Category Archives: Press Release

The Handel and Haydn Society Education Program Announces Three Scholarship Winners

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The Handel and Haydn Society Education Program Announces Three Scholarship Winners

This year’s winners will perform alongside members of the High School Soloists program on Wednesday, June 3 at New England Conservatory’s Williams Hall.

  Past award recipients have gone on to many of the nation’s leading conservatories, including the Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music, and New England Conservatory.

 The concert begins at 7.30pm on Thursday, June 18 at Symphony Hall

May 15, 2015 (Boston, MA) —  The Handel and Haydn Society’s Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program is proud to announce the winners of this year’s scholarship awards. Each spring, H+H presents three prizes to local high school and college students. This year’s winners are Irene Benites of Westborough, MA; Elizabeth George of Boston, MA; and Lisa Barone of Methuen, MA. This announcement comes as H+H celebrates its Bicentennial as the oldest continuous performing arts organization in the United States.

Irene Benites and Elizabeth George receive Candace MacMillen Achtmeyer Award
The Candace MacMillen Achtmeyer Award of $1,500 is presented to graduating high school students who intend to continue their musical studies in college. The award was established in 2001 in loving memory of Candace Achtmeyer, a member of the Handel and Haydn Society Board from 1993–2001 and a member of the Education Committee, where she voiced passionate opinions about H+H’s responsibility to the community and children.

Irene Benites is currently in her senior year at Westborough High School. She sings soprano in H+H’s Young Women’s Chorus and has been enrolled in the Vocal Arts Program (VAP) High School Soloists Program since the beginning of her junior year in high school. Of her H+H experience, Irene says, “I have been granted so many more opportunities to sing and to learn about music than I ever expected, and I credit what I have learned in my short time to Handel and Haydn. I have gained the inspiration to continue music in college from my peers, mentors, and conductors in this program.” In the fall, Irene plans on enrolling at New York University in a dual major program in which she will study vocal performance and music education. Her career goals include becoming a professional singer and music educator.

Elizabeth George attends the Boston Latin School, where she is currently a senior. She has been enrolled in VAP since age 10. Between her experiences at Boston Latin School and H+H, Elizabeth has immersed herself in music and singing. “I absolutely love singing and love Baroque and Classical music, and that is in large part due to my involvement with H+H. I have grown immensely, both as a performer and as a person, due to VAP. I really would never have fully realized my potential and drive for singing if it were not for H+H; for that, I’m incredibly grateful.” Elizabeth will study at the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, double majoring in vocal performance and physics.

Lisa Barone receives Barbara E. Maze Award for Musical Excellence
The Barbara E. Maze Award for Musical Excellence extends H+H’s support to an outstanding High School Soloist alumnus/a who has pursued further musical studies and professional performance with an award of $2,000. The award is named in honor of Handel and Haydn Society Governor Barbara E. Maze, who served on the board from 1993–2009 and was instrumental in creating the VAP. For 40 years, she was an assistant dean of student affairs at Boston University where she influenced many students in their pursuit of professional music careers.

Lisa attends the Manhattan School of Music, where she is enrolled in the Master of Music degree program in classical vocal performance. Lisa has already gained recognition in her performances at the Manhattan School of Music’s Opera Theatre, where she was cast in featured roles in Ernest Bloch’s Macbeth and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Lisa also sings in the school’s Contemporary Opera Ensemble. This past spring she performed a recital of operatic repertoire by Benjamin Britten, Susan Botti, Jonathan Dove, and Domenick Argento. In addition to her work at the Manhattan School of Music, she is a Choral Scholar at the Oratorio Society of New York City where she was the soprano soloist in Haydn’s Creation at Carnegie Hall.

Lisa says, “The Vocal Arts Program was the foundation of my musical training, and I consider my time in VAP to be one of the most important musical opportunities I have received. The master classes, piano lessons, performance opportunities and, of course, private voice instruction provided a solid musical foundation that would otherwise not have been available to me. It was the reason I was prepared to study at conservatory level when I graduated from high school. VAP provided instruction and exposure to music that enhanced my commitment to my art. Intensive study of classical song made me realize that singing this music is what I was meant to do.”

UPCOMING EVENTS AT A GLANCE

Vocal Arts Program High School Soloists Spring Recital and Awards Ceremony
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 7.30pm
Williams Hall at New England Conservatory, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston
Free admission

Auditions for VAP High School Soloists
Saturday, June 13, 2015, 10.30am–2pm
New England Conservatory, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston
Arrange auditions online at handelandhaydn.org/education/vap.

Handel + Haydn Sings
Thursday, June 18, 2015, 7.30pm
Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston
H+H Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus
Vocal Arts Program choruses
Handel Coronation Anthem No. 1, Zadok the Priest
VAP choirs (repertoire TBD)
Palestrina Vineam meam non custodivi
MacMillan O Radiant Dawn
Palestrina Pulchrae sunt genae tuae
J.S. Bach Singet dem Herrn
Gabriela Lena Frank My Angel, His Name is Freedom (with introduction and narration by David Rockefeller, Jr.)
Pärt The Deer’s Cry
Handel Part the Third from Messiah

VAP Vienna–Prague Concert Tour
June 26–July 3, 2015
Young Men’s Chorus and Young Women’s Chorus
Chapel at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria
Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria
Church of St. Havel, Prague, Czech Republic

Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Sunday, July 26, 2015, 12.30pm
Copley Square, Boston
Ian Watson, conductor
Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus
Harvard Summer Chorus
Vocal Arts Program Choruses

Auditions for VAP choruses
Saturday, August 29, 2015, 9.30am–1.30pm and Saturday, September 12, 2015, 12.30-3.30pm
Boston Latin School, 78 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston
Arrange auditions online at handelandhaydn.org/education/vap.

