Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society receives $10 million anonymous donation

Posted on: November 29, 2021

“The Handel and Haydn Society has received a surprise donation of approximately $10 million from a single anonymous donor in honor of artistic director Harry Christophers, whose tenure will end at the close of the 2021-22 season,” writes A.Z. Madonna in Friday’s (11/26) Boston Globe. “H+H board of governors chair Robert Shapiro planned to announce the gift on the Symphony Hall stage on Friday evening before Christophers conducted the Handel and Haydn Orchestra and Chorus in H+H’s annual performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah.’… The donation was earmarked for the Harry Christophers Fund for Artistic Excellence, a new capital campaign that the organization had planned to announce to the general public alongside Friday’s ‘Messiah’ performance, where it was already intended that Christophers would be given the honorary title of … conductor laureate…. Shapiro indicated that the $10 million windfall will go into the organization’s endowment, increasing it by nearly 60 percent to approximately $27 million from its previous $17 million, which was already roughly quadruple what it was at the beginning of Christophers’s tenure in 2009. The gift will provide a ‘foundational financial boost’ to all of H+H’s initiatives, from hiring musicians and researching works to its youth choruses and community outreach programs.”