H+H Blog

Wow – What a year at H+H!

Dear Friend of the Handel and Haydn Society, Thank you for being a part of the H+H story this past year. Everyone here deeply appreciates your presence at our concerts, your applause, and your support. As memorable as this year was, and as extraordinary as the performances of our H+H orchestra and chorus were, none of it would have happened without you.

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On Being HIP: What is Historically Informed Performance?

H+H follows Historically Informed Performance practices, commonly shortened to HIP. Because H+H performs music from the 17th though the early-19th centuries, current understanding of the musical traditions associated with those centuries underlies any performance decision.

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From the Beauty in Black Artistry Blog: Reggie Mobley and Nigra Sum Sed Formosa

Happy Sunday, everyone! Today’s blog is a guest artist spotlight featuring the esteemed, world-renowned countertenor Reginald Mobley! After starting his classical music career as a member of twice GRAMMY® nominated ensemble Seraphic Fire, Reggie has since appeared with Academy of Ancient Music, Agave Baroque, Bach Collegium San Diego, and The Handel + Haydn Society. With the latter, he had the honor of becoming the first Black person to lead H+H in its Bicentennial year. Recent festival appearances include Bachfest Leipzig, Festival Berlioz, Early Music Vancouver, Thüringer Bachwoche, and the Boston Early Music Festival.

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A Message from Harry Christophers

It was 2009 when I first signed on as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society. I came to the organization with the desire to concentrate on our namesakes: Handel and Haydn. My desire was to make the classics sound fresh, to put the music first and to honor the composers by staying true to their vision.

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On Commission

Most composers throughout history have written primarily on commission, or at least with specific ensembles and occasions in mind for the first performances of new pieces. This guarantees that their pieces will be played, and usually ensures that the composer will be paid for them.

Orchestras and choruses commission new works to stimulate the creation of new music, create excitement, and enlarge their repertoire. Commissioning an especially famous composer also brings prestige on an organization.

With that in mind, imagine if H+H had commissioned Ludwig van Beethoven himself. In fact, we tried in 1823, when Samuel Richardson, a founding member of H+H, reached out to Beethoven through a Viennese banker. But the great composer was busy writing his Ninth Symphony and about to embark on his late string quartets. He didn’t accept the commission from the upstart ensemble across the Atlantic, but did remark that he was glad his fame had reached America.

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All That’s Old is New Again (Part 3 of 3)

H+H uses period instruments to create an historically-informed presentation of Baroque and Classical music—as close as possible to the composer’s original intent. Interestingly, not all the instruments are available as working antiques. Sometimes we make new instruments to function and sound like the originals.

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All That’s Old is New Again (Part 2 of 3)

H+H uses period instruments to create an historically-informed presentation of Baroque and Classical music—as close as possible to the composer’s original intent. Interestingly, not all the instruments are available as working antiques. Sometimes we make new instruments to function and sound like the originals.

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All That’s Old is New Again (Part 1 of 3)

Interestingly, not all the instruments are available as working antiques. Sometimes we make new instruments to function and sound like the originals. Learn about the reproduction of the Basset Horn.

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Amadeus: Fact or Fiction?

We are excited to share with you our upcoming performances of “Amadeus” Live, in November. As with so many legendary historical figures, the life of Mozart has generated a wealth of legacies and myths. Here are some of our favorites – what do you think: fact or fiction?

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