THE KAREN S. AND GEORGE D. LEVY EDUCATION PROGRAM
Established in 1985, the program provides a comprehensive, active vocal music education to 10,000 children annually in Greater Boston and beyond. In 1994, H+H started the Vocal Arts Program (VAP) with Youth Chorus (ages 10–14) and the High School Soloists pre-professional program, held at New England Conservatory. Later, VAP reached younger students with H+H Singers (ages 8–11) and high school students with its Young Men’s (ages 14–18) and Young Women’s (ages 15–18) Choruses, so that students could grow with the program for several years, increasing their individual sense of accomplishment as they passed through each level. The Young Women’s Chorus celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2013. Students enrolled in VAP learn music theory and receive performance opportunities throughout each season. VAP classes take place in the state-of-the-art music division wing of the Boston Latin School, located in one of the most culturally accessible neighborhoods of Boston, next to Massachusetts College of Art; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

ABOUT THE HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
Founded in Boston in 1815, the Handel and Haydn Society (H+H) is considered America’s oldest continuously performing arts organization. It will celebrate its Bicentennial in 2015 with a series of special concerts and initiatives to honor 200 years of music making. Its Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus are internationally recognized in the field of Historically Informed Performance, using the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Under Artistic Director Harry Christophers’ leadership, H+H’s mission is 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 concert series, tours, 99.5 WCRB, NPR, and American Public Media broadcasts and recordings. Its nine-program series, held at Symphony and Jordan Halls in Boston and Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, reaches nearly 3,000 subscribers and over 18,000 single ticket attendees from throughout New England and beyond.

H+H’s esteemed tradition of innovation and excellence began in the 19th century with the US premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s Creation (1819), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). As a 21st-century performing arts organization, H+H’s primary roles are to perform and educate, and to serve as a community partner and resource center. Its Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, established in 1985, reaches 10,000 children each year through public school visits and chorus partnerships, in-school music instruction, five youth choruses, and pre-professional vocal training. The Handel and Haydn Society is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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The Handel and Haydn Society presents the world premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s “My Angel, His Name is Freedom”

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The Handel and Haydn Society presents the world premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s My Angel, His Name is Freedom

The debut of the 12-minute work for strings and chorus, a co-commission with the Library of Congress, takes place during Handel + Haydn Sings, an H+H program held in conjunction with the 2015 Chorus America conference

 Artistic Director Harry Christophers leads the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus in some of the most moving vocal music of the past four centuries, from the glorious counterpoint of Palestrina to the spiritual minimalism of Arvo Pärt

 The concert begins at 7.30pm on Thursday, June 18 at Symphony Hall

April 28, 2015 (Boston, MA) —  The Handel and Haydn Society’s Bicentennial celebration continues with the world premiere of My Angel, His Name is Freedom by award-winning American composer Gabriela Lena Frank. It is music based on the Ralph Waldo Emerson poem Boston Hymn, scored for strings and SATB chorus.

“It is my great pleasure to introduce Frank’s unique voice to our H+H audience and a wider segment of the Boston community,” says Artistic Director Harry Christophers. “Gabriela’s new work—this terrific partnership with H+H— is true to our times, in style and substance, and to American values and ideals that have endured for centuries.”

H+H has had a long and distinguished history of premiering new works. In 1823, it  approached Beethoven to write a grand oratorio in the style of Handel. (Beethoven, who in his later years was preoccupied with this final string quartets, never got to the project.) In more recent decades, H+H has commissioned new pieces by Daniel Pinkham, Randall Thompson, and John Tavener.

The 42-year-old composer-pianist Frank is best known for music that draws from diverse musical sources, particularly the Peruvian, Jewish, and Chinese traditions of her ancestors. A student of William Bolcom at the University of Michigan, where she received her doctorate in composition, Frank has been the recipient of numerous commissions and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Latin Grammy Award.

“In looking at Emerson’s Boston Hymn, an example of Transcendentalist poetry at its best, my composer’s eye found attractive its lofty calls for freedom and self-determination,” says Frank. “My challenge has been how to capture something that I find so essentially American—that an ordinary existence can be tied to extraordinary aspirations—in sound.”

Before the performance of Frank’s work, philanthropist David Rockefeller, Jr. will recite the Emerson poem in its entirety. My Angel, His Name is Freedom is the first line of the fourth stanza of Boston Hymn.

The piece is a co-commission with the Library of Congress, where it will receive its D.C. debut on February 20, 2016 with Christophers conducting.

Handel + Haydn Sings was programmed with choral enthusiasts in mind. The service organization Chorus America holds its annual conference in Boston from June 17–20.  For the concert, Christophers will lead the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus in some of his favorite choral selections, including Handel’s Coronation Anthem No. 1 (Zadok the Priest), Bach’s Singet dem Herrn, Pärt’s The Deer’s Cry, two Palestrina motets, and Handel’s Part the Third from Messiah.

