Handel and Haydn Society Holds 2012 Annual Meeting
At the annual meeting held in Boston on September 24, the Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) presented its audited financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2012 and announced that it had balanced its budget in addition to reaching key organizational accomplishments for the 2011–2012 Season. Also discussed was the undertaking a strategic planning process and development of a five-year Strategic Plan set to guide the organization through its 2015 Bicentennial and beyond.
Executive Director and CEO Marie-Hélène Bernard commented, "As we continue the journey towards the 2015 Bicentennial, it is critical that we both listen and respond to the members of our community. The Strategic Plan has given us an opportunity to do just that, and the response was overwhelming. H&H is in wonderful position to remain strong as we approach this landmark event."
Ambitious plans are already in place for the celebration, including a commission, free concerts for the Boston community, expanded educational outreach initiatives, special lectures and exhibitions, and recording projects.
At the meeting, it was announced that H&H ended its FY12 fiscal year on June 30, 2012, with a surplus of $42,663. The Society balanced its budget with unrestricted revenue of $3.30 million and total expenses of $3.26 million. Total revenues for 2012 were up 4.4%. Unrestricted contributions from individuals and grants, representing more than half of operating revenues, remainEd Strong, with a record-breaking Society Ball, H&H's annual gala fundraiser. Handel and Haydn Society generated $1,400,069 in ticket revenue, consisting of $726,346 in subscriptions and $673,723 in single tickets.
The Handel and Haydn Society's 2011–2012 Season, the third under Harry Christophers' artistic leadership, was greeted with acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Highlights included performances by exceptional international and local talent, with the debut of newly appointed Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky in January with Vivaldi The Four Seasons and guest artists including fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout opening the season and Jean-Marie Zeitouni conducting Beethoven's groundbreaking Eroica symphony. Soprano Teresa Wakim, mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy, tenor Thomas Cooley, and baritone Sumner Thompson, were featured in Mozart's Coronation Mass, which was recorded live in April and released on CD September 11, 2012.
"It continues to be a pleasure and a privilege to lead the Handel and Haydn Society's talented and passionate musicians. Last season saw a big development in what my thinking and my vision for H&H is, as we continued to reach new levels artistically with works including the Bach St. Matthew Passion. We are working to develop an orchestra and chorus that can stand in its own right and stand high amongst the early music in Boston and across the globe," said Harry Christophers.
Collaborations with educational and arts institutions in the Greater Boston area remain important to Handel and Haydn. H&H musicians provided in-class performances at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); demonstrated period instrument equipment and performance technique; and lent their expertise to the singers of MIT's Chamber Chorus and Concert Choir. H&H's partnership with the New England Conservatory (NEC) continued with the Conducting Apprenticeship Program in which three NEC Master's candidates in Orchestral Conducting spent a week with Harry Christophers and Jean-Marie Zeitouni. Other partnerships resulted in special events, lectures, and performances at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Boston Public Library branches; Massachusetts College of Art; Concord Museum; Cambridge Center for Adult Education; and Boston Children's Museum.
Chairman of the Board Nicholas Gleysteen remarked, "Handel and Haydn continues to focus on its commitment to full participation, community partnerships, education and to artistic excellence in the field of historically informed performance. The path to the Bicentennial is an exciting one, and I look forward to seeing H&H deepen it's relationships with the community and expand it's footprint locally, nationally, and internationally as we approach this momentous occasion."
H&H was heard on the radio both locally on WGBH/Classical New England and nationally on NPR's SymphonyCast over the course of the season. Four concerts, including Mozart in Vienna and Handel Messiah, were aired.
The Handel and Haydn Society celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Collaborative Youth Concerts, a component of the Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program. Since 1987, high school choirs from Belmont, Boston, Brockton, Danvers, Lawrence, Lynn, New Bedford, Newton, and North Quincy have performed choral masterpieces by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Purcell, Schubert, and Vivaldi with our Period Instrument Orchestra and vocal soloists. To mark the anniversary, in February 2012 students from Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, and Roxbury joined Associate Conductor John Finney and Society musicians on stage at Symphony Hall to perform the "Gloria" from Mozart's Coronation Mass.
Nicholas Gleysteen was re-elected Chairman of the Board by the Board of Governors and Overseers. Gleysteen, a lawyer and CPA, is a Portfolio Manager at Hellman, Jordan Management Co., and also serves on the boards of the Weston Land Trust, Somerset Club Executive Committee, Fort Ticonderoga, National Trust for Scotland USA, Handel House USA, and the Boothbay Harbor Yacht Club.
Judith Verhave, Overseer, of Bank of New York Mellon, was elected to the Board of Governors. Elected to the Board of Overseers was John Cornish of Financial Diligence Networks, LLC. Also elected during the FY12 fiscal year were Robin Riggs, Chief Creative Officer at LW Robbins and Nancy Tooke, Vice President at Eaton Vance Investment Managers to the Board of Governors; Sylvia Ferrell-Jones, President and CEO of YWCA Boston, was elected to the Board of Overseers. All will serve three-year terms.
In addition to Nicholas Gleysteen as Board Chair, officers were elected for the coming year. Vice Chairs will be Todd Estabrook of Commonwealth Financial; Deborah First of Deborah First Communications; Mary Nada, philanthropist; Julia Cox, financial consultant; Karen Levy, education specialist; Michael Scott Morton of Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Wat Tyler, philanthropist. Jeff Thomas, Chief Investment Officer of Atlantic Trust Pell Rudman, was elected Treasurer; Winifred Li of Ropes & Gray LLP elected Secretary; and Marie-Hélène Bernard as Chief Executive Officer.
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 that began with the 2010–2011 Season 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 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.
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 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 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. In September 2010, H&H released its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label, Mozart 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.