Learn more about H&H's rich history and explore our interactive timeline.
Concert to feature solo debut of newly appointed Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky
Friday, January 20, 2012 at 8pm
Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 3pm
Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
Harry Christophers, conductor
Aisslinn Nosky, violin
HANDEL: Overture to Agrippina
CORELLI: Concerto Grosso in C Minor, Op. 6, No. 3
J.C. BACH: Symphony in G Minor, Op. 6, No. 6
HANDEL: Overture to Rodrigo
CORELLI: Concerto Grosso in D, Op. 6, No. 4
VIVALDI: The Four Seasons
Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased through the Handel and Haydn Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at handelandhaydn.org, or in person at the Handel and Haydn office, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M–F, 10am–6pm). Single tickets range from $25 to $90. Student rush available starting one hour before curtain: $15 cash only with valid ID, best available seats subject to availability. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.
2012 begins with a musical expedition to Italy showcasing H&H’s new concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky. Artistic Director Harry Christophers has programmed a selection of Handel’s Italian opera overtures, two of Corelli’s elegant concerti grossi, and J.C. Bach’s dramatic G Minor symphony, written just after his stay in Italy. Nosky, concertmaster of the Period Instrument Orchestra since September of this season, will make her Handel and Haydn solo debut with a performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. An accomplished performer and leader from British Columbia, Nosky is known for both her “electric presence and scarlet red pixie haircut” (The Toronto Star). Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons is Antonio Vivaldi's best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music. A set of four violin concertos, the texture of each is varied, each resembling its respective season; “Winter” is peppered with silvery staccato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas “Summer” evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, often dubbed “Storm.”
Nosky said, “I am very excited to be performing Vivaldi's The Four Seasons with the Handel and Haydn Society. These concerti are four of the most imaginative pieces ever composed for the violin and I look forward to bringing them to life with Harry and the Orchestra.” The concerti were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve concerti: Vivaldi's Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The contest between harmony and invention). At the time of writing The Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined (typically a solo instrument and accompanying orchestra). Vivaldi's original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped define the form.
Also featured are the overtures from Handel’s Italian operas Agrippina and Rodrigo. Modern critical opinion is that Agrippina is Handel’s first operatic masterpiece, full of freshness and musical invention that have made it one of the most popular operas of the continuing Handel revival. Dating from 1707, Rodrigo was Handel’s first opera written for performance in Italy, and the first performance took place in Florence late in 1707. The program will be rounded out by works by Johann Christian Bach (1735–1782) and Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713).
Harry Christophers enters his third season as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society with the 2011–2012 Season. Since September 2006, when he led a sold-out performance in the Esterházy Palace at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, he has conducted Handel and Haydn each season and, following his appointment in 2008, Christophers’ tenure as Artistic Director began with the 2009-2010 season. Christophers and Handel and Haydn have since embarked on an ambitious artistic journey with a showcase of works premiered in the United States by the Handel and Haydn Society over the last 195 years, and the release of the first of a series of recordings on CORO leading to the 2015 Bicentennial. Christophers is founder and conductor of the UK-based choir and period instrument ensemble The Sixteen. He has directed The Sixteen throughout Europe, America, and the Far East, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th-century music. In 2000, he instituted The Sixteen’s “Choral Pilgrimage,” a tour of British cathedrals from York to Canterbury. With that ensemble, he has recorded close to 100 titles for which he has won numerous awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque for Handel Messiah, numerous Preise der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics Awards), the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music, and the prestigious Classical Brit Award (2005) for his disc entitled Renaissance. 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 CD that also received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination. Harry Christophers is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra and a regular guest conductor with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Orquestra de la Comunidad de Madrid. In October 2008, Christophers was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Leicester. Most recently, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and also of the Royal Welsh Academy for Music and Drama.
Aisslinn Nosky was appointed Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society in 2011. Noksy performs in solo and chamber music recitals across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Recent triumphs include performing concertos with the Calgary Philharmonic and with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, as well as giving the world premiere of Stand Still—a new piece for solo violin by Michael Oesterle, commissioned by Nosky with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts. Highlights of the 2011–2012 Season include Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons at the Lameque International Baroque Festival, performing at Carnegie Hall with Tafelmusik, and guest directing the Thunder Bay Symphony. She is often in demand as a leader and concertmaster and has led the Grand River Baroque Festival Players, Arion Baroque Orchestra, Collegium Musicum Hanyang, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.
Nosky also holds the position of Co-Artistic Director of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble. For over a decade, I FURIOSI has presented its own flamboyant and inventive concert series in Toronto. With the Eybler Quartet, Nosky explores repertoire form the first century of the string quartet literature on period instruments. The Eybler Quartet’s latest recording of Haydn’s opus 33 string quartets will be released in 2012.
Since 2005, Nosky has been a highly active member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and has toured and appeared as soloist with this internationally renowned ensemble. Before joining Tafelmusik, Nosky was Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.
Teresa Neff received her PhD in Musicology from Boston University. Her research interests center around Gottfried van Swieten, a late 18th-century Viennese patron and composer. Artaria will publish Neff’s edition of Swieten’s symphonies later this year. She has presented papers at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society, and the Architecture/Music/Acoustics Conference. She presents concert preview lectures for Elderhostel and Boston Lyric Opera, and also teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Boston Conservatory.
Friday, January 20, 2012 at 7pm
Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 2pm
Higginson Room, Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
Free with concert tickets
Musicologist Teresa Neff gives an illuminating look inside the music and historical context of the program.
H2 Young Professionals Reception
Friday, January 20, 2012, post-concert
Lucca Back Bay, 116 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA
Free with concert tickets
Join us after the concert at Lucca Back Bay for cocktails, conversation, and making connections. We invite you to meet staff, musicians, and other young arts enthusiasts to experience Baroque and Classical music in new and exciting ways.
ABOUT HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) is a professional Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and an internationally recognized leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Founded in Boston in 1815, H&H 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). Handel and Haydn today, under Artistic Director Harry Christophers’ leadership, 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. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2003 Grammy Award and two of its recordings, All is Bright and Peace, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. In September 2010, H&H released its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor—the first in a series of live commercial recordings leading to H&H’s Bicentennial in 2015. The 2010–2011 Season marked the 25th anniversary of Handel and Haydn’s award-winning Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program, which brings music education, vocal training, and performance opportunities to 10,000 students annually throughout Greater Boston and beyond.
Handel and Haydn Society is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Visit our new media center for releases, photos and more.