The Handel and Haydn Society performs Haydn “The Creation” for the first time since 2001

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Upcoming concerts are H+H’s first performances of the masterwork since 2001.
Since its US premiere in 1819, H+H has performed Haydn’s influential oratorio 89 times.

Soprano Sarah Tynan, tenor Jeremy Ovenden, and bass-baritone Matthew Brook perform with Artistic Director Harry Christophers and the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus on Friday, May 1 at 7.30 and Sunday, May 3 at 3pm at Symphony Hall.

Performances are being recorded for commercial release on the CORO label in October 2015.

April 7, 2015 (Boston, MA) — H+H Artistic Director Harry Christophers is joined by an international cast of outstanding singers and the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus for Joseph Haydn’s oratorio and late masterpiece, The Creation.

Sung to the English text based on the Book of Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost, The Creation is the last of a series of oratorios heard this season having significant historical import to H+H. Although it hasn’t been performed by the Handel and Haydn Society for 14 years, Haydn The Creation has been performed 89 times by H+H over its 200-year history. The Handel and Haydn Society premiered in the US the whole of Haydn’s Creation on February 16, 1819, and this oratorio was one of two on which H+H focused from its inception (the other is Handel’s Messiah). Part One of The Creation was sung at the first H+H concert at King’s Chapel on December 25, 1815.

It has frequently been said that it was the inspiration of Handel’s oratorios (and in particular Messiah and Israel in Egypt) that gave Haydn the impetus to compose The Creation in 1798 and 1799, just nine years before his death. It was very much the culmination of a colossal career and a work of great love and faith. “I was never so devout as during the time that I was working on The Creation,” Haydn wrote. “Every day I fell to my knees and begged God to give me the strength for a happy completion of this work.”

Highlights of the oratorio include the highly evocative and harmonically advanced Representation of Chaos, the popular chorus “The heavens are telling the glory of God,” and the bass solo “Now shines heaven in the brightest glory.”

British soprano Sarah Tynan and tenor Jeremy Ovenden will make their H+H debuts in the roles of Gabriel/Eve and Uriel, respectively. A frequent performer with H+H, bass-baritone Matthew Brook (Raphael and Adam) returns after acclaimed performances as Jesus in H+H’s 2012 Bach St. Matthew Passion and as Manoah in 2014’s Handel Samson.

Related to this performance of Haydn The Creation, the Handel and Haydn Society is proud to continue a creative partnership with the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Under the instruction of MassArt faculty members, junior class students in the Illustration department created works of visual art inspired by Haydn’s masterful oratorio. Fifteen works will be on display at Symphony Hall’s Cabot-Cahners Room during the concerts.

The performances will be recorded for commercial release in October 2015 on the CORO label.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

CONCERT INFORMATION

Haydn The Creation
May 1, 2015, 7.30pm at Symphony Hall
May 3, 2015, 3pm at Symphony Hall

Harry Christophers, conductor
Sarah Tynan, soprano (Gabriel and Eve)
Jeremy Ovenden, tenor (Uriel)
Matthew Brook, bass-baritone (Raphael and Adam)
Margaret Lias, mezzo-soprano

Handel and Haydn Society Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus

 

RELATED EVENTS:  

Pre-Concert Conversation

Led by Teresa Neff, Christopher Hogwood Historically Informed Performance Fellow

Friday, May 1, 6.30pm and Sunday, May 3, 2pm at the Cabot-Cahners Room, Symphony Hall

Free with concert tickets

 

Ovation!

Sunday, May 3, post-concert

Lucca Back Bay, 116 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

$35 admission

Handel and Haydn celebrates the 2014–2015 Season with a gathering of musicians, staff, and patrons for an evening of wine and hors d’oeuvres. This year’s Ovation! will pay special tribute to Executive Director CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard who leaves at the end of June.

 

TICKETS:       

Tickets to Haydn The Creation, along with other subscription concerts, are on sale at the Handel and Haydn Society Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at www.handelandhaydn.org, or in person at 9 Harcourt St. Boston (M–F 10am–6pm).

The Handel and Haydn Society prepares for the biggest party of the Bicentennial

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The Society Ball Bicentennial Gala on Saturday evening, April 18 will honor H+H’s distinguished musical legacy with performances with H+H Artistic Director Harry Christophers and Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky, including a new musical arrangement by Tom Vignieri

The Boston event of the year takes place at Symphony Hall, H+H’s home since 1900, with a focus on celebrating H+H’s important place in the history of Boston and the United States

March 19, 2015 (Boston, MA) — Friends and supporters of the Handel and Haydn Society come together on the evening of Saturday, April 18 to celebrate the extraordinary milestone of H+H’s Bicentennial. The Society Ball Bicentennial Gala will be an unforgettable evening taking place in the most natural of settings—Symphony Hall, H+H’s home since 1900. Lavish, spectacular, and grand, this year’s one-of-a-kind Society Ball will stand out with design by coveted event planner Bryan Rafanelli and performances by H+H’s Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and young singers from the Vocal Arts Program.

“This 200th anniversary of the Handel and Haydn Society is not only an opportunity to celebrate its illustrious past but also to bring its music to future generations,” said H+H Gala Chairs Anne & David Gergen. “We are delighted to join with so many others in this inspiring occasion.”

“The Handel and Haydn Society’s Society Ball is going to be an historic evening filled with a sense of civic pride as the community celebrates their Bicentennial year,” says Rafanelli. “It will be a joyful and elegant night showcasing world-class music.”

