Handel and Haydn Society Opens 2017–18 Season with Symphony No. 9 Beethoven’s Beloved Masterpiece

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Handel and Haydn Society Opens 2017–18 Season with Symphony No. 9 Beethoven’s Beloved Masterpiece

Led by Guest Conductor Masaaki Suzuki

October 6 and 8, 2017 | Symphony Hall, Boston

the press performance is Friday, October 6 at 7:30pm
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[Boston, MA – August 29, 2017] The Handel and Haydn Society opens its 2017–18 Season with performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, led by guest conductor Masaaki Suzuki and featuring the H+H Orchestra and Chorus along with soloists Karina Gauvin (soprano), Adriana Zabala (mezzo-soprano), Tom Randle (tenor), and Dashon Burton (bass baritone). The concert opens with Haydn’s Symphony No. 104, London. Performances will take place on Friday, October 6 (7:30pm) and Sunday, October 8 (3pm) at Symphony Hall located at 301 Massachusetts Avenue, in Boston. Tickets range from $25-$102 and may be purchased by calling 617.266.3605, visiting handelandhaydn.org, or in person at 9 Harcourt Street in Boston (M-F 10am-6pm). Student and group discounts are available. Further, subscription packages to H+H’s 2017–18 Season are now available.

“We’re thrilled to host such a sought-after and talented guest conductor as Mr. Suzuki,” shares H+H president and CEO David Snead. “H+H hasn’t performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Symphony Hall in 14 years, so Suzuki leading this favorite with the historically-informed H+H chorus and orchestra is sure to please Boston audiences. We perform on the instruments Beethoven wrote for, so audiences can hear the music just as he intended.”

According to H+H historic scholar Teresa Neff, PhD, “By 1824, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony extended beyond all other symphonic works that had come before it– in length, the number of instruments, (not including the voice), and the emotional zeniths and nadirs reached.”

About Masaaki Suzuki, conductor

Conductor Masaaki Suzuki, one of the most acclaimed conductors of this repertoire in the world, makes his H+H debut. Suzuki founded the Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, and currently is Artist-in-Residence at Yale University, as well as the visiting Professor of Choral Conducting, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Yale Schola Cantorium. “It would take an iron bar not to be moved by his crispness, sobriety and spiritual vigour.” – The Times (UK) “Suzuki brought such penetrating focus to this sound that every shred of affect was burned away – leaving nothing but pure music in its wake.” – The Washington Post

About Karina Gauvin, soprano

Recognized for her work in Baroque repertoire, Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin also sings Mahler, Britten, and contemporary music with equal success. The distinctions she has received include the soloist of the year award from the Communauté internationale des radios publiques de langue française, first prize in the CBC Radio competition for young performers, and the Virginia Parker Prize and Maggie Teyte Memorial Prize in London. In the 2017–18 Season, Ms. Gauvin will make appearances with the Toronto Symphony, Bayerische Staatsoper, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, and Vancouver Opera Festival. Ms. Gauvin has sung with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and Rotterdam Philharmonic, under the direction of Semyon Bychkov, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Labadie, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Roger Norrington, Helmuth Rilling, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Her extensive discography of more than 30 titles has won numerous awards, including a Chamber Music America award for her Fête Galante album with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, and several Opus prizes. Other recent recording projects include a recording of Handel’s Ariodante for EMI Virgin Classics and a recording of Giulio Cesare for the Naïve House, both with Alan Curtis. She also recently completed an album in honor of Anna Maria Strada del Po, with Alexander Weimann and the Arion Ensemble.

About Adriana Zabala, mezzo-soprano

Adriana Zabala enjoys a vibrant career that spans new opera, song, premiere concert works, as well as beloved operatic and oratorio roles. She is a sought after champion of new music and has recorded Gregg Kallo’s Exhilaration: Dickinson and Yeats Songs, also performing them at Carnegie Hall and on the Salzburg International Chamber Music Series. She created operatic roles in John Musto’s Volpone and Douglas Cuomo’s Doubt, the title role in the world premiere of Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein’s opera Sister Carrie, Rosie Chaney in the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ and Mark Campbell’s The Manchurian Candidate, and the role of Joanna in the revival of Carly Simon’s Romulus Hunt. In new concert works, Ms. Zabala sang the soloist roles in Whitbourn’s Anne Frank oratorio Annelies, Jeffrey Van’s Reaping the Whirlwind, and is a soloist on the recent Naxos DVD release of Aldridge and Garfein’s Parables. In the classic repertoire, she has recently appeared as soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mahler’s Third Symphony and in Rossini’s Stabat Mater. Traditional operatic roles include Sesto in Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and Dorabella and Annina in Srauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. Ms. Zabala has been seen on the stages of the Seattle Opera, the Minnesota Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, the Wildwood Festival, the Syracuse Opera, the Arizona Opera, and the Atlanta Opera. Her most frequently performed traditional roles are Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro.

