fb-pixel Skip to main content

Handel and Haydn Society announces 201st season

Harry Christophers, Handel and Haydn Society’s artistic director.

If you’ve waited two centuries for an anniversary, why not stretch it over a pair of seasons?

The Handel and Haydn Society will continue its bicentennial celebration in the year to come, with a free outdoor performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony this summer in Copley Square, an exhibition at the Boston Public Library, and the premiere of a newly commissioned work by Gabriela Lena Frank. The Society will also give its first complete performances of Handel’s oratorio “Saul,” and return to Bach’s St. John Passion. These and other details of its 201st season were slated to be announced this week.

Artistic director Harry Christophers, currently in his sixth season, will lead five of the nine subscription programs, including “Saul,” the “St. John Passion,” the annual “Messiah” traversals, and the season-opening performances of Mozart’s Requiem (Oct. 2 and 4). He will also lead an all-Haydn program featuring the Symphonies Nos. 8 and 84 as well as the Violin Concerto in A Major with Aisslinn Nosky, H&H’s concertmaster (Jan. 29 and 31, 2016). Nosky will also be joined by H&H colleagues and clarinetist Eric Hoeprich for a chamber program featuring Beethoven’s Septet.

Popular guest conductor Richard Egarr also returns to lead a pair of programs. First up will be a program of rarely spotted Baroque works by Gabrieli, Castello, Marini, and Fontana (Oct. 30 and Nov. 1). Then he returns with an all-Beethoven program devoted to the “Pastoral” Symphony and the Piano Concerto No. 4, with fortepianist Robert Levin (Feb. 26 and 28, 2016). Laurence Cummings will lead the Society’s “Bach Christmas” program (Dec. 17 and 20).


Meanwhile the Society will continue its series of recordings on the CORO label, with a new CD of Haydn’s “Creation” planned for release this fall, to be recorded at upcoming Symphony Hall performances in May. H&H musicians will also step beyond their usual venues, performing at the Gardner Museum (Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Bach Cantatas), and the Library of Congress, where the Society will bring Frank’s as-yet-untitled new work, co-commissioned by H&H and the Library of Congress. That work will have its premiere on June 18 of this year in Symphony Hall, on a program that also includes works by Arvo Pärt, James MacMillan, and Palestrina.


Jeremy Eichler can be reached at jeichler@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremy_eichler.