Boy who exclaimed “wow” is special guest at Handel and Haydn Society rehearsal

Posted on: October 4, 2019

“The Handel and Haydn Society was preparing for a final dress rehearsal at Symphony Hall, and everything was in its place,” writes Zoe Greenberg in Friday’s (10/4) Boston Globe. “Then a little boy in a bright orange fleece pushed open the doors and peeked his head inside…. Ronan Mattin, a 9-year-old from New Hampshire … is known colloquially as the ‘wow child.’ He earned the name in the spring, when his grandfather brought him to a Handel and Haydn Society concert there. After the orchestra finished playing a piece by Mozart, the crowd went silent, and Ronan loudly exclaimed, ‘Wow,’ delighting the conductor, the musicians, the concert attendees, and people all over the world…. Ronan is on the autism spectrum, and his spontaneous reaction seemed to sum up the ineffable feeling people have had for centuries listening to one of the world’s best-loved composers…. This week, the orchestra invited Ronan and his family to attend a dress rehearsal … as a special guest… ‘These sort of moments, like Ronan’s wonderful “wow” moment, are just electrifying for us, and actually just make us realize exactly what we’re here doing,’ said Harry Christophers, the society’s artistic director.”

Posted October 4, 2019

In photo: Ronan Mattin was accompanied by his grandfather on Thursday as they watched a Handel and Haydn Society rehearsal. Photo by Jessica Rinaldi