Learn more about H&H's rich history and explore our interactive timeline.
Young Women’s Chorus to perform in celebration of anniversary
Friday, November 9, 2012 at 8pm
Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 3pm
Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased through the Handel and Haydn (H&H) 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 $20 to $78. Student rush is available starting one hour before the performance: $15 cash only with valid ID, best available seats subject to availability. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.
Bernard Labadie, who last conducted H&H in 2010, returns to conduct Mozart’s towering Symphony No. 41, Jupiter — his final symphony. Composed in 1788, shortly after the completion of symphonies 39 and 40, the work is written for one flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani, and strings. There is much uncertainty about whether or not Jupiter was ever performed before Mozart’s death in 1791. A specialty of Labadie and considered one of the greatest works of the 18th century, Jupiter foreshadows the work of future generations of composers; the dramatic shifts in emotion matched with a defined structure changed the nature of symphonic writing. In a diary entry dated August 7, 1829, music publisher Vincent Novello’s remarked, “Mozart’s son said he considered the Finale to his father’s Sinfonia in C—which Salomon christened the Jupiter—to be the highest triumph of Instrumental Composition, and I agree with him.”
In addition to the Jupiter, the program features symphonies by Joseph Haydn, Henri-Joseph Rigel, and Joseph-Martin Kraus. All three composers were born in the Austro-German region, yet thrived elsewhere from their countries of birth. Haydn's time in London in the 1790s was filled with acclaim and produced some of his most notable compositions; Rigel was born in Germany but spent most of his life in France, becoming known for his sacred oratorios and operas; and Kraus moved to Stockholm at the age of 22 and earned the nickname the "Swedish Mozart." None of these symphonies have been previously performed by H&H.
The performance will open with an appearance by the Handel and Haydn Society Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program’s Young Women’s Chorus (YWC). Founded in 1998, the YWC comprises an ensemble of 70 females between the ages of 14–18 who come from more than 40 communities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. One of the four choruses under the auspices of H&H’s Vocal Apprenticeship Program, it has consistently demonstrated its ability to perform challenging and interesting repertoire above the typical level for high school female choral ensembles. The YWC performs a broad variety of repertoire including Baroque and Classical works, and students enjoy discovering spirituals, jazz, folksongs, and a cappella music by living composers. Conductor Alyson Greer will lead the students in “Benigne Fac Domine” by Johann Hasse, an 18th century German composer best known for his prolific operatic output, though he also composed a considerable quantity of sacred music.
Bernard Labadie last conducted H&H in October 2010. Labadie has established himself worldwide as one of the leading conductors of the Baroque and Classical repertoire, a reputation that is closely tied with Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec which he founded and continues to lead as music director to this day. With these two ensembles he regularly tours Canada, the US and Europe, in major venues and festivals such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Kennedy Center, Barbican, Concertgebouw, and the Salzburg Festival, among others. Labadie has also been artistic director of L’Opéra de Québec and L’Opéra de Montréal. As a guest he conducted Handel’s Orlando with Glimmerglass Opera, Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Mostly Mozart Festival, and Mozart’s Lucio Sillawith Santa Fe Opera, to highlight a few. September 2009 marked his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, a work he conducted again at Cincinnati Opera in 2011. Since his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1999, Labadie has become a regular presence on the podiums of the major North American orchestras, including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, most of them on a regular basis.
Testament to Labadie’s appeal with audiences around the world is the long list of re-engagements during the 2012–2013 Season. In the US, his itinerary takes him to the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Toronto Symphony. Overseas he will conduct the Melbourne Symphony and leads various European orchestras, including the Academy of Ancient Music, WDR Sinfonieorchester in Cologne, BBC Scottish Symphony, and the Brussels Philharmonic.
Labadie’s extensive discography includes many critically acclaimed recordings on the Dorian, ATMA and Virgin Classics labels, including Handel’s Apollo e Dafne and his collaboration with Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec of Mozart’s Requiem, both winning Canada’s Juno Award. A complete recording of C.P.E. Bach’s Cello Concertos with Truls Mørk and Les Violons du Roy was released in 2011, as was a recording of J.S. Bach Piano Concertos with Alexandre Tharaud, both for Virgin Classics. For his achievements, the Canadian government honored him with the appointment as “Officer of the Order of Canada” in 2005 and Quebec made him a “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Québec” in 2006.
Harry Christophers enters his fourth season as Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society with the 2012–2013 Season. Appointed in 2008, he began his tenure with the 2009–2010 Season and has conducted Handel and Haydn each season since September 2006, when he led a sold-out performance in the Esterházy Palace at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. Christophers and H&H have since embarked on an ambitious artistic journey towards H&H’s 2015 Bicentennial with a showcase of works premiered in the United States by the Handel and Haydn Society since 1815, ambitious education programming and community outreach activities and partnerships and the release of the first of a series of recordings on CORO leading to the Bicentennial. 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, and the Far East, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th century music. In 2000, he instituted the “Choral Pilgrimage,” a tour of British cathedrals from York to Canterbury. 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; The Sixteen also 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. 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 and also of the Royal Welsh Academy for Music and Drama and was awarded a CBE in the 2012 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
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.
The Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program
Established in 1985, the Handel and Haydn Society’s Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program was created with strong ties to the organization’s early leaders. Lowell Mason, best known as the founding father of music education in American public schools, enjoyed a long association with Handel and Haydn, first as musical editor and later as President of H&H from 1827–1832. Mason taught classes at the Bowdoin Street Church and founded the Boston Academy of Music in 1833 to promote music education to the public. When H&H launched its official educational initiative in 1985, it focused on public education with its free school visits that now reach public schools in nine Massachusetts districts; the Collaborative Youth Concerts followed in 1987, in which students from different school districts and cultural backgrounds come together to perform for their communities alongside Handel and Haydn musicians. Collaborative Youth Concerts celebrate their 25th Anniversary in 2012, and honor a rich history of providing students with a sense of achievement and musical ownership in ways that traditional youth concerts cannot.
In 1994, H&H started the Vocal Apprenticeship Program (VAP) with Youth Chorus (grades 6–8) and the High School Soloists pre-professional program, held at New England Conservatory. Later, VAP reached younger students with Singers (grades 3–5) and high school students with its Young Men’s (grades 8–12) and Young Women’s (grades 9–12) Choruses, so that students could grow with the program for several years, increasing their individual sense of accomplishment as they passed through each level. Students enrolled in VAP learn music theory and receive performance opportunities throughout each season. VAP classes take place in the state-of-the-art music division wing of the Boston Latin School, located in one of the most culturally accessible neighborhoods of Boston, next to Massachusetts College of Art; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The Handel and Haydn Society is the only professional music organization in Massachusetts serving as a parent to its own youth ensemble program and regularly presenting them in conjunction with its professional series at Symphony Hall. VAP is also the only youth ensemble program in New England to include individualized scholarships for vocal instruction, diction, and other classes for potential music majors in collaboration with New England Conservatory.
Friday, November 9, 2012 at 7pm
Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 2pm
Higginson Hall, 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
Friday, November 9, 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.
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 considered 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 is to enrich life and influence culture by performing Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence, and by providing engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education and training activities. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical New England 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. Since the release of its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label in September 2010, it has made available three live commercial recordings of works by Mozart – Mass in C Minor (2010), Requiem (2011) and Coronation Mass (2012) and is planning the release of a Haydn project (2013) and of an a capella program with its professional choir for the 2013 holiday season. 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 press room for releases, photos and more.