Handel and Haydn Society Announces its 2017-2018 Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Contact: Ami Bennitt, Motor Media, ami@motormmm.com | 617.797.8267

Handel and Haydn Society Announces its

2017-2018 Season Including






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[Boston, MA –-February 28, 2017] The Handel and Haydn Society announces its 2017-2018 season, the 203rd in its history, featuring 10 major concerts. The new season includes “Amadeus” Live, the Academy Award-winning film projected on a vast HD screen as the soundtrack is performed live by the H+H Orchestra and Chorus; H+H’s first Symphony Hall performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in fourteen years; the 162nd consecutive year of performances of Handel’s Messiah; Bach’s Mass in B Minor, the complete Bach Brandenburg Concertos, and more. Led by Artistic Director Harry Christophers, H+H performs on period instruments, bringing classical music to life with the same immediacy it had the day it was written. The concerts take place at the historic Symphony Hall, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, and Sanders Theatre in Cambridge. Subscription packages are now available with great savings 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). Single tickets will go on sale in August, 2017.

Harry Christophers           “Amadeus”                     Masaaki Suzuki

“2017-2018 promises to be a season full of spectacle,” shares Handel and Haydn Society Artistic Director Harry Christophers. “We’re looking quite forward to the long overdue debut of Masaaki Suzuki conducting Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9 to open the season. Further, I am delighted to continue our ground-breaking Haydn series as well as our survey of Handel’s oratorios, this time with H+H’s first-ever performances of Hercules. Audiences are in for a season brimming with musical delights, high drama, wit, harmony and invention.”


Aisslinn Nosky           Ian Watson                                               Scott Allen Jarrett

“We are thrilled to present ‘Amadeus’ Live this fall,” shares H+H President/CEO David Snead. “I saw it in Toronto last fall, and was blown away at how funny, dramatic, and ultimately deeply moving the experience was. To see the story unfold via a gorgeous print on a huge screen as Mozart’s music is performed live right before us was something I’ll never forget. And in our case, of course, audiences will hear the music performed live on the period instruments Mozart knew and composed for. The climactic scene – where the dying Mozart dictates his Requiem to Salieri – became even more powerful as we heard the notes performed as he spoke them. I knew Boston had to experience this.”

Public media broadcaster WGBH and its classical service, 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston, have joined H+H as its exclusive media partners for ‘Amadeus’ Live. “WGBH has a longstanding commitment to supporting the vital role music and the arts play in our diverse society,” said Anthony Rudel, station manager of WCRB. “Watching this eight time Academy Award winning film while listening to the Handel and Hayden orchestra will be a rare and exhilarating experience and we are so pleased to partner with Handel and Hayden to bring it to Boston.”


H+H’s 203rd Season Opens with Major Works, Premieres, and Debuts

The new H+H season begins on October 6 and 8 at Symphony Hall with one of the monumental works in all of music – Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Choral, featuring its famed “Ode to Joy” finale – in its first performances in Symphony Hall in 14 years. The performances, led by acclaimed conductor Masaaki Suzuki in his H+H debut, offer listeners the chance to experience this well-known work in a different way, with period instruments and a 40-voice elite chorus that will give the performance both power and intimacy.

Suzuki founded the Bach Collegium Japan in 1990; he still serves as its music director, taking the ensemble regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the United States. He also works with renowned period ensembles such as Collegium Vocale Gent and Philharmonia Baroque in addition to conducting modern-instrument orchestras in works by composers as diverse as Britten, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Stravinsky.

The concerts feature Canadian soprano Karina Guavin (soprano) recognized for her baroque repertoire, Grammy Award-winning tenor and composer Tom Randle, and bass-baritone Dashon Burton, praised for his “nobility and rich tone” by The New York Times.


Then, on October 27 and 29, H+H gives its first-ever Symphony Hall performances of the music of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the renowned Afro-French Baroque composer.  Aisslinn Nosky will conduct the overture to his opera L’Amant Anonyme in a program that also includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for violin, cello and fortepiano featuring Nosky as violin soloist joined by principal cello Guy Fishman and principal keyboard Ian Watson.

“Amadeus” Live follows on November 10, 11, and 12, marking H+H’s first-ever performances with film. Winner of eight Academy Awards including Best Picture of 1984, “Amadeus” tells the story of of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his jealous rival Antonio Salieri, memorably portrayed by Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham, both nominated for the Best Actor Oscars (Abraham won).

