Concert Marks Harry Christophers’ Return to Symphony Hall for his Final Season as Artistic Director
November 26-28, 2021
Press performance is Friday, November 26 at 7:30 PM
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[Boston – October 19, 2021] A holiday tradition returns to Boston as the Handel and Haydn Society performs Handel’s Messiah. The concert is a hallmark of the H+H season that dates to its first concert in 1815 which featured the famed “Hallelujah” chorus. This year’s performance will be a special treat for audiences as Harry Christophers returns to Symphony Hall for his 13th and final season as Artistic Director of H+H. Featuring the H+H Orchestra and Chorus as well as Carolyn Sampson, soprano; Reginald Mobley, countertenor; James Way, tenor; and Roderick Williams, baritone; the concerts will take place Friday, November 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28 at 3 p.m. at Symphony Hall in Boston.
One of the world’s best-known choral works, Messiah was first performed as a charity concert in Dublin in 1742. The Handel and Haydn Society gave the American premiere of the complete work in 1818 after first performing a portion of Messiah in 1815. H+H began showcasing the complete Messiah annually in 1854, making it one of Boston’s longest-running holiday traditions.
Now, Harry Christophers will lead the renowned period instrument orchestra and chorus in his final performance of Messiah as H+H’s artistic director, restoring the work to its original vitality, just as Handel would have experienced it.
“There is something special that happens in Symphony Hall when Harry Christophers conducts for H+H’s Messiah. He has truly mastered this music and the chorus and orchestra shine under his direction,” said Handel and Haydn Society President and
CEO David Snead. “It will be an emotional performance as Harry pours all of his knowledge and energy into this masterpiece for us one last time, and we are very excited for our audiences to experience it.”
H+H is dedicated to following historically informed performance traditions of Baroque and Classical music, creating a sound every bit as fresh and contemporary as when the music was first written. Performing on period instruments, the H+H orchestra brings an exhilarating sound to the original compositions.
Known herself for specializing in historically informed performances, on both concert and opera stages, soprano Carolyn Sampson will make her H+H. She has performed in New York, London, Paris and is a Gramophone Awards nominee for Artist of the Year. She’ll be joined by countertenor Reginald Mobley, bass-baritone Roderick Williams, and tenor James Way.
Tickets for individual performances may be purchased by calling 617.266.3605, or visiting handelandhaydn.org. Student and group discounts are also available.
Handel and Haydn’s 2021-22 Season Performances include:
Beethoven Symphony No. 6, Pastoral – November 5 + 7 at Symphony Hall
Handel Messiah – November 26-28 at Symphony Hall
Bach Christmas – December 4 at First Church in Cambridge (December 3 + 5 Sold out)
Beethoven Symphony No. 7 – January 7 + 9 at Symphony Hall
Haydn + Mozart – January 28 + 30 at Symphony Hall
Bach + Vivaldi Gloria – April 1 + 3 at Symphony Hall
Haydn The Creation – April 29 + May 1 at Symphony Hall
About the Handel and Haydn Society
Boston’s Grammy-winning Handel and Haydn Society is dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with a freshness, a vitality, and a creativity that inspires all ages. H+H has been captivating audiences for 207 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States) speaking to its singular success at converting new audiences to this extraordinary music, generation after generation. Today, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners annually with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other leading venues. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H supports seven youth choirs of singers in grades 2-12 and provides thousands of complimentary tickets to students and communities throughout Boston, ensuring the joy of music is accessible to all. H+H’s numerous free community concerts include an annual commemoration of the original 1863 Emancipation Proclamation concert on December 31. The artistic director of the Handel and Haydn Society is Harry Christophers. Under Christophers’s leadership, H+H has released 15 CDs on the Coro label and has toured nationally and internationally. In all these ways, H+H fulfills its mission to inspire the intellect, touch the heart, elevate the soul, and connect us with our shared humanity through transformative experiences with Baroque and Classical music.