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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2010
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October 20, 2010 (Boston, Mass.) — At the annual meeting held in Boston on September 27, 2010, the Handel and Haydn Society presented its audited financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2010 and key organizational accomplishments for the 2009-2010 Season — the first with Harry Christophers as Artistic Director — including the live recording of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor at Symphony Hall in January 2010, which was just released on CORO this September as the first of a series of recordings leading to the organization’s Bicentennial in 2015.
The Society ended its FY10 fiscal year on June 30, 2010 with total revenue of $2,826,440 and expenses of $2,801,552. Declines in foundation giving, special events and subscription revenue were a direct result of the recession, contributing to the Society’s unrestricted funds deficit of 4%. The Handel and Haydn Board put a three-year plan in place to address the revenue areas in decline.
After five years of leadership, Todd Estabrook officially stepped down as Board Chair and Nicholas Gleysteen was elected by the Board of Governors and Overseers to serve in that position. Nick Gleysteen, a lawyer and CPA, is a Portfolio Manager at Hellman, Jordan Management Co.; and also serves on the boards of the Weston Land Trust, Somerset Club Executive Committee, Fort Ticonderoga, National Trust for Scotland USA, Handel House USA, and the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club.
The Board re-elected the following Governors for a three-year term: Joseph Flynn of Howland Capital Management, Inc, from Boston; Nicholas Gleysteen, from Weston; and Janet Whitla from Cambridge. W. Carl Kester of Harvard Business School, from Concord was elected as a Governor for a three year term. Former Overseer Jeffrey Thomas of Atlantic Trust Pell Rudman from Wellesley was elected as a Governor for another three year term.
Re-elected as Overseers for a three-year term were: Martha Hatch Bancroft from West Newton; Edmund Cabot of Cabot Wellington LLC, from Belmont; Elizabeth Davis from Concord; Thomas Draper of Ropes & Gray LLP, from Belmont; Suzanne Hamner from Cambridge; Winifred Parker from Wayland; and Alice Richmond from Boston. Former Governor Roy Hammer of Hemenway & Barnes, from Boston was elected as an Overseer for a three year term.
In addition to Nicholas Gleysteen as Board Chair, the following officers were elected for the coming year: Wat Tyler, from Brookline as Vice Chair; Deborah First, from Weston as Vice Chair; Karen Levy, from Wellesley as Vice Chair; Mary Nada, from Boston as Vice Chair; Susan Stemper, from Carlisle as Vice Chair; Joseph Flynn of Howland Capital Management, Inc., from Boston as Treasurer; Winifred Li of Ropes & Gray LLP, from Weston as Secretary; and Marie-Hélène Bernard as Chief Executive Officer.
The 2009-2010 Season — Harry Christophers’ first as Artistic Director — was marked by strong programming and performances that continued to establish the organization’s artistic commitment of bringing the finest of International and local talent to Boston stages. Esteemed guests included Corsican guest conductor Jean-Christophe Spinosi, German countertenor Andreas Scholl, British conductor Jane Glover, Cambridge (Mass.) fortepianist Robert Levin, Dutch cellist Jaap ter Linden; and British conductor and harpsichordist Laurence Cummings. The 156th annual performances of Handel’s Messiah featured soloists Suzie LeBlanc, Daniel Taylor, Tom Randle and Matthew Brook. Former Artistic Advisor and famed Beethoven interpreter Sir Roger Norrington returned in April to conduct Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony as well as the Fourth Symphony, performed by the Society for the first time in its near 200-year history. The Society’s programming also included works by Vivaldi, Mozart, and Bach in addition to its two namesake composers.
In December the Society was invited by the performing arts series Club Musical de Québec to perform at the Grand Théâtre du Québec. Associate Conductor and Choirmaster John Finney led Society musicians in a performance with Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux that included two arias from Handel’s Messiah, and French Christmas carols.
January’s Passion in Vienna concert was recorded live at Symphony Hall for the commercial release of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor conducted by Harry Christophers and featuring soprano Gillian Keith, mezzo-soprano Tove Dahlberg, tenor Thomas Cooley and bass-baritone Nathan Berg. Released in September 2010, this project on the CORO label is the first collaboration with Harry Christophers, and also the first in a series of recordings leading to the Bicentennial celebration in 2015.
As an ongoing commitment to partnerships with local schools and arts organizations, the Society collaborated with the Huntington Theatre, New England Conservatory, Northeastern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology on artistic and educational efforts. In January soloists Gillian Keith, Thomas Cooley and Nathan Berg took part in a masterclass for vocal students at New England Conservatory. In May Northeastern University co-hosted a Bach symposium at the Fenway Center, featuring guest scholars Drs. Robin A. Leaver and Mary Greer. Throughout the spring semester, Society musicians demonstrated period instrument performance for MIT students in various music history classes. In addition, over 40 students attended Society concerts during the 2009-2010 season at discounted prices.
The Handel and Haydn Society’s Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program constitutes an important part of the organization’s core mission and activities. Established in 1985, the program provides meaningful opportunities for youngsters to both hear and perform classical music. In partnership with public schools in economically disadvantaged communities in and around Boston, the Society offers workshops, recitals, and youth concerts at no cost to schools or families, reaching over 10,000 children each year. During the 2009-2010 Season free workshops were presented by the Vocal Quartet, a group of Handel and Haydn Society vocalists and piano accompanists, at area schools for grades 4-12. Collaborative Youth Concerts bring students together — who might not otherwise meet — to work on repertoire with Society musicians culminating in free performances for area communities. Concerts took place in February 2010 at Lawrence High School and the Boston Latin School, featuring an all-Mozart program. The Vocal Apprenticeship Program serves children in grades 3-12 by audition, and extends its reach to a special group of talented urban youngsters for whom the study of music can outline a path toward higher education and a career in music.
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ABOUT HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
The Handel and Haydn Society is a professional chorus and period instrument orchestra that is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the time in which the music was composed. Founded in Boston in 1815, the Society is the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and has a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878) and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). The Society today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, is committed to its mission “to perform Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence and to share that music with as large and diverse an audience as possible.” The Society is widely known through its local subscription concerts, tours, concert broadcasts on National Public Radio, and recordings. The Society’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2002 Grammy Award, and its two most recent CDs, All is Bright and Peace, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. The 2010-2011 Season marks the 25th Anniversary of Handel and Haydn’s educational programming. The award-winning Karen S. & George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program fosters the knowledge and performance of classical music among young people including in underserved schools and communities. Annually, the program brings music education and vocal training to more than 10,000 students in the Greater Boston area.
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