The New York Philharmonic

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Handel's Messiah

This concert is now past.
Location: Avery Fisher Hall (Directions)
Price Range: $33.00 - $107.00
Duration:

Concert Duration

2 hours 30 minutes
Tue, Dec, 18, 2012
7:30 PM
Wed, Dec, 19, 2012
7:30 PM
Thu, Dec, 20, 2012
7:30 PM
Fri, Dec, 21, 2012
7:30 PM
Sat, Dec, 22, 2012
7:30 PM
Presented by the Robert Hekemian Family Foundation.
The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)

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Messiah

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685–1759)
Messiah (1741)

Handel’s inspired and ever-popular setting of Biblical texts is a three-part meditation on the prophecy and fulfillment of God’s plan to redeem the world through a savior. Part 1 is filled with the joy of anticipation of that savior (epitomized in the jubilant chorus “Unto us a Child is Born”). Part 2 reflects the sorrow and agony surrounding Christ’s passion and death, and the exultation of the resurrection, captured in the stirring “Hallelujah” Chorus. Part 3 is a hymn of thanksgiving for the final defeat of death and for life eternal. Among the many other highlights of the oratorio are the noble concluding chorus, “Worthy is the Lamb” and the final “Amen.” Messiah’s dazzling solos, fireworks instrumental passages, and some of the most glorious choral writing of all time have made it the undisputed favorite of the holidays throughout the world.

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Conductor

Gary Wedow

Conductor Gary Thor Wedow has established a reputation for dramatically exciting and historically informed performances with opera companies, orchestras, and festivals throughout North America. He made his New York Philharmonic debut in 2012, conducting Handel’s Messiah, and returns in the 2014–15 season to reprise the oratorio. A frequent guest of Seattle Opera, some of his recent successes there include a double bill of Poulenc’s La Voix humaine and Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Gluck’s Orphée, and Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Mr. Wedow was closely associated with New York City Opera for many years, where he led Christopher Alden’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and in May 2012 conducted the New York Premiere of Telemann’s Orpheus. Recently, he conducted The Magic Flute with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the World Premiere of Paul Richards and Wendy Steiner’s Biennale at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, and Messiah for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 Mr. Wedow leads Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on tour with the Juilliard415 (the school’s principal period instrument ensemble), culminating in a performance at Alice Tully Hall; Donizetti’s Don Pasquale for Arizona Opera; Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio for Utah Opera; and Don Giovanni for Seattle Opera.

Past highlights include Handel’s Agrippina for Boston Lyric Opera; Mozart’s La finta giardiniera for San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program; Handel’s Serse for Indiana University; Handel’s Rinaldo for Portland Opera with the Portland Baroque Orchestra; and Richard Strauss’s Die Fledermaus for Virginia Opera. He has appeared regularly with Wolf Trap Opera and the Berkshire Choral Festival, most recently leading Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli in Salzburg.

Born in La Porte, Indiana, and now a resident of New York City, Gary Thor Wedow has been a member of The Juilliard School’s faculty since 1994, leading performances of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, La finta giardiniera, Handel’s Ariodante, and most recently, Don Giovanni. He has prepared several performing editions of Baroque works in collaboration with countertenor Lawrence Lipnik. His long association with director Stephen Wadsworth has included productions of Handel’s Serse and Ariodante and Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.

Mr. Wedow has been a frequent guest of Florida Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Amherst Early Music Festival, and Pittsburgh Opera, among others. Choral masterpieces and symphonic repertoire have taken him to Orchestra London Canada, Phoenix Symphony, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, where he was associate conductor for many years. As a pianist, he studied with virtuoso Jorge Bolet.

Learn more about Gary Thor Wedow

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Soprano

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Countertenor

Tim Mead by Basja Chanowski

Countertenor Tim Mead was a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge, where he studied with Charles Brett before winning a number of scholarships to the Royal College of Music. Recent engagements of Handel works include Giulio Cesare (as Tolomeo) for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Saul (David) with Opera North, and the title roles of Rinaldo with Bach Collegium Japan, Giulio Cesare for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Orlando for Chicago Opera Theatre, Ezio for the London Handel Festival, and Admeto at the Göttingen International Handel Festival and Edinburgh Festival. Other highlights have included Cavalli's La Calisto (as Endimione) for the Bavarian Staatsoper; Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea (Ottone) for English National Opera and Opéra de Lyon; the premiere of Harrison Birtwistle's The Minotaur at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; and title roles in Gluck's Orfeo et Euridice with English National Opera, Akademie für Alte Musik, and the Handel and Haydn Society. His concert appearances have included J.S. Bach's Magnificat and Dixit Dominus with Le Concert d'Astrée, Das Weihnachtsoratorium with Les Arts Florissants, St. Matthew Passion with the Britten Sinfonia; Handel's Messiah with the Manchester Camerata; Handel's Lotario (Idelberto) and Riccardo Primo (Oronte) with the Basel Chamber Orchestra, Occasional Oratorio with The King's Consort; Biber's Missa Bruxellensis with the Academy of Ancient Music at BBC Proms; and Telemann's Brockes Passion with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging.

Mr. Mead's discography includes Riccardo Primo (Oronte) with Basel Chamber Orchestra (Sony BMG); Purcell's Solomon (title role) with Gottingen Festival Orchestra and Nicholas McGegan (Carus); Handel choral works with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, for EMI; Handel's Israel in Egypt with the Orchester der Deutschen (Brilliant Classics). He can be seen in Handel's Admeto (Trasimede) with Handel-Festspiele Halle, conducted by Howard Arman on DVD (Arthaus Musik).

