent collaborations include the Thunder Bay Symphony, the Lameque International Baroque Festival Orchestra, Arion Baroque Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, Collegium Musicum Hanyang, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Nosky is also a member of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble. For over a decade, this innovative Canadian ensemble has presented its own edgy and inventive concert series in Toronto and toured Europe and North America turning new audiences on to Baroque music. With the Eybler Quartet, Nosky explores repertoire from the first century of string quartet literature on period instruments. The Eybler Quartet’s latest recording of Haydn’s Opus 33 string quartets was released to critical acclaim in 2012. Since 2005, Nosky has been a highly active member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and has toured and appeared as soloist with this internationally renowned ensemble.


Guy Fishman is principal cellist of the Handel & Haydn Society, with which he made his Symphony Hall solo debut in 2005. He is in demand as an early music specialist in the United States and Europe, performing in recital and with Arcadia Players, Querelle des Bouffons, Apollo’s Fire, Emmanuel Music, among others. He performs on standard cello with the Albany and Springfield symphonies, the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Colorado Music Festival. He has appeared in recital with Dawn Upshaw, Richard Egarr, Mark Peskanov, Gil Kalish, Daniel Stepner, Lara St. John, and Natalie Merchant. He was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and principal cellist of the New York String Seminar at Carnegie Hall. Fishman started playing the cello at age 12, and at 16 began his Baccalaureate studies with David Soyer at the Manhattan School of Music. He subsequently worked with Peter Wiley, Julia Lichten, and Laurence Lesser, with whom he completed Doctoral studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. In addition, he is a Fulbright Fellow, having worked with famed Dutch cellist Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam. He plays a rare cello made in Rome in 1704 by David Tecchler.


Stephen Hammer is principal oboist of the Handel and Haydn Society.  He enjoys an eclectic musical life playing and teaching oboes and recorders of all periods. Hammer is also a principal with the Bach Ensemble, Concert Royal, the Clarion Music Society, the Arcadia Players and the Aston Magna festival, plays recorder with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, and serves as artistic director of the Blue Hill Bach Festival in Maine. He has been a featured soloist with Great Performers at Lincoln Center and the Academy of Ancient Music and at the Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Blossom, Bruges, Regensburg, Bach-Sommer (Arnstadt), City of London, and BBC Proms festivals. His more than 200 solo, chamber, obligato, and orchestral recordings appear on Decca l’Oiseau-lyre, EMI, Sony, CBS, Pro Arte, Dorian, Smithsonian, and many other labels. He teaches oboe, chamber music, and performance practice at the Bard College Conservatory of Music and has given courses in early woodwinds at Brandeis University and the rhetoric of Baroque performance at the Longy School of Music; he also also collaborates with the instrument-maker Joel Robinson in building replicas of historical oboes. He lives in Clermont, NY, in the beautiful Hudson River valley.


Andrew Schwartz is the principal bassoon for the Handel and Haydn Society.  He has appeared throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. His career ranges from performing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, to jazz recordings with Winton Marsalis and children’s concerts as the principal bassoonist of the Little Orchestra Society. Schwartz is also principal bassoon with Boston Baroque, Aston Magna, Trinity Baroque Orchestra, The American Classical Orchestra, Concert Royal, and Musica Angelica. He has performed with many of the world’s premiere period instrument organizations; including Philharmonia Baroque, The Aulos Ensemble, Rebel, Opera LaFayette, Wiener Akademie, Apollo’s Fire, Hanover Band, Portland Baroque, Tafelmusik, and Rebel.  Schwartz is a faculty member of Longy School of Music, Oberlin College Baroque Performance Institute, as well as a maintaining a private teaching studio in New York City. A native of Chicago, Mr. Schwartz received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School.


Handel and Haydn Society is a professional Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and an internationally recognize­d leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Founded in Boston in 1815, H&H is considered the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and has a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). Handel and Haydn today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, is committed to its mission to enrich life and influence culture by performing Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence, and by providing engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education and training activities. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical New England and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2003 Grammy Award and two of its recordings, All is Bright and Peace, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. Since the release of its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label in September 2010, it has made available three live commercial recordings of works by Mozart – Mass in C Minor (2010), Requiem (2011), and Coronation Mass (2012) as well as Haydn, Vol. 1 (September 2013) and An American Christmas (October 2013). H&H’s award-winning Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program annually brings music education, vocal training, and performance opportunities to more than 10,000 students, grades 3–12, throughout Greater Boston and beyond.

Handel and Haydn Society is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Pre-Concert Conversation

Friday, November 1, 2013 at 6:30pm

Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 2pm

Conversations will take place in Higginson Hall, Symphony Hall

Free with concert tickets


H2 Young Professionals

Handel and Haydn Society’s Young Professionals group, H2, kicks off the season following the November 1 performance with a celebration at Lucca Back Bay, 116 Huntington Ave, Boston.

Sponsored by Lucca Back Bay and The Improper Bostonian.

Free with concert tickets

RSVP at www.handelandhaydn.org/concerts/h2