WHAT IS THE HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY? Founded in 1815, the Handel and Haydn Society (H+H) is considered America’s oldest continuously performing arts organization. Its Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus are internationally recognized in the field of Historically Informed Performance and known for excellence and innovation in music education.
Read more about the Handel and Haydn Society »
Read more about our Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus »
Read more about Historically Informed Performance »
Read more about Handel and Haydn’s education program »
WHAT IS HISTORICALLY INFORMED PERFORMANCE? Historically Informed Performance (HIP) is the practice of performing works as composers intended, using period instruments (from the composer’s time or built like those that existed then) and ensembles comparable in size to those that would have performed during the composer’s lifetime.
Learn more about Historically Informed Performance »
WHO ARE HANDEL AND HAYDN? George Frideric Handel (Halle 1685–London 1750) was one of the great composers of the Baroque era. Born Georg Friedrich Händel in Germany in 1685, he anglicized his name when he became a naturalized British subject in 1727. He studied in Germany and Italy before settling in London, and was heavily influenced by both the Italian Baroque and German choral traditions. He is most famous for his oratorios, including Messiah, but also made important contributions to opera and chamber music. Joseph Haydn (Rohrau 1732–Vienna 1809), or Franz Joseph Haydn, was one of the great composers of the Classical era. Like Handel, he made important contributions to the oratorio genre, most notably with The Creation. He was known for being a musical jokester, and wrote many false endings, surprising loud chords, and even pauses for violins to re-tune. He is often considered the father of both the symphony and the string quartet.
DO YOU ONLY PLAY MUSIC BY HANDEL AND HAYDN? Despite its name, H+H does not exclusively play the music of Handel and Haydn. At the time of its founding in 1815, H+H’s name was chosen to honor Handel, then considered the greatest of the “old” composers of the Baroque period (1600–1750), and Haydn, considered the greatest of the “new” composers of the Classical period (1750–1830). A model of innovation and excellence, H+H has presented countless American and Boston premieres of works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Verdi, as well as Handel and Haydn.
WHAT MUSIC ARE YOU PERFORMING THIS SEASON? View the complete 2018–19 Season »
WHO IS YOUR ARTISTIC LEADER? WHO CONDUCTS PERFORMANCES?Artistic Director Harry Christophers conceptualizes and plans the entire season. He leads four of the nine concert programs this season.
Read more about Harry Christophers »
Learn about this season’s concerts »