Handel and Haydn Society to Present Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, 3/15 & 17
After conducting H&H in sold-out performances of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in 2011, Richard Egarr returns to Symphony Hall to breathe life into another great work by the composer, his masterful Symphony No. 7. This continues a cycle of Beethoven Symphonies that Egarr brings to H&H, beginning in 2008 with Beethoven Symphony No. 8 and continuing with Beethoven Symphony No. 4 in 2014. Renowned as one of the finest period clarinetists in the world, H&H principal Eric Hoeprich brings Mozart's playful clarinet concerto to life. Egarr and Hoeprich will take your breath away with their virtuosic and powerful interpretations of these great compositions.
The evening will kick off with a special student performance by students from the Handel and Haydn Society Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program's Collaborative Youth Concerts. Associate Conductor John Finney will lead the H&H orchestra and the choruses from Brockton High School, Lawrence High School, and Boston Latin School in excerpts from Handel's Utrecht Te Deum. The Collaborate Youth Concert program was created 26 years ago, in 1987, and allows students from different school districts and cultural backgrounds come together to perform works from the Baroque and Classical eras for their communities alongside Handel and Haydn's professional musicians.
Completed in 1812, Symphony No. 7 was composed by Beethoven while he was staying in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice in the hope of improving his health. Conducted by Beethoven himself, the first performance was held in Vienna in 1813 at a charity concert for soldiers wounded in the Battle of Hanau. The symphony is noteworthy for its compositional details; the work includes the long coda of the first movement, extensive rhythmic detail, and the use of a fortissimo which was rarely used by Beethoven. At its debut, Beethoven was noted as remarking that it was one of his best works. The second movement, Allegretto, was the most popular movement and received an encore. The instant popularity of the Allegretto resulted in its frequent performance separate from the complete symphony.
Mozart's composed his clarinet concerto for his friend Anton Stadler during his last year of life (1791). The concerto was initially composed for basset horn but transposed later by Mozart's publisher to be performed on the more standard clarinet (which has a smaller range). Eric Hoeprich will be playing the basset clarinet for this performance, and thus performing the work as it was originally intended.The clarinet on which Hoeprich will perform the concerto is an instrument he built himself based on an engraving of Stadler's own basset clarinet found in a concert program from Stadler's 1794 performance of the concerto in Riga.
The program will be rounded out by Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music (Maurerische Trauermusik). A member of the Freemasons, Mozart composed the piece in 1785 to be performed at a Masonic service for two fellow Freemasons in November of that year. The instrumental version which will be featured at these concerts was adapted for a performance that December.
As part of ongoing community outreach efforts, H&H will be partnering with Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) for this concert. H&H initiated a partnership with MassArt in 2012 in connection with H&H's performances of Bach St. Matthew Passion. Through this partnership, H&H and MassArt explore the impact of multidisciplinary learning; demonstrate the ways in which a performing arts organization can engage a cross-section of its community, including students, educators, concertgoers, and the global internet community; and test the public's conceptions of the arts. Juniors in the Illustration department will be given the opportunity to hear the music of Beethoven Symphony No. 7 and react to it by creating visual art. The students will participate in a jury process and select artwork will be displayed at Symphony Hall during the concert weekend.
The performances will take place on Friday, March 15, 2013 at 8pm and Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 3pm at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Mass.
Beethoven Symphony No. 7
HANDEL: Utrecht Te Deum (excerpts)
John Finney, conductor
Collaborative Youth Choruses - Brockton High School, Lawrence High School, and Boston Latin School
MOZART: Masonic Funeral Music
MOZART: Clarinet Concerto
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7
Richard Egarr, conductor
Eric Hoeprich, basset clarinet
Period Instrument Orchestra
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 Society office, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M-F, 10am-6pm). Single tickets range from $25 to $90. Student rush is available starting 90 minutes before the performance: $15 cash only with valid ID, best available seats subject to availability. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.
