September 26, 2013 (Boston, MA) – The Handel and Haydn Society and the American Federation of Musicians, Boston Local 9-535, announced Tuesday that they have ratified a new four-year contract for the musicians of the Handel and Haydn Society Period Instrument Orchestra. The agreement, which runs through June 2017, extends beyond H&H’s Bicentennial celebrations in the 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons.
“The Handel and Haydn Society and its musicians have worked together to show their joint commitment to ensuring a healthy and vibrant future for the orchestra and institution as the Bicentennial approaches,” remarked Executive Director and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard.
Pat Hollenbeck, president of Boston Local 9-535, commented, “The Boston Musicians’ Association and our world class musicians are pleased to continue a long partnership with the magnificent Handel and Haydn Society as their 200th anniversary approaches.”
The contract, which provides wage increases of two to three percent each year for a total 10.5% cumulative over four years, allows for players to participate in a 403(b) plan, and solidifies important artistic initiatives undertaken since the last contract in 2008. In conjunction with the institution’s Strategic Plan, H&H is poised to move through the Bicentennial and beyond as an artistically, financially, and operationally stable and innovative organization.
ABOUT HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
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.