Acclaimed British trumpeter Alison Balsom makes her Handel and Haydn Society debut

By January 2, 2014Uncategorized

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Acclaimed British trumpeter Alison Balsom makes her

Handel and Haydn Society debut

The 2013 Gramophone Artist of the Year performs Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto.
In this all-orchestral program pairing the music of Haydn and Beethoven,
conductor Richard Egarr resumes his high-octane interpretation of the Beethoven’s symphonies with the cheerful Fourth.
Performances are Friday, January 24, 8pm and Sunday, January 26, 3pm at Symphony Hall.

January 2, 2014 (Boston, MA) — Under the baton of guest conductor Richard Egarr, the Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) continues its survey of the nine symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven with Beethoven No. 4. For this lively concert presenting two witty giants of Classical music, Beethoven and his teacher Joseph Haydn, the Period Instrument Orchestra will also perform Haydn’s valedictory “London” symphony and groundbreaking Trumpet Concerto with superstar trumpeter Alison Balsom as soloist.

“Often overshadowed because of its position between the more famous Third and Fifth, Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony is a brilliant, rollicking party-bus of a symphony,” says Egarr, who last spring led the Period Instrument Orchestra in Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. He adds, “Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto is beloved by the public, just like Alison Balsom, our wonderful soloist, whom I am really excited to be working with for the first time.”

Hailed by the international press as “an astonishing virtuosa” with “glamorous stage presence,” the 34-year-old Balsom was named in September 2013 Gramophone Artist of the Year. Raised in Royston, England where she grew up playing in brass bands, she is today one on the few classical musicians to have achieved a successful solo career on the trumpet. Balsom will be making her H&H debut on an 18th-century replica instrument, a so-called “key trumpet,” very similar in design and sound to the instrument that Viennese court trumpeter Anton Weidinger used to premiere the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in 1796.

Supplying further novelty to the Beethoven No. 4 program is a seldom-played symphony by Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach. The only grandson of Johann Sebastian Bach to gain fame as a composer, W.F.E. Bach was described later in life by 19th-century Romantic composer Robert Schumann as “a very agile old gentleman of 84 years with snow-white hair and expressive features.”

The Friday, January 24 performance will be followed by the season’s secondH2 Young Professionals event, held at Lucca Back Bay, 116 Huntington Ave., Boston. 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. For more information, visit

Beethoven Symphony No. 4
Friday, January 24, 8 pm at Symphony Hall
Sunday, January 26, 3 pm at Symphony Hall
Richard Egarr, conductor
Alison Balsom, trumpet
Period Instrument Orchestra
Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 104 in D Major, London
Haydn: Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major
W.F.E. Bach: Symphony in G Major
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60

Tickets from $20. See below for purchasing information.

Tickets are available through Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) Box Office: by phone at 617 266 3605; online at; or in person at the Handel and Haydn Society offices, 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. 
RELATED EVENTS:           
Pre-Concert Conversation with Teresa M. Neff, PhD
Friday, January 24 at 7pm
Sunday, January 26 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, continues with a celebration following the January 24 performance at Lucca Back Bay, 116 Huntington Ave, Boston.
Sponsored by Lucca Back Bay and The Improper Bostonian.
Free with concert tickets
Richard Egarr
Richard Egarr made his H&H conducting debut in 2008, and most recently led H&H in performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in March 2013. He has worked with all types of keyboards, performing repertoire ranging from 15th-century organ music to Berg and Maxwell Davies on modern piano. Egarr enjoyed his musical training as a choirboy at York Minster, at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and as organ scholar at Clare College Cambridge. His studies with Gustav and Marie Leonhardt further inspired his work in the field of historical performance.
As a conductor, Egarr has presented a wide range of repertoire, from Bach’sSt. Matthew Passion to John Taverner’s Ikon of Light. He directs specialized ensembles and modern orchestras alike. He is Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, having succeeded its founder Christopher Hogwood in 2006. This season he conducts the AAM on several tours across Europe and Asia.
Richard Egarr records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi USA. His solo output comprises works by Frescobaldi, Gibbons, Couperin, Purcell, Froberger, Mozart, and J.S. Bach (Goldberg Variations and Well-Tempered Clavier Book I). He has an impressive list of award-winning recordings with violinist Andrew Manze. With the Academy of Ancient Music he has recorded the complete Bach harpsichord concertos and an entire set of Handel discs.

Alison Balsom
Alison Balsom, trumpet, makes her H&H debut with this program. Honored with numerous awards by Gramophone, Classic FM and ECHO Klassik, Balsom has cemented an international reputation as one of classical music’s great ambassadors. Having headlined The Last Night of the BBC Proms in 2009 with the concert reaching its biggest ever global television audience of an estimated 200 million, she made her US television debut with the Orchestra of St Luke’s on The Late Show with David Letterman—a platform few classical artists have gained access to.

In the 2012–2013 season, Balsom embarked on major international tours of Europe, China and the US with the Wiener Symphoniker, Kammerorchester Basel, Concerto Köln, Scottish Ensemble and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Earlier this season, she played with the LA Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony.  She plans a solo tour for the 2014–2015 season.
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). H&H will celebrate its 200th anniversary with the 2014–2015 Season.

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). 

Visit our new media center for releases, photos, and more. To arrange interviews with Alison Balsom, please contact Public Relations and Communications Manager Matthew Erikson at
617 262 1815 or