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 Award–winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell is recognized internationally as one of today’s most compelling interpreters of Baroque and Classical repertoire. She is the subject of Playing with Fire: Jeannette Sorrell and the Mysteries of Conducting, the 2019 documentary by Oscar-winning director Allan Miller.

    Bridging the period-instrument and symphonic worlds from a young age, Sorrell studied conducting under Leonard Bernstein, Roger Norrington, and Robert Spano at the Tanglewood and Aspen Music Festivals and studied harpsichord with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam. She won First Prize in the Spivey International Harpsichord Competition, where she competed against more than 70 harpsichordists from Europe, Israel, the United States, and the Soviet Union.

    Sorrell made her New York Philharmonic debut in 2021 and Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2022. She has repeatedly conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony, St. Paul Chamber, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, Florida, and New World Symphony orchestras and has also led the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (in J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion), National Symphony Orchestra (at the Kennedy Center), Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Opera St. Louis (with the St. Louis Symphony), Calgary Philharmonic (in Canada), Grand Rapids Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, and Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, among others. This spring she makes her debut with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León (Spain).

    As founder and conductor of Apollo’s Fire, she has led the renowned ensemble at London’s BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Irish National Concert Hall, Library of Congress, and many international venues. Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire have released 30 commercial CDs, including 11 bestsellers on the Billboard classical chart and a 2019 Grammy winner. Her CD recordings of Bach’s St. John Passion and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons have been chosen as best in the field by the London Sunday Times (2020 and 2021). Her Monteverdi Vespers recording was chosen by BBC Music Magazine as one of 30 “Must-Have Recordings for Our Lifetime” (September 2022). Other albums include Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos (Billboard Classical Top 10 in 2012), four discs of works by Mozart, and five creative multicultural programs. With more than 12 million views of her YouTube videos, Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming.

    Learn more about Jeannette Sorrell
  • Amanda Forsythe


    Recognized internationally as a leading interpreter of Baroque and Classical repertoire, Amanda Forsythe is a regular soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Handel and Haydn Society, Apollo’s Fire, Boston Baroque, and Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF). She has performed with The Philadelphia, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and St. Louis Symphony orchestras, as well as the Academy of Ancient Music, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

    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


    American tenor Nicholas Phan is increasingly recognized as an artist of distinction. With a diverse repertoire that spans nearly 500 years of music, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. An avid recitalist and a passionate advocate for art song and vocal chamber music, in 2010 Phan 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 (Chorus of Apollo’s Fire)
        Jeannette Sorrell, artistic director


    Named for the classical god of music and the sun, Apollo’s Fire is a Grammy Award–winning ensemble. Founded by award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell, the period band is dedicated to the Baroque ideal that music should evoke the various Affekts, or passions, in the listeners. The musicians in Apollo’s Fire, who are creative artists who share Sorrell’s passion for drama and rhetoric, have performed six European tours, with sold-out concerts at the BBC Proms in London, Madrid’s Teatro Real, Bordeaux’s Grand Théàtre de l’Opéra, the National Concert Hall of Ireland, and venues in France, Italy, Austria, and Portugal.

    Learn more about Apollo’s Singers (Chorus of Apollo’s Fire)
        Jeannette Sorrell, artistic director

Special Thanks

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


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