Baltimore Symphony Performs Handel’s Messiah and Its Re-envisioned, Gospel version Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah in Early December

Baltimore City College Choir and Concert Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale to perform with BSO this December 4, 10-12

Baltimore, Md. (November 10, 2009) –The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform two very different versions of Handel’s Messiah this December. The traditional performance of George Frederic Handel’s Messiah takes place on Friday, December 4, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The BSO celebrates its 27th year performing Messiah with the Concert Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale led by Edward Polochick, who conducts the entire work from the harpsichord. Soloists include soprano Georgia Jarman, mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne, tenor Ryan MacPherson and bass-baritone Michael Dean.

Maestra Alsop’s re-envisioned gospel version, Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah, takes place on Thursday, December 10 at 8:00 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore and Friday, December 11 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 12 at 11:00 a.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The New York Post described Too Hot to Handel as “the jazziest, most soulful reinterpretation of Handel’s Messiah you’ll ever hear.” The piece features a dynamic line-up of musicians, including gospel pianist Clifford Carter, bassist Mike Pope and drummer Clint de Ganon. In addition, the BSO welcomes Too Hot to Handel co-arranger, Bob Christianson, performing on a Hammond B-3 Organ.

Originally premiered in 1992 at New York City’s Avery Fischer Hall, Too Hot to Handel offers audiences a fresh twist on a familiar holiday favorite. Maestra Alsop collaborated with Gary Anderson and Bob Christianson to create a revised version of Messiah that broke the traditional bounds of classical music. Maestra Alsop explains, “We started talking about this idea of re-envisioning Handel’s work, such that the DNA of the piece remained the same—the melodies, harmonies, structure and text—however, it is all treated differently. We’ve expanded the traditional orchestra to include a full rhythm section, gospel piano, electric guitars and a Hammond B-3 jazz organ. It becomes an active listening experience, when you're allowed to stand up or clap your hands."

EVENT DETAILS: Handel’s Messiah
Friday, December 4, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.—The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Edward Polochick, conductor and harpsichord
Georgia Jarman, soprano
Julie Boulianne, mezzo-soprano
Ryan MacPherson, tenor
Michael Dean, bass-baritone
Concert Artists of Baltimore Symphonic Chorale

Tickets for these performances range from $25 to $65. Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

EVENT DETAILS: Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah
Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 8:00 p.m.—The Music Center at Strathmore
Friday, December 11, 2009 at 8:00 p.m.—The Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 11 a.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall*

* Please note that Saturday’s performance is part of the Casual Concert Series and will feature highlights in an hour-long program with no intermission.<br>
Marin Alsop, conductor
Baltimore City College High School Choir
  Linda Hall, director
Clifford Carter, piano
Bob Christianson, Hammond B-3 Organ
Mike Pope, bass
Clint de Ganon, drum set

Too Hot to Handel is co-arranged and orchestrated by Bob Christianson & Gary Anderson; concept by Marin Alsop.

Tickets for these performances range from $25 to $80. Tickets are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.

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