Handel + Haydn Society Receives $10 Million Donation to Honor Harry Christophers

By Francisco Salazar

The Handel and Haydn Society has received a transformative gift of $10 million in honor of Artistic Director Harry Christophers.

The money was donated outright and anonymously and will help create the Harry Christophers Fund for Artistic Excellence. The donation was announced before Friday’s performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at Boston’s Symphony Hall and at the same time, the organization named Christophers as Conductor Laureate. The title will take effect after Christophers concludes his tenure as Artistic Director in May 2022.

The evening also saw the announcement of a gala celebration at Symphony Hall on May 9, 2022 for Christophers in his 13th and final season as Artistic Director.

In a statement Rob Shapiro, Chair of the H+H Board of Governors said, “Harry has fulfilled the mission of the Handel and Haydn Society. I wish to ensure that the next artistic director propels the magic, joy, and learning Harry Christophers created to new levels. I want the new artistic director and H+H to ensure it is the best in the US if not the world as to what it does, transforming lives with unsurpassed excellence.”

Christophers was appointed Artistic Director at H+H in 2009 and his tenure saw the growth of H+H into a well regarded Baroque and Classical ensemble.  in the nation. The new Harry Christophers Fund for Artistic Excellence will support Christophers’s farewell season and extend his legacy in perpetuity. The Fund will support conductor and soloist fees, orchestra and chorus compensation, audio and video recording and distribution, and touring.