Handel and Haydn Society
- Handel and Haydn Society
The Handel and Haydn Society is internationally acclaimed for its performances of Baroque and Classical music. Based in Boston, H+H’s orchestra and chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners each year with a ten-concert subscription series at Symphony Hall and other leading venues in addition to a robust program of intimate events in museums, schools, and community centers. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, the ensemble embraces historically informed performance, bringing classical music to life with the same immediacy it had the day it was written. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H also provides engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education to over 11,500 children each year through in-school music instruction and the Vocal Arts Program that includes six youth choruses.
Founded in Boston in 1815, H+H is among the oldest continuously performing classical music ensembles in the United States and is unique for its longevity, capacity for reinvention, and distinguished history of premieres. H+H began as a choral society founded by middle-class Bostonians who aspired to improve the quality of singing in their growing American city. They named the organization after two composers—Handel and Haydn—to represent both the old music of the 18th century and what was then the new music of the 19th century. In the first decades of its existence, H+H gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s Creation(1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). Since its founding, H+H has given more than 2,000 performances before a total audience exceeding 2.8 million.