Classical Music

Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society Names New Artistic Director

Jonathan Cohen will assume the role in the ensemble’s 2023/24 concert season and continue until the 2027/28 season


English conductor, cellist, and keyboardist Jonathan Cohen will soon join the GRAMMY-winning ensemble, Handel And Haydn Society (H+H), as its 15th artistic director.

At age 44, Cohen is one of the youngest to take up the role in H+H’s over 200-year history.

The founder and artistic director of the UK-based early music ensemble Arcangelo, Cohen is a two-time Gramophone Award winner and GRAMMY Award Nominee. He is also music director of Quebec’s Les Violons du Roy, artistic director of the UK’s Tetbury Festival, and artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Cohen made his H+H debut in February 2020 and returned this year for another program. He opened the H+H 2022/23 Season to great acclaim and is set to return on December 15 and 18, 2022, to conduct H+H’s Christmas concerts.

“From Jonathan’s first performances with Handel and Haydn it was clear that his approach to music-making aligns powerfully with what H+H is all about: a sense of immediacy, connection and engagement between musicians, audience, and composer,” commented H+H president and CEO, David Snead. “Jonathan understands that performing on period instruments is not an academic exercise; it’s about performing this music with the freshness and vibrancy of new music, regardless of when it was written.”

Hailing from Manchester, England, Cohen studied the cello and was an “Instrumental Scholar” at Cambridge’s Clare College, where he graduated in 2000. Soon after, he co-founded acclaimed early music ensembles including the London Haydn Quartet and Arcangelo in 2010. 

“Working with H+H is a dream come true, allowing me to work collaboratively with some of the most skilled and passionate musicians on the planet to create beautiful performances that will leave a lasting impact on our audiences,” Cohen added. “I look forward to sharing my love and passion with future audiences and creating moving and memorable experiences in the concert hall.”


Founded in 1815, H+H has performed baroque and classical music for over 200 consecutive seasons, reaching over 50,000 listeners each year with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other venues.

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