Begun in 1815 as a choral society, the Handel and Haydn Society has played an integral and vibrant role in the propagation of Baroque and Classical music in America since its inception, having performed the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation(1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s Mass in B Minor (1887).
The Handel and Haydn Society Chorus and Period Orchestra present ten programs each season, including its annual performance of Messiah, a tradition it has continued since 1854. The group differentiates itself with what is known as “Historically Informed Performance,” or HIP, which emphasizes the utilization of the instruments and techniques employed by the composers during their times. Conductor Laureate Christopher Hogwood first brought HIP methodology to the Society in 1986 as its Artistic Director. The upcoming 2010-2011 Season will mark the second with conductor Harry Christophers as Artistic Director.
The organization also boasts the Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program—which touches more than 10,000 New England students each year through free workshops, youth concerts, and recitals—and the Vocal Apprenticeship Program, enabling underprivileged students to take part in intensive private musical instruction.
Handel And Haydn Society Information
- Venues: Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave; New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street; Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street
- Public Transportation: Good
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performance/Productions: Nine Baroque and Classical concerts per season, with multiple performances of each
- Ticket Prices: Vary by concert and venue, contact for exact pricing details. Sign up with e-mail newsletter to keep informed on student discounts available
- Group Discounts: Discounts available for groups of 10 or more
- Subscriptions: Available from $189–$540, depending on the type of package preferred and performances selected. Create-your-own subscriptions (choose four concerts or more and save 10%). Subscriber benefits include free ticket exchanges, 10% off additional tickets, and free, reserved, or discounted parking. Student Flex Pass available
- Membership: Available from up to $75–$50,000+. Annual Fund contributor benefits include 10% discount at the Society’s Boutique, program recognition, and special ticket offers.