About Tom Randle, tenor

His roles have included Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress) for the Théâtre des Champs-Elysees, Netherlands Opera, Lausanne and Bordeaux, Benedict (Beatrice and Benedict) for Welsh National Opera, Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte) for Geneva and Brussels Operas, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) for Munich and Los Angeles Operas, the title role in Idomeneo for Scottish Opera and La Monnaie, Brussels, Achilles (King Priam) for ENO and Nederlandse Reisopera, Alfredo (La Traviata) for Opera North, the title role in Hasse’s Solimano at the Innsbruck Festival and Staatsoper Berlin, Števa (Jenůfa) for ENO and Opéra de Lille, the title role in Orlando Paladino with René Jacobs at the Staatsoper Berlin and the Innsbruck Festival, Jack (Wuorinen’s Brokeback Mountain) and Admète (Alceste) for Teatro Real, Maler/Neger (Lulu) at La Monnaie, Brussels, Hauptmann (Wozzeck) for the ENO, La Monnaie, Brussels, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Gabriel von Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus) at the ENO, Aegisth (Elektra) for Berlin Staatsoper, Aix-en-Provence, and Teatro alla Scala, Narrator (Owen Wingrave) at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, Snaut (Fujikora’s Solaris) at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opera de Lille, and the Opera de Lausanne, Pelléas (Pelléas et Mélisande)  in Paris and London, Gerald (Lakmé) in Australia, Joe (Carmen Jones) in Washington, the title role in Peter Grimes in Antwerp, Das Rheingold and Orfeo at the ENO and for the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, Die Soldaten with the Teatro Colon, Katya Kabanova and Khovanshchina at WNO, Death of Klinghoffer in Rotterdam, Tamerlano at Scottish Opera, The Fairy Queen in Aix-en-Provence, Henze’s Bassarides and Messiaen’s St François d’Asisse in Amsterdam, and The Beggar’s Opera at the ROH’s Linbury Theatre. Last season saw Randle reprise the role of Aegisth (Elektra) for the Gran Teatre del Liceu, sing Don José (Carmen) for NBR New Zealand Opera, and perform the Le vin herbe oratorium with the Welsh National Opera.

About Dashon Burton, bass-baritone

Praised by The New York Times for his “nobility and rich tone,” and by the Wall Street Journal for his “enormous, thrilling voice seemingly capable … [of] raising the dead,” Dashon Burton appears regularly with the Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, and the Mozart and Brahms requiems. He is also a regular guest of the Bethlehem, Oregon, and Carmel Bach Festivals, as well as Boston Baroque. Last season he performed Barber’s Dover Beach and Eisler’s Ernste Gesänge with A Far Cry and in Michael Tippet’s A Child of our Time at Harvard. Mr. Burton has performed Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the Bach Passions and Mass in B Minor, Beethoven’s Ninth, Mozart’s Requiem, and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the symphony orchestras in Indianapolis, Kansas City, New Jersey, Cincinnati, and Baltimore. He has also performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. In Europe, he has toured in the St. John Passion with Christoph Prégardien’s Le Concert de Lorrain and has sung the roles of Jupiter in Les Talens Lyriques’ production of Castor and Pollux and Sarastro in The Magic Flute led by Christoph Rousset. Mr. Burton’s solo album, Songs of Struggle and Redemption: We Shall Overcome, was released to great acclaim in 2015. He appeared in and recorded Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard with the vocal group Conspirare, and continues to tour and record with the Grammy Award-winning contemporary vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth.

About Harry Christophers, Artistic Director

The 2017–18 Season marks Harry Christophers’ ninth 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 US 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 hour-long program, devoted to Monteverdi’s Vespers, was 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’s 2017–18 Season Continues…

Mozart + Beethoven| Symphony Hall | October 27 + 29

Amadeus Live| Symphony Hall| November 10 + 11 + 12

Handel Messiah| Symphony Hall| December 1 + 2 + 3

Bach Christmas| Jordan Hall| December 14 + 17

Mozart + Haydn| Symphony Hall| January 26 + 28

Bach Brandenburg Concertos| Sanders Theatre| February 16      Jordan Hall| February 17+ 18

Bach Mass in B Minor| Symphony Hall| March 23 + 25

Purcell The Fairy Queen| Jordan Hall| April 6 + 8

Handel Hercules| Symphony Hall| May 4 + 6

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 10-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 more than 12,000 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.