Handel and Haydn Society Present HAYDN IN PARIS, 2/22 & 24


Handel and Haydn Society Presents Haydn in Paris, conducted by Artistic Director Harry Christophers, tonight, February 22, 2013 at 8pm and Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 3pm at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Mass.

Haydn in Paris

HAYDN: Symphony No. 6, Le matin
HAYDN: Violin Concerto No. 4
HAYDN: Overture to L'isola disabitata
HAYDN: Symphony No. 82, The Bear

Harry Christophers, conductor
Aisslinn Nosky, violin and leader
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 $20 to $78. Student rush is available starting one hour before the performance: $15 cash only with valid ID, best available seats subject to availability. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.

Under Harry Christophers' expert hands, Haydn comes to life in a program that showcases one of his Paris Symphonies, The Bear, as part of an all-Haydn program. H&H's fiery and expressive Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky returns to the spotlight after the smashing success of her Vivaldi The Four Seasons performances in 2012.

Haydn's Symphony No. 6 was written in 1761, shortly after Haydn joined the court of his then employer, Prince Esterhazy. The nickname "Le matin" was later given to the symphony (possibly by the Prince) because the slow introduction of the opening movement gave the impression of a sunrise. The work was the first the H&H orchestra performed with Harry Christophers at the podium. Christophers reflected, "back in 2006 I was invited to conduct the Handel and Haydn Society at Haydn's workplace, the Esterhazy palace in Eisenstadt. What did we perform? Le Matin. Performing these works in the very place Haydn performed them for the first time was an amazing experience, and I look forward to revisiting this work with our orchestra and bringing it to our audiences at home in Boston."

Haydn's Violin Concerto No. 4 will be led by concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky, who will both play and lead the piece. This represents two firsts for H&H; the orchestra has never before performed the concerto, and this will be Aisslinn's first time leading the ensemble. The G Major Violin Concerto, written in three movements, was composed in 1769. "Haydn is one of my favourite composers and I am thrilled to be able to bring this beautiful concerto to life," said Nosky.

Due to his tremendous popularity in France, Haydn was commissioned in the 1780s by the Count of Ogny in Paris to compose six symphonies that would be performed by "Le Concert de la loge 'Olympique'" in Paris, an orchestra notable for its large size. "The Bear," a festive, jubliant work, was the last of these symphonies to be composed, completed in 1786 and performed in 1787. As with "Le matin," the nickname was later added by someone other than the composer - to some ears the music of the fourth movement was similar to that which was used to accompany dancing bears in the street.

The program is rounded out with the overture to L'isola disabitata (The Deserted Island), composed in 1779, was Haydn's tenth opera.

After the Friday night performance, an H2 Young Professionals afterparty will be held at Lucca Backbay. Recent analysis shows that nearly 30% of H&H's audience is between the ages of 18 and 44, and the H2 program provides an opportunity young professionals to relax after the show and make connections with fellow music-lovers, staff, and musicians. Each H2 event has a concert related theme, and Friday's event will be the Kings and Queens party.

Haydn in Paris will be recorded live for commercial release on the CORO label in September 2013. The recording will expand H&H's catalogue of works recorded under Harry Christophers, joining the recently completed Mozart trilogy of Mozart Mass in C Minor (September 2010), Mozart Requiem (September 2011), and Mozart Coronation Mass (September 2012). The CORO label was launched in 2001 to record founder and conductor Harry Christophers' UK-based ensemble The Sixteen.

Pre-Concert Conversation
Friday, February 22, 2013 at 7pm
Sunday, February 24, 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.

H2 Young Professionals
Friday, February 22, 2013 post-concert
Lucca Back Bay, 116 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA
Free with concert tickets

Join us after the concert at Lucca Back Bay for cocktails, conversation, and making connections. We invite you to meet staff, musicians, and other young arts enthusiasts to experience Baroque and Classical music in new and exciting ways.

Harry Christophers, CBE, 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 towards H&H's 2015 Bicentennial with a showcase of works premiered in the United States by the Handel and Haydn Society since 1815, Education programming, community outreach activities and partnerships, and the release of the first of a series of recordings on the CORO label leading to the 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.

Aisslinn Nosky was appointed Concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society in 2011. With a reputation for being one of the most dynamic and versatile violinists of her generation, Nosky is in great demand internationally as a soloist, leader and concertmaster. Recent collaborations include the Thunder Bay Symphony, the Lameque International Baroque Festival Orchestra, Arion Baroque Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, Collegium Musicum Hanyang, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

Aisslinn is also a member of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble. For over a decade, this innovative Canadian ensemble has presented it's own edgy and inventive concert series in Toronto and toured Europe and North America turning new audiences on to Baroque music. With the Eybler Quartet, Nosky explores repertoire from the first century of string quartet literature on period instruments. The Eybler Quartet's latest recording of Haydn's Opus 33 string quartets was released to critical acclaim in 2012.

Since 2005, Aisslinn has been a highly active member of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and has toured and appeared as soloist with this internationally renowned ensemble.

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.

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) and is planning the release of a Haydn project (2013) and of an a cappella program with its professional choir for the 2013 holiday season. 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.

Photo Credit: Kyle T. Hemingway