As part of the evening’s rich musical activities, Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky will perform a solo Bach work for violin. Also performing on the Symphony Hall stage will be students from the five youth choirs that make up H+H’s Vocal Arts Program, as well as the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus. Artistic Director Harry Christophers will lead the professional ensemble in a medley of Baroque and Classical works, newly arranged by Tom Vignieri. Vignieri, who has served as artistic administrator of the Handel and Haydn Society (1993–2003), is the music director of the NPR program From the Top which features America’s best young classical musicians. Other highlights of the evening include dance music by the Bo Winiker Orchestra, cocktails, dinner, and a live auction led by Marie Keep from Skinner. Proceeds from The Society Ball will benefit H+H’s education and artistic initiatives.

Chairs for The Society Ball Bicentennial Gala are Allison & William Achtmeyer, Deborah & Robert First, Anne & David Gergen, Jane Manilych & W. Carl Kester, Cathleen & James Stone, and Kathleen & Walter Weld. Karen Levy & Peter Banks and Jane & Wat Tyler are the evening’s honorary chairs.

Gala sponsors include Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, The Graphic Group, 99.5 WCRB, and Domaine Clarence Dillon.

To learn more about The Society Ball or to purchase tickets, please contact Meagan McMullen at 617 262 1815 or email mmcmullen@handelandhaydn.org.

A limited number of press tickets are available. Please contact Public Relations and Communications Manager Matthew Erikson at 617 262 1815 or email merikson@handelandhaydn.org.

EVENT INFORMATION

The Society Ball Bicentennial Gala
Saturday, April 18, 6.30pm at Symphony Hall, Boston
Tickets from $1,000 (includes tax-deductible contribution)
Tables of 10 available

Tenor Andrew Kennedy withdraws from Mendelssohn Elijah performances due to illness

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In Kennedy’s place, tenor Lawrence Wiliford will perform the secondary roles of Obadiah and Ahab and tenor solos

 Performances of Mendelssohn Elijah are Friday, March 6, 7.30 pm and Sunday, March 8, 3 pm at Symphony Hall

March 4, 2015 (Boston, MA) —  The Handel and Haydn Society regrets to announce that scheduled tenor Andrew Kennedy will not perform in this weekend’s performances of Mendelssohn Elijah because of illness. Replacing Kennedy is tenor Lawrence Wiliford who will be making his H+H debut.

Wiliford’s performances during the 2014-2015 Season include a debut with the Indianapolis Symphony performing Mozart’s Requiem with Matthew Halls; Messiah with the Edmonton and Toronto Symphonies; Beethoven’s Mass in C Major with Tafelmusik under Kent Nagano and the Calgary Philharmonic under Matthew Halls; Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Louisiana Philharmonic; Acis in Handel’s Acis and Galatea with Toronto Masque Theatre; and the world premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s Zabur with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir.

Lawrence Wiliford’s other recent concert appearances include Handel’s Messiah with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; the Evangelist in St. Matthew Passion with the Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain, and Toronto Bach Consort; Mass in B Minor with Music of the Baroque, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Naciónal de Mexico, Oregon Bach Festival, and Toronto Symphony.

There are no other cast changes to announce for this weekend’s concerts.

Premiered in Boston by the Handel and Haydn Society in 1848, Mendelssohn’s epic Elijah quickly became one of the most popular oratorios performed by H+H. Elijah was the first work H+H performed in Symphony Hall and was a favorite of H+H Artistic Director (1986–2001)  and Conductor Laureate (2001– 2014) Christopher Hogwood who led triumphant performances of it in 2000 for Symphony Hall’s centennial. The upcoming performances are dedicated to the memory of Hogwood who passed away in September. Former H+H Music Director Grant Llewellyn leads the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and distinguished soloists. Wiliford joins bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams (performing the title role of the Old Testament prophet), soprano Sarah Coburn, and mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn.

The Handel and Haydn Society celebrates in March the 200th anniversary of its founding

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Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has declared March 24, 2015 Handel and Haydn Society Day. March Bicentennial activities include the opening of an exhibition at the Boston Public Library, Central Library at Copley Square and an institute in partnership with the Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA).

Also in March, the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus perform two powerful oratorios with rich historical significance to H+H: Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

February 23, 2015 (Boston, MA) —  For two centuries, the Handel and Haydn Society (H+H) has made an enduring cultural impact on the City of Boston. At long last, H+H will observe in March the 200th anniversary of H+H’s founding. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh has officially declared Tuesday, March 24 Handel and Haydn Society Day. A citywide celebration on that day includes the opening of a Bicentennial exhibition, which will be on view through September 5 at the Boston Public Library, Central Library at Copley Square.

This exhibition— The Handel and Haydn Society: Bringing Music to Life for 200 Years—is an engaging survey of H+H’s history, seen through the lens of classical music in America. Free to the public and enhanced by interactive media (including an H+H Smartphone app), the display includes priceless H+H archives (photos, program books, newspaper clippings, and more) dating back to the early 1800s with a few surprises in store. The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Freedom Trail Foundation and the MIT Museum, and is made possible with funding from the Adams Arts Program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Plymouth Rock Foundation.

