H+H Blog

Feeling HIP? Get to Know the Baroque Brass Instruments

The Baroque Trumpet and Trombone By John Tamilio III, Ph.D. There is a moment during H+H’s performance of Handel’s Messiah when two trumpet players emerge from opposite wings of the Symphony Hall balcony and play a fanfare. It is one of my favorite parts of the oratorio. My heart skips a beat at the sound …

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Feeling HIP? Get to Know the Baroque String Instruments

By John Tamilio III, Ph.D. The Handel and Haydn Society has been a leading player in the Boston music scene for over 200 years, but for the past four decades—since the arrival of former Artistic Director Christopher Hogwood in 1986—it has been in the vanguard of ensuring the early music capital of North America has …

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Q+A with Dr. Ellen Harris: Revisiting Handel as Orpheus

Dr. Ellen Harris didn’t plan on writing a book about homosexual subtext in George Frideric Handel’s chamber cantatas. But as one of the foremost Handel scholars in the world—Dr. Harris is the Class of 1949 Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the current President of the Handel House Foundation of America—she had …

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Q+A with Derek Tam and Addi Liu: The “Chinese Baroque”

What does “Chinese Baroque” music sound like? According to conductor and keyboardist Derek Tam and doctoral researcher and violinist Addi Liu (both experts in the field of early music), we don’t necessarily know—but it’s worth imagining. Their research focuses on musical exchanges and misunderstandings between Chinese and European people from the late 16th century to …

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Q+A with Anthony Trecek-King, Resident Conductor

When conductor Dr. Anthony Trecek-King learned that Handel had ties to the North Atlantic slave trade, the next step seemed obvious: He wanted to create an immersive concert experience that explored that history and that, above all else, asked H+H audiences to “think and feel.” Now, he’s bringing Crossing the Deep to Boston this June, …

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Q+A with Ben Bliss, Tenor

Tenor Ben Bliss has been singing J.S. Bach since the days of high school choir back home in the Kansas City suburbs. Now, he travels the world bringing Baroque and Classical music to life with a voice hailed by Première Loge as “close to the ideal.” After making his debut with H+H at our 169th …

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Q+A with Emi Ferguson, H+H Principal Flute

H+H principal flute Emi Ferguson grew up in Brookline listening to the Handel and Haydn Society. She stretches the boundaries of the modern-day musician as a flutist, singer, and composer, performing with period ensembles around the world. This month, she’ll light up the Symphony Hall stage as the soloist for Mozart’s first flute concerto, one …

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A Q+A with James Darrah, stage director, on The Marriage of Figaro

Audiences are asking what semi-staged entails—is there a better description? I think as a director, “semi-staged” just makes me bristle and laugh—but I like to think of projects like this as a way to put energy and focus into very different parts of opera, and craft a “new” art form that is not a fully …

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Louise Farrenc: A French Romantic Composer Ahead of Her Time

Louise Farrenc By Benjamin Pesetsky With thanks to Teresa Neff Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3 premiered on a program alongside Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at the Société des concerts du Conservatoire de Paris. It was 1849, and she was a piano professor in her mid-40s at the Paris Conservatoire. Her symphony’s premiere was notable not only …

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Q+A with the Composer | Jonathan Woody

Brooklyn-based composer and bass-baritone Jonathan Woody recently composed his Suite for Orchestra after the works of Charles Ignatius Sancho, an H+H commissioned work based on music in the compositions of Charles Ignatius Sancho (1729 – 1780), the first person of African descent to publish classical music. In this blog post, Woody discusses more about the …

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