Handel Choir of Baltimore Announces 2019-2020 Subscription Concert Series

Handel Choir of Baltimore explores the music of artists in exile during its 85th season. Highlights include the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil (Vespers) in the resplendent acoustics of the Baltimore Basilica, as well as a world premiere dedicated to the life of Pablo Casals, in collaboration with Peabody cellist Amit Peled. Though driven underground for their beliefs or displaced by war, Rachmaninoff and Casals exhibited a fearless artistry that thrived beyond the bounds of political strife and suppression. In addition to our three subscription concert series, our Chandos Singers chamber choir will share an evening of free romantic music for Valentine’s Day weekend.

“Fantastic repertoire is the lifeblood of a musical organization, and the Rachmaninoff All Night Vigil is surely one of the most beloved a cappella works in the repertoire,” said Brian Bartoldus, Artistic Director and Conductor of Handel Choir of Baltimore. “Plus, I’m simply ecstatic to work alongside Maestro Peled. I knew I wanted to collaborate with Amit from the minute I first heard him – his playing is simply sublime!”

Handel Choir’s 85th performances of Messiah take place 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 14 and 3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 15 at Grace United Methodist Church in Homeland and St. Mark Church in Catonsville, respectively. Handel Choir presents Baltimore’s only Messiah performed with a period instrument orchestra. Guest artists include the Handel Period Instrument Orchestra, Katelyn Aungst soprano, Kristen Dubenion-Smith alto, Jacob Perry, Jr. tenor, and Edward Vogel bass.

The grand dome of the Baltimore Basilica serves as an ideal acoustic for our 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7 performance of the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil. Commonly known as the Rachmaninoff Vespers, this luminous a cappella masterwork is the final, romantic flowering of the centuries-old Russian Orthodox choral tradition before its suppression by the Soviet Union.

A collaboration with Community Concerts at Second culminates Handel Choir’s season with Song of the Birds, a tribute to the life and music of cellist Pablo Casals, at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25 at Second Presbyterian Church in Guilford. We are thrilled to welcome Peabody faculty cellist Amit Peled, widely celebrated for his many concerts and recordings playing Casals’ own cello. Our program includes Bach’s beloved Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, followed by the premiere of Houses of Peace by Baltimore composer Joshua Bornfield. Bornfield’s new work for cello and chorus echoes the structure of Bach’s masterwork, weaving a tale of hope amidst the ravages of war. A reception immediately follows this concert.

A pre-concert lecture takes place one hour before each subscription concert and is open to all ticket holders.

Handel Choir is proud to announce the return of the Chandos Singers, its elite chamber chorus. Chandos’ inaugural concert, From the Heart at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 15 at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Lutherville-Timonium, begins with Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, a rapturous setting of Shakespeare’s passionate musings for sixteen soloists, violin, and piano. Romantic part songs, madrigals and songs of sacred love make for a delightful evening!

Season subscriptions will be available August 1, 2019: $110 for premium seating (front rows or center front rows of the venue) and $85 for standard seating (general admission). Full-time students with I.D. are invited to subscribe for $25.

Subscription Concert Season details are below. Contact Managing Director Cynthia Bell for high-resolution photos or other information/materials, at cbell@handelchoir.org or 667.206.4120.



Handel Messiah

7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 14, 2019
Grace United Methodist Church, 5407 N. Charles Street, Baltimore 21210
3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 15, 2019
Saint Mark Church, 30 Melvin Avenue, Catonsville 21228

The baroque master’s beloved oratorio – our 85th year!

Handel Choir of Baltimore
Handel Period Instrument Orchestra
Katelyn Aungst soprano
Kristen Dubenion-Smith alto
Jacob Perry, Jr. tenor
Edward Vogel bass
Brian Bartoldus conductor

$47/$37/$10 student with ID

Reduced ticket price available with a season subscription.


Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil

2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, 2020
Baltimore Basilica, 409 Cathedral Street, Baltimore 21201

Take an opportunity to re-center as the voices of Handel Choir resound throughout the Basilica’s glorious acoustics. Bask in Rachmaninoff’s lush, romantic harmonies as they fill the grand dome with their warmth and beauty!

Handel Choir of Baltimore
Brian Bartoldus conductor

$37/$27/$10 student with ID

Reduced ticket price available with a season subscription.


Song of the Birds: a Pablo Casals Tribute

4:00 p.m. Saturday, April 25, 2020
Second Presbyterian Church, 4200 St. Paul Street, Baltimore 21218

Peabody cellist Amit Peled joins Handel Choir in collaboration with Community Concerts at Second to celebrate the sublime artistry of Pablo Casals! Cherish the intimate beauty of Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, followed by the world premiere of Houses of Peace for cello and chorus by Baltimore’s own Joshua Bornfield.

BOULANGER Hymne au soleil
HINDEMITH Six chansons
MONTEVERDI Dolcissimo usignolo
BYRD This Sweet and Very Merry Month of May
BRAHMS O Schöne Nacht
LAURIDSEN Sure on this Shining Night
LEE III Create in Me a Clean Heart
BRAHMS Schaffe in mir Gott ein rein Herz
BACH Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major
BORNFIELD Houses of Peace

Handel Choir of Baltimore
Amit Peled cello
Brian Bartoldus conductor

$42/$32/$10 student with ID

Reduced ticket price available with a season subscription.



From the Heart
7:00 p.m. Saturday, February 15, 2020
Church of the Holy Comforter, 130 West Seminary Avenue, Lutherville-Timonium 21093

The Chandos Singers of Handel Choir of Baltimore share an evening of love songs from the Renaissance to modern day. Violinist Blair Skinner joins for Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, a Shakespearean ode to music’s amorous charms. A perfect date for Valentine’s Day!

Admission is FREE – a free-will offering will be collected to benefit Church of the Holy Comforter’s music program.


Visit www.handelchoir.org to subscribe online or to get a printable mail-in order form (available August 1, 2019), or order by phone at 667.206.4120.