Tim Mead's opcoming engagements include the Royal Opera Housem Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival, Bavarian Staatsoper, Scottish Opera, English National Opera, and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

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Tenor

Kenneth Tarver by Joan Tomas Fidelio Artist

Tenor Kenneth Tarver is an acclaimed interpreter of Mozart's Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, The Abduction from the Seraglio, and The Magic Flute; Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice; Rossini's Moïse et Pharaon, The Barber of Seville, and La cenerentola; The Nose by Shostakovich; and Donizett's Don Pasquale. His recordings include Berlioz's Les Troyens with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra, winner of two Grammy Awards, and Don Giovanni with Renée Jacobs (Harmonia Mundi).

His recent successes have included Haydn's L'Anima del Filosofo (as Orfeo) conducted by Iván Fisher at the Budapest Festival; Mozart's Idomeneo at La Monnaie; Haydn's Orlando Paladino in Amsterdam; Haydn's L'Infedeltà Delusa conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Vienna; The Abduction from the Seraglio (Belmonte) and Traetta's Antigona in Berlin; Rameau's Les Indes Galantes in Toulouse. Other highlights include Shchedrin's My Age, My Wild Beast at the Rheingau Festspiele; Orff's Carmina burana at the Verbier Festival; Mozart's Requiem at the Tanglewood Festival conducted by James Levine; Berlioz's Te Deum in Oslo; a concert and recording for Opera Rara of Rossini's Aureliano in Palmira (title role) with Maurizo Benini at the Royal Festival Hall in London; Mozart's Coronation Mass in Rome; and La Cenerentola in Buenos Aires.

Kenneth Tarver has built a repertoire of both well-known and seldom-performed masterpieces with conductors such as Alberto Zedda (Rossini's Moise et Pharaon in Liège; L'Inganno Felice and La Gazza Ladra at the Rossini Festival in Wildbad; La Scala di Seta in Berlin; Adelaide di Borgogna in La Coruña), Riccardo Chailly (Stravinsky's Pulcinella with the Concertgebouw Orchestra; Matthäus-Passion in Milan; Bach's St. John Passion with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester inCarlo Rizzi (Rossini's Armida at the Edinburgh Festival), and Frans Bruggen (Mozart's Requiem with the Orchestra della Toscana).

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Bass

Alastair Miles by Sheila Rock

Alastair Miles is recognized as one of the world's leading basses. Born in Harrow, England, he studied flute at the Guildhall School of Music before embarking on a vocal career, during which he has performed at The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Bavarian Staatsoper, Netherlands Opera, and Milan's Teatro all Scala. He has a stylistically wide repertoire and has made more than 70 recordings.

Mr. Miles appears regularly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and English National Opera (ENO), as well as Welsh National Opera, Opera North, and Glyndebourne. His recent roles have included Narbal in Berlioz's Les Troyens for Netherlands Opera, Creonte in Mayr's Medea in Corinto for Bavarian Staatsoper, Zaccariain Verdi's Nabucco for Vienna Staatsoper, Commendatore in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Pogner in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Glyndebourne Festival, Poliferno in Steffani's Niobe, Regina di Tebe at Covent Garden, and Duke Alfonso in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia for ENO.

On the concert stage, Mr. Miles has performed with the world's leading orchestras and conductors. Recent appearances include Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius and Handel's Messiah with Sir Colin Davis and London Symphony Orchestra, Schumann's Faustszenen with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Beethoven's Ninth Symphonywith Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and Sarastro in Mozart's The Magic Flute with Daniel Harding at the Lucerne Festival.

Engagements during the 2011–12 season include Claudio in Handel's Agrippina for Opéra de Dijon and Opéra de Lille with Emmanuelle Haim, Daland in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman for Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège, St. Matthew Passion with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Philip II in Verdi's Don Carlo for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Bertran in Meyerbeer's Robert Le Diable in Salerno. Future roles include Pogner in Die Meistersinger for Netherlands Opera.

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Chorus

New York Choral Artists, a professional chorus founded and directed by Joseph Flummerfelt, has been heard with the New York Philharmonic in recent seasons performing repertoire ranging from Tippett’s A Child of Our Time to Mozart’s Requiem. The chorus opened the Philharmonic’s 2002–03 subscription season performing the World Premiere of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls, commissioned by the Philharmonic with Lincoln Center’s Great Performers. Other highlights of the group’s history include the 1995 Philharmonic concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, and a televised performance of the 1986 Statue of Liberty Concert in Central Park. The chorus performed Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 during Lorin Maazel’s final weeks as Music Director, and has more recently collaborated with Music Director Alan Gilbert on Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, Bach’s B-minor Mass, and Britten’s Spring Symphony in the concerts celebrating the British composer’s centennial.

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Director

Joseph Flummerfelt

For more than 40 seasons Joseph Flummerfelt has been preparing choral performances for the New York Philharmonic. Named Conductor of the Year in 2004 by Musical America, he is founder and musical director of the New York Choral Artists and an artistic director of Spoleto Festival U.S.A. He was conductor of the Westminster Choir for 33 years. He has collaborated with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Alan Gilbert, Carlo Maria Giulini, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Robert Shaw, and William Steinberg. His choirs have been featured on 45 recordings, including Grammy Award–winning versions of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Bernstein, Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra, and John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls. He has also received two Grammy nominations, and his Delos recording of Brahms’s choral works, Singing for Pleasure, with the Westminster Choir, was chosen by The New York Times as a favorite among Brahms recordings. Mr. Flummerfelt’s honors include Le Prix du Président de la République from L’Académie du Disque Français and four honorary doctoral degrees. He is sought out as a guest conductor and master teacher of choral conducting in New York and throughout the United States.

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