Lawrence Wilford Set for Handel and Haydn Society's Mendelssohn ELIJAH; Andrew Kennedy Out Due to Illness

The Handel and Haydn Society regrets to announce that scheduled tenor Andrew Kennedy will not perform in this weekend's performances of Mendelssohn Elijah because of illness. Replacing Kennedy is tenor Lawrence Wilford who will be making his H+H debut.

Wiliford's performances during the 2014-2015 Season include a debut with the Indianapolis Symphony performing Mozart's Requiem with Matthew Halls; Messiah with the Edmonton and Toronto Symphonies; Beethoven's Mass in C Major with Tafelmusik under Kent Nagano and the Calgary Philharmonic under Matthew Halls; Bach's Mass in B Minor with the Louisiana Philharmonic; Acis in Handel's Acis and Galatea with Toronto Masque Theatre; and the world premiere of Mohammed Fairouz's Zabur with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir.

Lawrence Wiliford's other recent concert appearances include Handel's Messiah with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; the Evangelist in St. Matthew Passion with the Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain, and Toronto Bach Consort; Mass in B Minor with Music of the Baroque, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica Naciónal de Mexico, Oregon Bach Festival, and Toronto Symphony.

There are no other cast changes to announce for this weekend's concerts.

Premiered in Boston by the Handel and Haydn Society in 1848, Mendelssohn's epic Elijah quickly became one of the most popular oratorios performed by H+H. Elijah was the first work H+H performed in Symphony Hall and was a favorite of H+H Artistic Director (1986-2001) and Conductor Laureate (2001- 2014) Christopher Hogwood who led triumphant performances of it in 2000 for Symphony Hall's centennial. The upcoming performances are dedicated to the memory of Hogwood who passed away in September. Former H+H Music Director Grant Llewellyn leads the Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and distinguished soloists. Wiliford joins bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams (performing the title role of the Old Testament prophet), soprano Sarah Coburn, and mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn.

CONCERT INFORMATION:

Mendelssohn Elijah

March 6, 2015, 7.30pm at Symphony Hall

March 8, 2015, 3pm at Symphony Hall

Grant Llewellyn, conductor

Andrew Foster-Williams, bass-baritone

Sarah Coburn, soprano

Christianne Stotijn, mezzo-soprano

Lawrence Wiliford, tenor

Handel and Haydn Society Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus

Pre-Concert Conversation | Led by Teresa M. Neff, Historically Informed Performance Fellow | Friday, March 6 at 6.30pm and Sunday, March 8, 2pm at Symphony Hall's Higginson Hall. Free with concert tickets.

Tickets to Mendelssohn Elijah, along with other subscription concerts, are on sale at the Handel and Haydn Society Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at www.handelandhaydn.org, or in person at 9 Harcourt St. Boston (M-F 10am-6pm). Subscriptions to the 2014-2015 Bicentennial Season are still available.

Subscriptions are on sale at the Handel and Haydn Society Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at www.handelandhaydn.org, or in person at 9 Harcourt St. Boston (M-F, 10am-6pm). Options include nine- and six-concert series and an H2 Young Professionals package, as well as "Choose Your Own" packages.

HARRY CHRISTOPHERS, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - Harry Christophers 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' tenure as Artistic Director began with the 2009-2010 Season. Christophers and H+H have since embarked on an ambitious artistic journey with a showcase of works premiered in the United States by the Handel and Haydn Society over the last 199 years, and partnered with the CORO label to produce a series of recordings leading to the 2015 Bicentennial. Christophers is founder and conductor of the UK-based choir and period-instrument ensemble The Sixteen. He has directed The Sixteen throughout Europe, America, Australia, and the Far East, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque, and 20th-century music. With that ensemble, he has recorded over 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, and The Sixteen won the Baroque Vocal Award for Handel Coronation Anthems, a CD that also received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination. In 2014, the Sixteen was also awarded a Grammy nomination for Palestrina, Vol. 3.

Harry Christophers is principal guest conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra and a regular guest conductor with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Orquestra de la Comunidad de Madrid. In October 2008, Christophers was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Leicester. Most recently, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and also of the Royal Welsh Academy for Music and Drama. He received a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen of England in 2012 for services to music.

ABOUT THE HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY - Founded in Boston in 1815, the Handel and Haydn Society (H+H) is considered America's oldest continuously performing arts organization. H+H celebrates its Bicentennial in 2015 with a series of special concerts and initiatives to honor 200 years of music making. Under Artistic Director Harry Christophers' leadership, H+H's mission is 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's Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus present live and recorded historically informed performances of this repertoire in ways that stimulate the musical and cultural life of the Greater Boston community and beyond.

H+H's esteemed tradition of innovation and excellence began in the 19th century with the American premieres of Handel's Messiah, Haydn's Creation, Verdi's Requiem, and Bach's St. Matthew Passion. Today, H+H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on 99.5 WCRB and National Public Radio, and recordings. H+H's first recording with Harry Christophers, Mozart Mass in C Minor, was issued in September 2010 on the CORO label. Subsequent releases include Mozart Requiem (2011), and Coronation Mass (2012), as well as the critically-acclaimed Haydn, Vol. 1 (September 2013), the best-selling Joy to the World: An American Christmas (October 2013), and Handel Messiah (October 2014).

As a 21st-century performing arts organization, H+H's primary roles are to perform and educate, and to serve as a resource center and community partner. The Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, established in 1985, reaches 10,000 children each year in underserved Greater Boston communities. H+H also maintains partnerships with cultural and higher educational institutions.


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