March 24, 2015, proclaims the Mayor, is H+H Day in Boston, just one part of a year-long celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Handel and Haydn Society in 1815.
Today is also the opening of the H+H Bicentennial Exhibit at the Boston Public Library, Central Library in Copley Square. Open through September 5, 2015, the exhibit features historical objects from the H+H archives and interactive music exhibits, including a recreation of H+H’s 1815 performance of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. A free smartphone app is also available to explore the H+H archives and take a walking tour of H+H in Boston.
|Photo: James Doyle|
After the meeting on March 24, 1815, events moved quickly, and by the end of April, forty-four men approved the Handel and Haydn Society’s constitution, which outlined the organization’s goal of “improving the style of performing sacred music, and introducing into more general use the works of Handel and Haydn and other eminent composers.”
The first concert, on December 25, 1815, at King’s Chapel, Boston, began with selections from Haydn’s oratorio The Creation followed by arias and choruses from Handel oratorios and several English anthems. There were 100 singers, (ninety men and ten women) accompanied by an orchestra of thirteen, performing for an audience of 1,000. This first concert was so successful that a second was scheduled for the following January.
For more about the Bicentennial:
- Handel and Haydn Society site.
- City of Boston press release on the BPL Exhibition.