March’s Bicentennial festivities commence at Symphony Hall on March 6 and 8 with Mendelssohn’s epic Elijah. Premiered in Boston by the Handel and Haydn Society in 1848, Elijah quickly became one of the most popular oratorios performed by H+H. Elijah was the first work H+H performed in Symphony Hall and was a favorite of H+H Artistic Director (1986–2001)  and Conductor Laureate (2001– 2014) Christopher Hogwood who led triumphant performances of it in 2000 for Symphony Hall’s centennial. The upcoming performances are dedicated to the memory of Hogwood who passed away in September. Former H+H Music Director Grant Llewellyn leads the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and distinguished soloists: bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams (performing the title role of the Old Testament prophet), soprano Sarah Coburn, mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, and tenor Andrew Kennedy.

Later in March, H+H reprises its sold-out 2012 performances of Bach’s monumental St. Matthew Passion. Premiered in the US by H+H in 1879, Bach’s one-of-a-kind masterwork demands the most from its soloists, double choir, double orchestra, and children’s choir. H+H Artistic Director Harry Christophers will lead the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus, the VAP Young Women’s and Young Men’s Choruses in performances on Friday, March 27 and Sunday, March 29 at Symphony Hall. Soloists include tenor Joshua Ellicott (Evangelist), baritone Roderick Williams (Jesus), soprano Joélle Harvey, mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany, tenor Matthew Long, and baritone Sumner Thompson. H+H is proud to partner with WCRB which will present the live broadcast on March 29, Palm Sunday.

That weekend of performances coincides with the Music Critics Association of North America (MCANA) Institute, hosted by the Handel and Haydn Society. From March 26 through 30, a core group of 10 music journalists from across North America will convene in Boston to experience H+H and to participate in enriching discussions that will have broad implications for classical music. On Friday, March 27 from 1– 3pm the Institute will host the symposium “The Handel and Haydn Society:  Past, Present, and Future” at the Boston Public Library, Central Library at Copley Square. Moderated by The Boston Globe’s Classical Music Critic Jeremy Eichler, the symposium (free and open to the public) includes music writer Jan Swafford, H+H Executive Director and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard, and music critic Donald Rosenberg as panelists. Funding for the MCANA Institute comes from ArtsBoston with additional event sponsorship from the Handel and Haydn Society and Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Guest conductor Richard Egarr showcases a program of youthful works by Mozart and Beethoven

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In a concert of firsts, the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus perform Mozart’s first completed Mass and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1

Performances take place at NEC’s Jordan Hall on Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14 at 7.30pm and Sunday, February 15 at 3pm

Friday and Saturday concerts include performances by the Collaborative Youth Concert students from H+H’s Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program

January 26, 2015 (Boston, MA) —  Youth is the underlying theme of the Handel and Haydn Society’s next series of concerts as it presents the early compositions of two giants of the Classical era, Mozart and Beethoven. In addition, the program will feature the young singers of H+H’s Collaborative Youth Concert (CYC) initiative.

“We have a fascinating program of firsts: Mozart’s first Mass, composed at the extraordinary age of 12, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major,” says guest conductor Richard Egarr. “The familiar Beethoven should still surprise, and the unfamiliar Mozart will surely satisfy.”

Beethoven began work on his first symphony while in his 20s—the start of his legendary revolution in symphonic form. Mozart’s seldom-performed Mass in C Minor, K. 139 is known as the Waisenhausmesse (Orphanage Mass) because it is presumed the work received its premiere at the 1768 dedication of an orphanage church in Vienna.

“This program is a marvelous trip into C major as described by these two masters,” says Egarr. “Mozart’s Waisenhausmesse certainly has sunny, festive aspects, but takes in contrasts of triumph and deep pathos along the way. Beethoven’s first symphonic essay also brings a shining lightness, but of course as always with Beethoven there is wit and humor in all degrees and forms.”

The British-born Egarr, music director of the famed Academy of Ancient Music and a sought-after fortepianist, harpsichordist and chamber music performer and coach, continues his survey of Beethoven symphonies with the Handel and Haydn Society. Since his H+H debut in 2008, he has proven to be a popular conductor with Boston audiences. Egarr most recently led the Period Instrument Orchestra in performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 4 in January 2014. For this upcoming program, he will also conduct H+H Chorus in the Mozart Mass. Soloists hail from the Chorus: soprano Sonja DuToit Tengblad, alto Emily Marvosh, tenor Stefan Reed, and baritone David McFerrin.

Other choral music will introduce performances on February 13 and 14. On those dates, H+H will present young singers from eight Boston-area high school choruses in this year’s Collaborative Youth Concert initiative. Part of the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, CYC encompasses joint rehearsals between students and H+H professionals and culminates in performances on the concert stage. This year, conductor Lisa Graham will lead students from Boston Arts Academy, Boston Latin School, Brockton High School, Lawrence High School for the Performing Arts, Lynn Classical and Lynn English High Schools, Norwood High School, and Peabody Veterans Memorial High School in two movements from Joseph Haydn’s Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo.

 

CONCERT INFORMATION

Mozart and Beethoven

Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14, 7.30pm and Sunday, February 15, 3pm

NEC’s Jordan Hall

Richard Egarr, conductor

Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21

Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, K. 139, Waisenhaus

For Friday and Saturday performances:

Collaborative Youth Concert Choruses (from Boston Arts Academy, Boston Latin School, Brockton High School, Lawrence High School for the Performing Arts, Lynn Classical and Lynn English High Schools, Norwood High School, and Peabody Veterans Memorial High School)

Lisa Graham, conductor

Two movements from Haydn’s Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo.

 Tickets from $22.

