Jonathan Cohen Begins Role As Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society with Israel in Egypt

October 6 + 8, 2023 at Symphony Hall

Press performance is Friday, October 6 at 7:30 PM
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(Boston) Jonathan Cohen will take the helm of one of America’s finest performing arts organizations when he leads the Handel and Haydn Society in Handel’s epic tale of triumph over adversity, Israel in Egypt, October 6 + 8, 2023 at Symphony Hall in Boston. These concerts will mark a new era for H+H, opening its 209th consecutive season with a new artistic director. Cohen is just the 15th person to hold that title for the historic orchestra and chorus and, at 44, is one of the youngest in the position. Tickets for Cohen’s debut performances as Artistic Director are on sale now at

Written in a single month in 1738, Handel’s choral masterpiece Israel in Egypt is a reminder of the immense power of hope. Using texts from the Old Testament, Handel guides the audience through the persecution and flight of the Israelites from Egypt in the time of the pharaohs. H+H’s orchestra will bring the powerful oratorio to life, with its raging fires and parting sea, on the period instruments for which this music was written, reminding all to hold fast to hope.

“This expansive and beautiful work is the perfect vehicle to showcase everything that H+H excels at,” said Jonathan Cohen, Artistic Director of Handel and Haydn Society. “This will be Handel as audience members first experienced it in London in the 1700s. We breathe new life into these classic works, presenting them with the freshness and vitality as when they debuted.”

Born and raised in Manchester, England, Cohen studied cello, and had the position of Instrumental Scholar at Clare College, Cambridge, graduating in 2000. Following graduation, he co-founded the London Haydn Quartet, one of the world’s leading period instrument string quartets. The two-time Gramophone Award winner and Grammy Award Nominee would go on to found the acclaimed UK-based early music ensemble Arcangelo and become Music Director of Quebec’s Les Violons du Roy, Artistic Director of the Tetbury Festival in the UK, and Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

The Handel and Haydn Society had planned to perform Israel in Egypt in March of 2021 in Boston and New York, but was forced to cancel the concerts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2023-24 Season
Israel in Egypt – Oct 6 + 8, 2023 at Symphony Hall
Luks Leads Beethoven – Oct 27 + 29, 2023 at Symphony Hall
Handel’s Messiah – Nov 24 + 25 + 26, 2023 at Symphony Hall
Baroque Christmas – Dec 14 + 17, 2023 at NEC’s Jordan Hall
The British Masters – Feb 2 + 4, 2024 at NEC’s Jordan Hall
Harry, Haydn + Mozart – Feb 23 + 25, 2024 at Symphony Hall
Beethoven 9 – Mar 15 + 16, 2024 at Symphony Hall
Bach + Telemann – Mar 22 + 24, 2024 at NEC’s Jordan Hall
Bach B Minor Mass – Apr 5 + 7, 2024 at Symphony Hall
Brahms Requiem – Apr 19 + 21, 2024 at Symphony Hall
Brandenburg Concertos – May 2 + 3 + 4, 2024 at Sanders Theatre & NEC’s Jordan Hall

Individual tickets and subscription packages from 3 to 11 concerts are now available with access to the best seats at great savings and may be purchased by calling 617-262.1815 or visiting

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 209 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States). 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. H+H has released 16 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.