It was 2009 when I first signed on as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society. I came to the organization with the desire to concentrate on our namesakes: Handel and Haydn. My desire was to make the classics sound fresh, to put the music first and to honor the composers by staying true to their vision.
Today, the Handel and Haydn Society is at the forefront of the early music movement in the United States. Ten years has gone by in what feels like a moment. When I look back at everything we have accomplished in that time, I feel an immense sense of pride and gratitude. It has truly been a privilege to be part of this amazing organization.
Along the way, I have had the opportunity to be part of some amazing milestones. We have completed 12 commercial recordings, grown the audience for our Boston concerts dramatically, taken H+H on two domestic tours, performed at Tanglewood, and brought H+H back to New York City. I had the opportunity to lead the organization through its 2015 Bicentennial, celebrating an unprecedented milestone for an American ensemble. Very few of my peers can point to such an opportunity!
It has been a very difficult decision to hand over the baton, to step aside and allow someone else to take on the role of artistic director. However, the time is right. Change is ultimately inevitable and I will leave knowing the Handel and Haydn Society is regarded as one of the finest Baroque and Classical ensembles in the nation.
Over the next two seasons, I will have the privilege to lead the H+H Orchestra and Chorus in performances of many of my favorite pieces. Once I leave, the door will open for a new interpretation on the inspirational music of the Baroque and Classical periods that H+H performs so well.
I believe that arts organizations need to re-invent themselves every five to 10 years. By that philosophy, I will have overstayed my welcome by two years by the time I end my tenure in 2021. I am confident that the Handel and Haydn Society will find a strong new artistic leader, one who will carry on the high standards for which the organization is known. They will add their own chapter to H+H’s remarkable story, and I will raise a glass to H+H’s continued success.