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The New York Philharmonic

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Handel’s Messiah at The Riverside Church

Dec 14 - Dec 18

Presented by Gary W. Parr

This concert is a Special Event of the 2021–22 season.

The Messiah of Messiahs! Dazzling vocal solos, instrumental fireworks, and splendid choral writing combine to make this oratorio the musical crown of the season. Grammy-winning Baroque specialist Jeannette Sorrell conducts the Philharmonic in the Neo-Gothic glory of Riverside Church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Handel’s Messiah at The Riverside Church


7:00 PM





7:00 PM





7:00 PM





7:00 PM




There is limited availability to the 2021–22 season and tickets are going fast. Buy today for the best available seating.


The Riverside Church


2 Hours 15 Minutes with Intermission






  • Jeannette Sorrell


    Grammy-winning conductor and harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most compelling interpreters of Baroque and Classical repertoire. She studied conducting under Leonard Bernstein and Roger Norrington at Tanglewood and the Aspen Music Festival, and studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. She won both First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, competing against more than 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the United States, and the Soviet Union. 

    Founder and artistic director of Apollo’s Fire, she has led the renowned period ensemble in sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall, London’s BBC Proms, Madrid’s Royal Theatre, Tanglewood, Ravinia Festival, Boston’s Early Music Festival, Library of Congress, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. She and her ensemble have built one of the largest audiences of any Baroque orchestra in North America. Ms. Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have released 26 commercial CDs, including eight Billboard classical chart bestsellers and a 2019 Grammy winner. Her recordings include the complete Brandenburg Concertos and harpsichord concertos of J.S. Bach as well as Bach’s St. John Passion, Handel’s Messiah, and Monteverdi Vespers, among others.

    In demand with symphony orchestras and period groups alike, Ms. Sorrell has repeatedly conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, and New World Symphony, and she has led the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Opera St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque (San Francisco), Florida Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, North Carolina Symphony, and Royal Northern Sinfonia (UK), among others. Upcoming debuts include the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the New York Philharmonic.

    Jeannette Sorrell is the subject of Playing with Fire, the 2019 documentary by Academy Award–winning director Allan Miller. She has attracted national attention and awards for her creative programming, which has brought many new listeners to early music through the use of contextual and dramatic elements. She received an honorary doctorate from Case Western University and an award from the American Musicological Society.  


    Learn more about Jeannette Sorrell
  • Amanda Forsythe


    Amanda Forsythe regularly appears as soloist with Chicago Symphony Orchestra and has performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She has worked with conductors including John Eliot Gardiner, Nicholas Kraemer, Nicholas McGegan, Andris Nelsons, Antonio Pappano, and Christophe Rousset.

    Learn more about Amanda Forsythe
  • John Holiday


    Countertenor John Holiday has performed at world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican Centre, and the Philharmonie de Paris. His career highlights include a tour with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the world premiere of Daniel Bernard Roumain’s We Shall Not Be Moved with Opera Philadelphia and the Dutch National Opera. In addition, Mr. Holiday has curated The John Holiday Experience (JHE) to showcase his affinity and talent for many different genres, including pop, jazz, and R&B.

    Learn more about John Holiday
  • Nicholas Phan

    Tenor (Evangelist)

    American tenor Nicholas Phan is increasingly recognized as an artist of distinction. With an incredibly diverse repertoire, spanning almost 500 years of music, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. He also an avid recitalist and a passionate advocate for art song and vocal chamber music; in 2010 he co-founded Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC), an organization devoted to promoting this underserved repertoire. 

    Learn more about Nicholas Phan
  • Kevin Deas


    Kevin Deas has gained international renown as one of America’s leading bass-baritones. He is acclaimed for his signature portrayal of the title role in the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, having performed it with ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and Florida Orchestra  and at the Ravinia, Vail, and Saratoga festivals. He has sung Mozart’s Requiem with the Eugene Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, and Alabama Symphony; Handel’s Messiah for the National Cathedral, Boston Baroque, The Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, and Houston Symphony; Verdi’s Requiem with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Pacific Symphony and Bach Festival Society of Winter Park; and Copland’s Old American Songs with the Chicago and Columbus Symphony Orchestras. Other recent highlights include performances with the Dallas, Portland, and Virginia symphony orchestras, the San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, Colorado, Omaha, and Jacksonville symphonies, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Buffalo Philharmonic.

    Learn more about Kevin Deas
  • Apollo’s Singers
        Jeannette Sorrell, artistic director


    Apollo’s Fire — named for the Classical god of music and healing — is a Grammy Award–winning ensemble based in Cleveland. The period-instrument orchestra and Apollo’s Singers, the associated professional chamber choir, were founded by award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell. The ensemble is dedicated to the Baroque ideal that music should evoke the various Affekts, or passions, in listeners.

    Learn more about Apollo’s Singers
        Jeannette Sorrell, artistic director

Special Thanks

Jeannette Sorrell’s appearance is made possible with generous support from the Sorel Organization.


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