Handel and Haydn Society Presents Classical Salon 3/9, 3/11


Handel and Haydn Society will present Classical Salon, led by H&H principal bass Rob Nairn and featuring sublime soprano Amanda Forsythe.

Chamber program to revisit salon concerts of Boston in the 1820s

Friday, March 9, 2012 at 8pm
Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 3pm

NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA (Friday)
Sanders Theatre, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA (Sunday)

Classical Salon

HANDEL: "Sweet Bird" from Il Penseroso
SCHUBERT: Gretchen am Spinnrade
RAYNOR TAYLOR: Sonata No. 2 for solo cello (with bass accompaniment) from Six solos
BEETHOVEN: Piano Trio No. 5, Ghost
GOTTLIEB GRAUPNER: Governor Brooks’ Grand March
Benjamin Carr: "Why Huntress, Why?" from The Archers
SPERGER: Romanze per il Contraviolone
ALEXANDER REINAGLE: Allegro con brio from Philadelphia Sonata No. 1
MOZART: Flute Quartet No. 1 in D Major, K. 285

Rob Nairn, leader and bass

Amanda Forsythe, soprano

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 $20 to $78. 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.

Handel and Haydn’s principal bass Rob Nairn returns to the helm to lead H&H on another journey with an appearance by Boston favorite Amanda Forsythe. As the seasons change and spring arrives in Boston, audiences will travel back in time to Boston in the 1820s to hear a selection of music much like audiences would have heard in Boston around the time of Handel and Haydn Society’s founding in 1815. The program comprises Classical chamber music by the masters and by some of the great early American composers. Works by Handel, Beethoven, Graupner, and Reinagle will transport the concert hall and its inhabitants to the intimate, salon atmosphere of two centuries ago.

Of note on the program is Sonata No. 2 for cello by Raynor Taylor, who as a youth had sung at Handel’s funeral and later was Reinagle’s teacher. His “Six Solos for cello” are the first known American cello music. Another first featured is Benjamin Carr’s The Archers — the first American musical drama to be performed by a professional ensemble. “Why Huntress, Why” is all that remains from the larger work.

The concert will highlight the musicianship of the Handel and Haydn Society’s own musicians. Nairn will lead fellow principals Christopher Krueger, flute; Christina Day Martinson and Susanna Ogata, violin; David Miller, viola; Guy Fishman, cello; and Ian Watson, fortepiano; as well as guest artist soprano Amanda Forsythe. Forsythe returns to H&H for the first time since 2004, when she made her debut in Mozart’sMass in C Minor.


Pre-Concert Conversations
Friday, March 9, 2012 at 7pm
Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 2pm
Free with concert tickets

Musicologist Teresa Neff gives an illuminating look inside the music and historical context of the program.

Principal bass of the Handel and Haydn Society and a member of Juilliard Baroque, Rob Nairn is a versatile performer with a career that has spanned Europe, the US, and Australia; his teachers include Klaus Stoll, Tom Martin, and Max McBride. He has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, The Melbourne Symphony, the Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players, the Australia Ensemble, and the Australian String Quartet. He held the position of principal bass with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, and guest principal with the Hallé Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist with the Australian Chamber, Adelaide, and Darwin symphony orchestras.

Nairn has also worked with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, Concerto Caledonia, Washington Bach Consort, Aulos Ensemble, Rebel, Boston Early Music Festival, English Baroque Soloists, Florilegium, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Active in commissioning new works, Nairn has premiered more than 40 solo and chamber music works featuring the bass, championing in particular the music of Australian composers. He has worked with such groups as the London Sinfonietta, Gruppe Neue Musik Berlin, Australysis, the Music Theatre of Wales, and the Sydney Alpha Ensemble. In 2009, he premiered a new concerto by Barry Conyngham. He has performed recitals in Europe, the US, and Australia.

Nairn is on the faculty of both The Juilliard School and Penn State University, and is a recipient of a Howard Foundation Fellowship.

Amanda Forsythe made her Handel and Haydn Society debut in 2004 and returns to H&H for the first time since in Classical Salon. In August 2007, Forsythe made her European debut, singing Corinna in Il Viaggio a Reims at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro. Following her success in Pesaro, she was immediately engaged at the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Dalinda in Handel’s Ariodante. In the 2009–2010 Season, she co-starred with Ewa Podles in Opera Boston’s new production of Rossini’s Tancredi, debuted with the Ulster Orchestra in Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, returned to The Hartford Symphony for Brahms’ Requiem, and to Boston Baroque for Handel’s Messiah. After a short maternity leave, she made her Covent Garden debut as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, starring Soile Isokoski, Erwin Schrott, and Mariusz Kwiecien.