The Handel and Haydn Society continues Bicentennial celebration with dynamic 2015-2016 Season

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H+H’s 201st Season features a number of firsts and innovative programs with acclaimed guests and rising artists

H+H presents three of the greatest oratorios ever written (Bach’s St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah and H+H’s first complete performance of Handel’s Saul), two brilliant showcases for H+H Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky, and special programs across Boston and the Northeast

Commemorative Bicentennial activities include a free summertime performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Copley Square and the CORO label CD release of Haydn The Creation in fall 2015

 January 20, 2015 (Boston, MA) —  The Handel and Haydn Society (H+H) and Artistic Director Harry Christophers are pleased to announce its 2015–2016 Season—H+H’s 201st—featuring the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus performing works from the Baroque and Classical eras. H+H will continue to observe the anniversary of its 1815 founding with repertoire significant to its history. The 2015–2016 Season will also present frequent guests, including conductors Richard Egarr and Laurence Cummings and fortepianist Robert Levin, as well as emerging talents making long-awaited debuts.

“This coming season, we continue our Bicentennial celebration that has brought us so much enjoyment and pride,” says Artistic Director Harry Christophers. “We remain fully committed to our dual missions of staying true to the past and to the present, particularly through the introduction of this enriching art form to a younger generation. It will also be my great honor to collaborate further with the extraordinarily talented musicians who make up this historic yet venerable ensemble.”

As the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the US, the Handel and Haydn Society continues to flourish under the leadership of Harry Christophers who will enter his seventh season as artistic director. Among the significant musical projects that Christophers will lead in 2015–2016 are Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, an all-Haydn orchestral program, Bach’s St. John Passion, and—an H+H first— Handel’s Saul.

“Handel never ceases to amaze me and I am delighted to bring this exceptional oratorio to H+H for the first time in its 200-year history,” says Christophers who will conduct five of next season’s nine subscription programs.

Guest conductor Richard Egarr will return for two programs (Baroque Masters and All Beethoven). The versatile harpsichordist and conductor Laurence Cummings will lead Bach Christmas, which features three holiday cantatas, including the popular Sleepers Awake.

“H+H is thrilled to present to our patrons and the city of Boston some of the world’s greatest Baroque and Classical works with the finest interpreters,” says Executive Director and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard. “Through the 200th anniversary celebrations, our community is coming to better understand Boston’s musical legacy in America and the place that H+H holds in the artistic and educational landscape of our city. We are grateful to our loyal audience for their unwavering support as we continue our Bicentennial celebrations.”

2015–2016 Season Highlights

Just as H+H opened the Bicentennial Season with H+H’s Baroque namesake, Handel, Harry Christophers will usher in the 2015–2016 Season with the Classical half, Haydn—specifically, Haydn’s Symphony No. 99. Joining the program is one of the towering works of the Classical era, the Mozart Requiem, premiered in Boston by H+H in 1857. Soloists making their H+H debuts are soprano Lauren Snouffer and mezzo-soprano Hannah Pedley. They will join tenor Robert Murray, bass-baritone Dashon Burton, and the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus.

Later in October, keyboardist, conductor, and audience favorite Richard Egarr presents an audacious program of path-breaking Italian Baroque jewels for organ and chamber ensemble. Avant-garde in their time, these highly virtuosic, wild and spontaneous pieces (“the heavy metal of the early 17th century,” says Egarr) receive a rare hearing. The Baroque Masters represented on the program include Castello, Fontana, Gabrieli, and Marini.

Late November and December bring two cherished and critically acclaimed H+H holiday traditions. Harry Christophers conducts the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and guest soloists in the 162nd annual performances of Handel’s Messiah. Audiences will “rejoice greatly” with soprano Sophie Bevan, contralto Emily Marvosh, tenor James Gilchrist, and baritone Christopher Purves. Next season’s Bach Christmas will consist exclusively of music by J.S. Bach, including his Cantatas 38, 133, and 140 (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme). Laurence Cummings, artistic director of the London Handel Festival and the Göttingen International Handel Festival, leads the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus.

In January 2016, H+H’s inspirational concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky, Harry Christophers, and the Period Instrument Orchestra take up again their all-Haydn survey with the Violin Concerto in A Major, a masterpiece lost until 1949. Rounding out this concert (the third in a series of all-Haydn programs that began in 2013) are the Symphonies No. 8 (Le Soir) and 84. The performances will be recorded for release in fall 2016.

On February 13–15, Richard Egarr, music director of the Academy of Ancient Music, resumes H+H’s survey of Beethoven symphonies, this time with the Symphony No. 6, Pastoral. The All-Beethoven theme continues with renowned fortepianist Robert Levin performing Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto.

According to his obituary, Bach composed five Passions but only two of these, the St. John Passion and St. Matthew Passion have survived intact. Full of emotional intimacy and dramatic power, the St. John Passion is a musical monument that never fails to move the listener. “We have two very fine soloists to convey the core of that drama in the Evangelist, tenor Nicholas Mulroy and in Christus, bass-baritone Matthew Brook,” says Christophers. Two emerging talents from the H+H Chorus, Sonja DuToit Tengblad and Emily Marvosh, will perform the soprano and alto arias respectively. The performances coincide with the Lenten season.

Few chamber works pieces influenced composers more than Beethoven’s Septet. In early April, Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky leads a special chamber program featuring H+H string principals and clarinetist Eric Hoeprich. Nosky and company will mix it up with some more of their favorite chamber works, including pieces by Mozart and Beethoven.

