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Handel And Haydn Society

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Founded in Boston in 1815, the Handel and Haydn Society is the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States. Its Chorus and Period Instrument Orchestra are internationally recognized in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, Handel and Haydn’s mission is 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.

The Handel and Haydn Society has an esteemed tradition of innovation and excellence, which began in the 19th century with the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1871) and Mass in B Minor (1887). More recently, the Society premiered Randall Thompson’s Passion According to St. Luke (1965)—commissioned for the Society’s 150th anniversary—Daniel Pinkham’s Garden Party (1977), Daniel Welcher’s Oratorio for Peace (1999), Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises (2002), and Thomas Vignieri’s Fanfare of Voices (2009), commissioned by the Society in honor of the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death. In the last 20 years, Handel and Haydn has given important historical performances of core repertoire and has introduced such innovative programs as jazz/Baroque crossover concerts, staged opera with dance, and narrative set to music, to great critical and audience acclaim.

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