Finney Chosen To Conduct Handel &
Haydn's "Messiah"

A Boston holiday tradition takes on a Boston College luster next month when University Chorale Director John Finney conducts the Handel & Haydn Society performances of George Frederic Handel's "Messiah" at Symphony Hall and the Shubert Theater from Dec. 5-14.

Finney, who has served as the Handel & Haydn Society's chorus master since 1990 and associate conductor since 1992, will be making his first appearance as conductor of "Messiah." He will conduct the Handel & Haydn orchestra and chorus and a quartet of acclaimed soloists in a 1753 version of the oratorio, which has been performed by the Boston musical society every year at the holidays since 1854.

"It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time," said Finney, who has performed the Handel masterpiece many times as an organist and harpsichordist with the society's orchestra since 1978. "It's a piece I've never tired of, one of the most magnificent pieces ever written.

"Since we'll hopefully be performing it for nearly 10,000 people, it will be a lot of great exposure for Boston College."

University Chorale Director John Finney. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)

Finney, described by the Boston Globe as "one of [Boston's] busiest and most valuable musicians," has been widely praised for his work directing several Boston-area ensembles as well as for his artistry at the organ and harpsichord.

Finney will conduct four performances at Symphony Hall - Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 6 and 7 at 3 p.m., and Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. - and three at the Shubert Theater, Dec. 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 14 at 3 p.m.

For ticket information, contact the Handel & Haydn Society at 262-1815, or consult the society's Web page.

- Mark Sullivan

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