The season reaches a climax with a masterpiece that H+H has never completely performed during its 200-year history: Handel’s grand and glorious 1739 oratorio Saul. Counted as one of today’s finest Handel interpreters, Christophers leads the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and an exemplary cast, led by acclaimed baritone Jonathan Best in the title role.

 

Special Bicentennial Events and Calendar

Exhibition at the Boston Public Library, Central Library      March 24 – September 5, 2015  Copley Square

H+H’s extensive archives—containing a wealth of photos, concert program books, newspaper clippings, and more—date back to the early 1800s. Enhanced by interactive media, these treasures, along with a portion of the H+H collection held at the Boston Public Library, will be on view at the Boston Public Library for six months, and accessible worldwide in an online collection catalogue. Presented in partnership with the Freedom Trail Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the exhibition will explore H+H’s 200-year history through the lens of classical music in America. Exhibition admission is free of charge.

The Society Ball Gala Benefit at Symphony Hall                                                    April 18, 2015

H+H’s benefactors and friends come together for a lavish gala fundraiser, featuring a performance by the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus, led by Harry Christophers, with proceeds to benefit H+H’s education and artistic initiatives. This Boston event of the year takes place at Symphony Hall, H+H’s home since 1900, with a focus on celebrating H+H’s important place in the history of Boston and the United States.

Beethoven Symphony No. 9                                                                         July 26, 2015

This free outdoor performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is H+H’s gift to the City of Boston. The celebrated H+H Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus is joined by other choral ensembles from around New England, including the Harvard Summer Chorus (led by Andrew Clark) and H+H’s VAP youth choirs. H+H Resident Conductor Ian Watson directs.

Bach Cantatas at Bourgie Hall, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts               September 27, 2015

Resident Conductor Ian Watson leads the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus in Bach Cantatas 10, 17, and 47.

Haydn The Creation CD                                                                                            October 2015

In celebration of H+H’s Bicentennial, CORO releases a new H+H recording of Haydn’s Creation, recorded at Symphony Hall in May 2015.

King’s Chapel Soirée                                                                                      November 21, 2015

Historic King’s Chapel, the site of H+H’s first public performance in 1815, is the setting for an intimate performance by the H+H Chorus, led by Harry Christophers, preceded by a pre-concert reception at the Boston Athenæum. Exclusively for our top patrons and civic leaders, the performance is then followed by dinner at the Somerset Club. 

Holiday Sing                                                                                                      December 12, 2015

For this community program at Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall, the H+H Chorus and Vocal Arts Program choruses invite audiences to sing along to holiday favorites.

Bach Brandenburg Concertos, Nos. 1-6                                                         December 13, 2015

The Period Instrument Orchestra, led by Ian Watson and Aisslinn Nosky, reprise their sold-out performance from 2014 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

H+H at the Library of Congress                                                                       February 20, 2016

Harry Christophers directs the D.C. premiere of a co-commissioned work by Gabriela Lena Frank, which receives its world premiere at the Chorus America Conference in Boston, Symphony Hall, on June 18, 2015.

 

2015–2016 Ticket and Subscription Information

Beginning on January 20, subscription are on sale at the Handel and Haydn Society Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at www.handelandhaydn.org ,or in person at 9 Harcourt St. Boston (M–F, 10am–6pm). Options include nine- and six-concert series and an H2 Young Professionals package, as well as “Choose Your Own” packages.

 

2014–2015 Bicentennial Season Subscription Calendar

 

Mozart Requiem

October 2, 2015, 7:30PM at Symphony Hall

October 4, 2015 3PM at Symphony Hall

Harry Christophers, conductor

Handel and Haydn Society Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus

Lauren Snouffer, soprano

Hannah Pedley, mezzo-soprano

Robert Murray, tenor

Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

Haydn: Symphony No. 99

Webbe: When winds breathe soft

Mozart: Requiem

 

Baroque Masters

October 30, 2015, 7:30PM at NEC’s Jordan Hall

November 1, 2015, 3PM at NEC’s Jordan Hall

Richard Egarr, director and organ

Members of the Period Instrument Orchestra

Gabrieli: Canzona a6

Castello: Sonata decima quarta a4

Gabrieli: Sonata for 3 violins

Castello: Sonata duodecima a3

Castello: Sonata secunda a2

Castello: Sonata undecima a3

Marini: Sonata in echo for 3 violins

Castello: Sonata decima a3

Fontana: Sonata for 3 violins

Castello: Sonata nona a3

Castello: Sonata decima quinta per stromenti d’arco

Castello: Sonata decima terza a4

 

Handel Messiah

November 27, 2015, 7:30PM at Symphony Hall

November 28, 2015, 3PM at Symphony Hall

November 29, 2015, 3PM at Symphony Hall

Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus

Harry Christophers, conductor

Handel and Haydn Society Chorus

Sophie Bevan, soprano

Emily Marvosh, contralto

James Gilchrist, tenor

Christopher Purves, baritone

 

Bach Christmas

December 17, 2015, 7:30PM at NEC’s Jordan Hall

December 20, 2015, 3PM at NEC’s Jordan Hall

Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus

Laurence Cummings, conductor

Bach: Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf

Bach: Cantata 36, Schwingt freudig euch empor

Bach: Cantata 133, Ich freue mich in dir

Bach: Cantata 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme

 

