Boston’s losing Prince Harry

Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society has announced that artistic director Harry Christophers will step down in 2021. He has revitalised the old ensemble and put them back on the world map.

The British conductor says: ‘It has been an immense privilege to be the Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society for the past ten years. The decision to hand over the baton has been a very difficult one but I feel the time is right. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved. I am a firm believer that arts organizations need to re-invent themselves every five to ten years. This is the time for a new interpretation on the inspirational music of the baroque and classical periods, a perfect opportunity to welcome a new Artistic Director who can build on the outstanding things we have made possible over the last decade.’

 

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  • Over the years I have attended quite a few H & H concerts, both before Christophers and during his tenure. To my ears he made a big difference in the ensemble’s overall performance and especially with regard to phrasing.

    I found him at his best in choral works. Early on he made a statement about the annual performance of the Messiah seriously: he meant it, if I can judge from two years when I attended.

  • You forgot to add: “after Christophers spoke, all the blue haired multimillionaire heiresses in attendence felt shivers in their loins from his English accent.”

    • Doug, you would do us all a favor if you would take your venom elsewhere. I don’t know why you feel the need to constantly be making nasty remarks. I don’t know what happened in your life that’s left you with so much anger and nastiness that you feel a need to spread around. But if you can’t keep it to yourself, I think you’d make a lot of us happier by not spreading it here.

  • I remember the H & H from ca. 1970, long before they switched to period instruments (that was not until ca. 1988). In those days H&H was not limited to the tiny swathe of the choral repertoire that it now covers, but performed 20th century rep as well. I remember a powerful performance of Dona Nobis Pacem (RVW) during the Vietnam War. It’s questionable, i think, to suggest that the performances of an imported English conductor are in any way superior to what went on before H&H went down that path. It was always a first-rate ensemble in a town where choral music was highly valued, and more highly valued than opera.

  • “He has revitalised the old ensemble and put them back on the world map.”
    That’s a fallacy. HC merely continued upon the legacy of Christopher Hogwood. HE was the one who changed the H & H from the overblown, 19th Century, Beecham-styled choir to the clean, stylistically adept, period ensemble that it is. I am NOT discounting the fine work that Maestro Harry has done in furthering the cause; but, let’s give credit where credit is due.

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