With the music of Mozart playing an integral role in the story, it represents an ideal match with H+H’s expertise in the repertoire of Mozart’s time. In another first, the H+H will perform the soundtrack live in sync with film using period instruments for which Mozart wrote his music, giving the performances a heightened level of authenticity. Further, Ian Watson, H+H’s principal keyboard played on the original motion picture soundtrack, and will essentially play live to his own recording.

On December 1, 2 and 3 Artistic Director Harry Christophers makes his season debut performing Handel’s Messiah at Symphony Hall, continuing a beloved annual tradition H+H began in 1854. Christophers is acclaimed for bringing a unique, text-driven story-telling approach to the familiar work; the New Boston Post wrote “There may be no conductor who has a better sense for Messiah than Christophers,” and Yankee Magazine said “H+H’s Messiah remains unmatched.” This year’s Messiah features British soprano Katherine Watson, British mezzo-soprano Christine Rice, tenor Allan Clayton, one of the most exciting and sought after singers of his generation, and the return of baritone Sumner Thompson to H+H. Further, H+H’s Vocal Arts Program choruses will join the ensemble for the first time.

The season continues with Bach Christmas at NEC’s Jordan Hall December 14 and 17, featuring seasonal works by J.S. Bach and other Baroque composers, led by Resident Conductor Scott Allen Jarrett. This time, it will be performed on single strings and with two-on-a-part choir, which is closer to Bach’s original intent.

Harry Christophers will conduct Mozart and Haydn on January 26 and 28 at Symphony Hall, featuring Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with guest violist Max Mandel, co-principal of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in London. Haydn’s Symphonies Nos. 49 and 87 complete the program; continuing H+H’s acclaimed recording cycle of Haydn symphonies and violin concertos, which will be recorded for future release on CORO records.

Aisslinn Nosky and Ian Watson will co-direct the complete Bach Brandenburg Concertos, February 16 at Sanders Theatre and February 18 at Jordan Hall.

Harry Christophers will conduct Bach’s immortal Mass in B Minor, featuring the acclaimed H+H chorus. Performances are March 23 and 25, 2018 at Symphony Hall.

Christophers will conduct Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, semi-staged with an imaginative script by Jeremy Sams (The Enchanted Island) narrated by Christophers’ daughter Antonia, a noted television and film actress who appeared on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Performances take place April 6 and 8, 2018, at NEC’s Jordan Hall, reprising H+H’s performance of The Fairy Queen at Tanglewood this summer, August 9, 2017. The performance features front rank countertenor Robin Blaze, who made his H+H debut at last year’s Handel Messiah, and award-winning bass-baritone Matthew Brook.

Christophers will conduct Handel’s Hercules, H+H’s first-ever performances of this dramatic oratorio written in 1744, on May 4 and 6, 2018 at Symphony Hall. Harry Christophers, called “the Handellian of the moment” by London’s The Observer, conducts, with an all-star cast including New Zealand born Grammy Award-winner Jonathan Lemalu, bass as Hercules, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, mezzo-soprano as Dejanira, who performs with many top British orchestras including The Sixteen, and Amanda Forsythe, soprano as Iole, whose singing Opera News calls “wonderful agility and silvery top notes.”


Subscription Package and Ticket Information

Subscription tickets for the  H+H 2017-2018 Season are now on sale at the H+H offices at 9 Harcourt Street in Boston as well as by phone at 617.266.1815 and online at www.handelandhaydn.org. Packages are available for the complete 10-concert season, the 7-concert Symphony Hall season, or as Create Your Own series, allowing the subscriber to customize their own series with as little as 3 concerts. (Tickets for “Amadeus Live” are included with 10-concert and 7-concert packages, and are available as add-ons for Create Your Own subscribers. Remaining single concert tickets will go on sale in August.




Friday, October 6, 2017 at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 8, 2017 at 3pm

Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

Haydn: Symphony No. 104, London

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, Choral

Masaaki Suzuki, conductor

Karina Gauvin, soprano

TBD, mezzo-soprano

Tom Randle, tenor

Dashon Burton, bass-baritone



Friday, October 27, 2017 at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 3pm

Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Overture to L’Amant Anonyme

Mozart: Symphony No. 40

Beethoven: Triple Concerto


Aisslinn Nosky, director and violin

Guy Fishman, cello

Ian Watson, fortepiano



Friday, November 10, 2017 at 7:30pm, Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 7:30pm,

and Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 3pm                                              

Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

“Amadeus” Live

Complete film with soundtrack performed live by the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra and Chorus.

