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The “Bernstein of Early Music” Conductor Richard Egarr Leads the Handel and Haydn Society in
Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony and Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony
October 28 and 30, 2016 | Symphony Hall, Boston
the press performance is Friday, October 28, 7:30pm
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[Boston, MA – September 29, 2016] The Handel and Haydn Society continues its 202nd season with a program of classical masterworks featuring Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55, Eroica and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90, Italian. Richard Egarr will conduct H+H’s period orchestra. The concerts take place on Friday, October 28 at 7:30pm and Sunday, September 30 at 3pm at Symphony Hall, located at 301 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston. Tickets range from $28-98 and may be purchased by calling 617.266.3605, visiting www.handelandhaydn.org, and in person at 9 Harcourt Street in Boston (M-F 10am-6pm). Student and group discounts are available.
Conductor Richard Egarr. Photo: Marco Borggreve.
Handel and Haydn Society’s Christopher Hogwood HIP scholar Teresa Neff said, “in Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony and Mendelssohn’s ‘Italian,’ the former inspired by world events and the latter by a personal journey, we can contemplate the external forces that helped to shape each work and note, or even marvel at, those places where the two symphonies converge and diverge as each composer offers us a glimpse of the world through their eyes.”
According to H+H President and CEO David Snead, “Beethoven’s Eroica symphony was a breakthrough work in musical history, employing an unusually large ensemble to deliver a musical story with previously unknown levels of drama and power. Beethoven reputedly had dedicated the work to Napoleon, but when he heard Napoleon had turned dictator he angrily made the dedication ‘to the memory of a great man. Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony is, by contrast, one of the composer’s most cheerful, written as a musical postcard from a trip to Italy.”
H+H will perform both masterworks on period instruments similar to those that would have been used at the time the works were written. These performances will be the first time H+H has performed the “Italian” Symphony since 2003.
Beethoven Eroica Program
Mendelssohn: Symphony Ho. 4 in A Major, Op. 90, Italian
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op.55, Eroica
Beethoven Eroica Audio Previews
Click below to listen to three audio clips:
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, Italian
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, Eroica
About Richard Egarr, Conductor
Richard Egarr debuted with the Handel and Haydn Society in 2008 and appeared most recently last February as conductor for All Beethoven. He brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, enquiring mind to all his music-making. Mr. Egarr is the Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music (since 2006),and is the Associate Artist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has a flourishing career as a guest conductor with orchestras ranging from the Handel and Haydn Society to the London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw, and Philadelphia orchestra.
Mr. Egarr established the Choir of the Academy of Ancient Music, and current plans with them include Monteverdi and Purcell opera cycles at the Barbican Centre where they are an Associate Ensemble. He is a lasting inspiration to young musicians, maintaining regular relationships at the Amsterdam Conservatoire, Britten Pears Foundation, and the Netherlands Opera Academy. Egarr is a Visiting Artist at the Juilliard School and continues to play solo harpsichord recitals across the world, including regular appearances at Carnegie Hall. He has recorded many award-winning CDs for Harmonia Mundi, with the AAM and solo. He has also released several CDs with the AAM on their own label, including Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion. Egarr trained 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.
About Harry Christophers, Conductor and Artistic Director
The 2016-17 season marks Harry Christophers’ eighth as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society. Since his appointment in 2009, Christophers and H+H have embarked on an ambitious artistic journey toward the organization’s 200th anniversary with a showcase of works premiered in the US by H+H since 1815, broad education programming, community outreach activities and partnerships, and the release of a series of recordings on the CORO label. Christophers is known internationally as 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- and 21st-century music. In 2000, he instituted The Choral Pilgrimage, a tour of British cathedrals from York to Canterbury. He has recorded over 120 titles for which he has won numerous awards, including the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music and the prestigious Classical Brit Award in 2005 for his disc Renaissance. His CD IKON was nominated for a 2007 Grammy and his second recording of Handel’s Messiah on The Sixteen’s own label CORO won the prestigious MIDEM Classical Award 2009. 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 as did Palestrina, Vol. 3 in 2014. From 2007 he has featured with The Sixteen in the highly successful BBC television series Sacred Music, presented by actor Simon Russell Beale. The latest hour-long program, devoted to Monteverdi’s Vespers, will be screened in 2015. 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. In October 2008, Christophers was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Leicester. He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and also of the Royal Welsh Academy for Music and Drama and was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honors.
About the H+H Period Orchestra and Chorus
About David Snead, President and CEO
David Snead joined H+H as as President and CEO in October 2015 after serving as Vice President of Marketing, Brand and Customer Experience at the New York Philharmonic a role he held since 2001. Previously, he led the marketing programs of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Guthrie Theater, Milwaukee Symphony, and Hartford Symphony. He has also served as Associate Marketing Director of the Minnesota Orchestra, General Manager of the Richmond Symphony, and Executive Director of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony. Snead is on the faculty of the League of American Orchestras’ Patron Model seminars and Roosevelt University’s graduate program in arts management, and is a regular lecturer at New York University and Drexel. A noted expert on the relationship between orchestras and their audiences, he has been a featured speaker at national conferences in the United States, England, France, Finland, the Netherlands, and Australia.
Handel + Haydn’s 2016-2017 Season
Beethoven Eroica Symphony Hall October 28 & 30, 2016
Richard Egarr, conductor
Handel Messiah Symphony Hall November 25, 26, 27, 2016
Harry Christophers, conductor
Bach Christmas Jordan Hall December 15 & 18, 2016
Ian Watson, conductor
Mozart & Haydn Symphony Hall January 27 & 29, 2017
Harry Christophers, conductor
Glories of the Italian Baroque Jordan Hall February 10 & 12, 2017
Aisslinn Nosky, director and violin
McGegan & Mozart Symphony Hall March 3 & 5, 2017
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Monteverdi Vespers Jordan Hall April 7, 2017
Harry Christophers, conductor The Met Fifth Avenue April 8, 2017 (New York)
Symphony Hall April 9, 2017
Handel Semele Symphony Hall May 5 & 7, 2017
Harry Christophers, conductor
About Handel + Haydn Society
The Handel and Haydn Society is internationally acclaimed for its performances of Baroque and Classical music. Based in Boston, H+H’s Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners each year with a nine concert subscription series at Symphony Hall and other leading venues in addition to a robust program of intimate events in museums, schools, and community centers. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, the ensemble embraces historically informed performance bringing classical music to life with the same immediacy it had the day it was written. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H also provides engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education to over 10,000 children each year through in-school music instruction and a Vocal Arts Program that includes six youth choruses.
Founded in Boston in 1815, H+H is the oldest continuously-performing arts organization in the United States, and is unique among American ensembles for its longevity, capacity for reinvention, and distinguished history of premieres. H+H began as a choral society founded by middle-class Bostonians who aspired to improve the quality of singing in their growing American city. They named the organization after two composers—Handel and Haydn—to represent both the old music of the 18th century and what was then the new music of the 19th century. In the first decades of its existence, H+H gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). Between 2014 and 2016, H+H celebrated its Bicentennial with two seasons of special concerts and initiatives to mark 200 years of music making. Since its founding, H+H has given more than 2,000 performances before a total audience exceeding 2.8 million.
In addition to its subscription series, tours, and broadcast performances, H+H reaches a worldwide audience through ambitious recordings including the critically-acclaimed Haydn The Creation, the best-selling Joy to the World: An American Christmas, and Handel Messiah, recorded live at Symphony Hall under Christophers’ direction. http://handelandhaydn.org/