All Haydn

January 29, 2016, 7:30PM at Symphony Hall

January 31, 2016, 3PM at Symphony Hall

Period Instrument Orchestra

Harry Christophers, conductor

Aisslinn Nosky, violin and leader

Haydn: Symphony No. 8, Le Soir

Haydn: Violin Concerto in A Major

Haydn: Symphony No. 84

 

All Beethoven

February 26, 2016, 7:30PM at Symphony Hall

February 28, 2016, 3PM at Symphony Hall

Period Instrument Orchestra

Richard Egarr, conductor

Robert Levin, fortepiano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6

 

Bach St. John Passion

March 11, 2016, 7:30PM at Symphony Hall

March 13, 2016, 3PM at Symphony Hall

Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus

Harry Christophers, conductor

Nicholas Mulroy, tenor (Evangelist and arias)

Matthew Brook, bass-baritone (Jesus and arias)

Sonja DuToit Tengblad, soprano

Emily Marvosh, contralto

 

Mozart and Beethoven

April 8, 2016, 7:30PM at NEC’s Jordan Hall

April 10, 2016, 3PM at Sanders Theatre

Aisslinn Nosky, leader and violin

Program to include Beethoven Septet

 

Handel Saul

April 29, 2016, 7:30PM at Symphony Hall

May 1, 2016, 3PM at Symphony Hall

Harry Christophers, conductor

Handel and Haydn Society Chorus

Jonathan Best, bass-baritone (Saul)

Iestyn Davies, countertenor (David)

Robert Murray, tenor (Jonathan)

Elizabeth Atherton, soprano (Merab)

Joélle Harvey, soprano (Michal)

 

2015–2016 Guest Artists, Soloists, and Conductors

Harry Christophers, conductor

Laurence Cummings, conductor

Richard Egarr, conductor and organ

Ian Watson, conductor

 

Elizabeth Atherton, soprano*

Jonathan Best, bass-baritone

Sophie Bevan, soprano

Matthew Brook, bass-baritone

Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

Iestyn Davies, countertenor

James Gilchrist, tenor

Joélle Harvey, soprano

Richard Levin, fortepiano

Emily Marvosh, contralto*

Robert Murray, tenor

Aisslinn Nosky, violin and leader

Hannah Pedley, mezzo-soprano*

Christopher Purves, baritone

Lauren Snouffer, soprano*

Sonia DuToit Tengblad, soprano

* H+H Debut

 

HARRY CHRISTOPHERS, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

The 2015–2016 Bicentennial Season marks Harry Christophers’ seventh as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society. He has conducted Handel and Haydn each season since September 2006, when he led a sold-out performance in the Esterházy Palace at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. Christophers’ tenure as Artistic Director began with the 2009–2010 Season. Christophers and H+H have since embarked on an ambitious artistic journey with a showcase of works premiered in the United States by the Handel and Haydn Society over the last 199 years, and partnered with the CORO label to produce a series of recordings leading to the 2015 Bicentennial. Christophers is founder and conductor of the UK-based choir and period-instrument ensemble The Sixteen. He has directed The Sixteen throughout Europe, America, Australia, and the Far East, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th-century music. With that ensemble, he has recorded over 100 titles for which he has won numerous awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque for Handel Messiah, numerous Preise der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics Awards), the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music, and the prestigious Classical Brit Award (2005) for his disc entitled Renaissance. In 2009, he received one of classical music’s highest accolades, the Classic FM Gramophone Awards Artist of the Year Award, and The Sixteen won the Baroque Vocal Award for Handel Coronation Anthems, a CD that also received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination. In 2014, the Sixteen was also awarded a Grammy nomination for Palestrina, Vol. 3.

Harry Christophers is principal guest conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra and a regular guest conductor with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Orquestra de la Comunidad de Madrid. In October 2008, Christophers was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Leicester. Most recently, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and also of the Royal Welsh Academy for Music and Drama. He received a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen of England in 2012 for services to music.

 

ABOUT THE HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY

Founded in Boston in 1815, the Handel and Haydn Society (H+H) is considered America’s oldest continuously performing arts organization. H+H celebrates its Bicentennial in 2015 with a series of special concerts and initiatives to honor 200 years of music making. Under Artistic Director Harry Christophers’ leadership, H+H’s mission is 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’s Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus present live and recorded historically informed performances of this repertoire in ways that stimulate the musical and cultural life of the Greater Boston community and beyond.

H+H’s esteemed tradition of innovation and excellence began in the 19th century with the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Verdi’s Requiem, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Today, H+H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on 99.5 WCRB and National Public Radio, and recordings. H+H’s first recording with Harry Christophers, Mozart Mass in C Minor, was issued in September 2010 on the CORO label. Subsequent releases include Mozart Requiem (2011), and Coronation Mass (2012), as well as the critically acclaimed Haydn, Vol. 1 (September 2013), the best-selling Joy to the World: An American Christmas (October 2013), and Handel Messiah (October 2014).

As a 21st-century performing arts organization, H+H’s primary roles are to perform and educate, and to serve as a resource center and community partner. The Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, established in 1985, reaches 10,000 children each year in underserved Greater Boston communities. H+H also maintains partnerships with cultural and higher educational institutions.

Visit our new press room for releases, photos and more. For more information, please contact Public Relations and Communications Manager Matthew Erikson at 617 262 1815 or merikson@handelandhaydn.org