Richard Kaufman, conductor

“Amadeus” Live is an Avex Classics International Production

WGBH/WCRB are the exclusive media partners for “Amadeus” Live



Friday, December 1, 2017 at 7:30pm, Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 2017 at 3pm, and Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 3pm

Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

Handel: Messiah

Harry Christophers, conductor

Katherine Watson, soprano

Christine Rice, mezzo-soprano

Allan Clayton, tenor

Sumner Thompson, baritone

H+H Vocal Arts Program Young Women’s Chamber Choir and Young Men’s Chorus



Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 7:30pm and Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 3pm

NEC’s Jordan Hall,  30 Gainsborough Street, Boston

J.S. Bach: Cantata 36, Schwingt freudig euch empor

J.S. Bach: Cantata 147, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben

J.L. Bach: Uns ist ein Kind geboren

Biber: “Mystery” Sonata No. 1, The Annunciation


Scott Allen Jarrett, conductor

Aisslinn Nosky, violin

Margot Rood, soprano

Sonja DuToit Tengblad, soprano

Doug Dodson, countertenor

Emily Marvosh, contralto

Jonas Budris , tenor

Brian Giebler, tenor

David McFerrin, baritone

Peter Walker, bass



Friday, January 26, 2018 at 7:30pm and Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 3pm

Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

Haydn: Symphony No. 49, La Passione

Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola

Haydn: Symphony No. 87


Harry Christophers, conductor

Aisslinn Nosky, leader and violin

Max Mandel, viola



Friday, February 16, 2018 at 7:30pm at Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge

Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 3pm at NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston

J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 1-6

Aisslinn Nosky and Ian Watson, co-directors



Friday, March 23, 2018 at 7:30pm and Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 3pm

Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

J.S. Bach: Mass in B Minor

Harry Christophers, conductor

Sarah Brailey, soprano

Margot Rood, soprano

Sonja DuToit Tengblad, soprano

Sarah Yanovitch, soprano

Margaret Lias, mezzo-soprano

Emily Marvosh, contralto

Clare McNamara, mezzo-soprano

Stefan Reed, tenor

Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor

Woodrow Bynum, baritone

David McFerrin, baritone



Friday, April 6, 2018 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 3pm

New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston

Purcell: The Fairy Queen

Harry Christophers, conductor

Antonia Christophers, narrator

Robin Blaze, countertenor (Mopsa)

Matthew Brook, bass-baritone (Drunken Poet/ Coridon/Hymen)

Sarah Brailey, soprano

Margot Rood, soprano

Sonja DuToit Tengblad, soprano

Jonas Budris, tenor

Brian Giebler, tenor

Stefan Reed, tenor

Woodrow Bynum, baritone



Friday, May 4, 2018 at 7:30pm and Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 3pm

Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston

Handel: Hercules

Harry Christophers, conductor

Jonathan Lemalu, bass (Hercules)

Catherine Wyn-Rogers, mezzo-soprano (Dejanira)

Amanda Forsythe, soprano (Iole)

Robert Murray, tenor (Hyllus)

William Purefoy, countertenor (Lichas)

Woodrow Bynum, baritone (High Priest)


About Harry Christophers, Artistic Director

The 2016-2017 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 U.S. 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 recording 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 , 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 Diamond Jubilee.


About the H+H Orchestra and Chorus


About David Snead, President and CEO

David Snead joined H+H 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 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.

H+H 2016-2017 Season Continues…


McGegan and Mozart Symphony Hall March 3 + 5, 2017

Nicholas McGegan, conductor

Monteverdi Vespers NEC’s Jordan Hall April 7, 2017

Harry Christophers, conductor The Met Museum April 8, 2017 (New York)

Sanders Theatre April 9, 2017

Handel Semele Symphony Hall May 5 + 7, 2017

Harry Christophers, conductor


About the Handel and Haydn Society

The Handel and Haydn Society is internationally acclaimed for its performances of Baroque and Classical music. Based in Boston, H+H’s 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 Haydn Symphonies, 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. www.handelandhaydn.org