Friday, March 15, 2013 at 7pm
Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 2pm
Conversations will take place in Symphony Hall's Higginson Hall
Free with concert tickets
Musicologist Teresa Neff gives an illuminating look inside the music and historical context of the program.
Richard Egarr made his H&H debut in 2008, and most recently led H&H in performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in 2011. He has worked with all types of keyboards, performing repertoire ranging from 15th century organ music to Berg and Maxwell Davies on modern piano. Egarr enjoyed his musical training as a choirboy at York Minster, at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, and as organ scholar at Clare College Cambridge. His studies with Gustav and Marie Leonhardt further inspired his work in the field of historical performance.
As a conductor, Egarr has presented a wide range of repertoire, from Bach's St. Matthew Passion to John Taverner's Ikon of Light. He directs specialized ensembles and modern orchestras alike. He is Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music, having succeeded its founder Christopher Hogwood in 2006. Egarr has directed many oratorios and operas, notably Messiah, Esther, Acis & Galatea, Alcina, L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Athalia and Alexander's Feast by Handel; Haydn's The Creation, Purcell's Fairy Queen and Dido & Aeneas, Telemann's St Matthew Passion and Mozart's Don Giovanni, Bach's B minor Mass and the St. Matthew Passion (with the Dutch Bach Society, and in a staged version at Glyndebourne). He has conducted 'modern' orchestras such as Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Residentie Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. This season he conducts the AAM on several tours across Europe and Asia. Egarr has given many solo performances throughout Europe, Japan and the USA (with Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier and Goldberg Variations). He has appeared as orchestral soloist with the English Concert, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Orchestra of the 18th Century, the Dutch Radio Chamber Orchestra, and the Netherlands Wind Ensemble. Egarr has earned a great reputation as a chamber musician, also thanks to longstanding relationship with violinist Andrew Manze.
Richard Egarr records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi USA. His solo output comprises works by Frescobaldi, Gibbons, Couperin, Purcell, Froberger, Mozart, and J.S. Bach (Goldberg Variations and Well-Tempered Clavier Book I). He has an impressive list of award winning recordings with violinist Andrew Manze, including Sonatas from Bach, Biber, Rebel, Pandolfi, Corelli, Handel, Mozart, and Schubert. With the Academy of Ancient Music he has recorded the complete Bach harpsichord concertos and an entire set of Handel discs including the Concerti grossi Op. 3 (Gramopone Award 2007), the Organ Concertos Op. 4 (MIDEM Award 2009), and 7 and his Sonatas Op. 1 and 5, as well as released the Brandenburg Concertos from J.S. Bach.
John Finney has been Handel and Haydn Society Chorusmaster since 1990, occupying the Cabot Family Chorusmaster Chair, and was named Associate Conductor in 1992. He has directed many of the Society's performances, including Handel's Messiah at Symphony Hall in 1997 and 2004, and A Bach Christmas at NEC's Jordan Hall in 2008, 2010, and 2012. He is widely praised for his harpsichord and organ playing; he holds degrees in organ performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and The Boston Conservatory. He is the Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Boston College, where he serves as Director of the University Chorale and Conductor of the Boston College Symphony Orchestra. He has directed the Boston College Chorale on concert tours in major cities throughout the world, including Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Rome. Finney recently celebrated his 25th anniversary as Director of Music for the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, where his organ playing and conducting continue to enhance worship services every Sunday morning. Since 1987, Finney has been conductor of the Heritage Chorale in Framingham, and has led that chorus in performances of such major works as Mendelssohn's Elijah and Verdi's Requiem. In May 2012, he led the Heritage Chorale in a performance of Orff's Carmina Burana featuring the Handel and Haydn Society Youth Chorus. He has served on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory and taught for six years at the Academy for Early Music in Bressanone, Italy.
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.
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 celebrated 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. The Young Women's Chorus celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2013. 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.
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 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) as well as Haydn in Paris (to be released in September 2013) and of an a cappella holiday program with its professional choir (to be released in October 2013). 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.