Boston Handel and Haydn Society CEO to Step Down

Classic Arts News   Boston Handel and Haydn Society CEO to Step Down
Mary A. Deissler, chief executive officer of the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, is leaving her post next month, reports The Boston Globe.

The paper writes that when Deissler, now 50, joined the organization in 1982, it had an annual budget of $600,000 and a deficit of $250,000; it now has an annual budget of $3.2 million and a $3 million endowment.

Deissler will still offer her services as a consultant to the group, but told the Globe she felt it was time to "try something different before I get old."

During her lengthy tenure, Deissler has worked with music directors Thomas Dunne, Christopher Hogwood, and Grant Llewellyn. She has also lined up an "artistic triumverate" for next season consisting of artistic adviser Sir Roger Norrington, principal conductor Llewellyn and conductor laureate Hogwood.

The ensemble has traveled frequently to national and international festivals and soon will perform at the Haydn Festival in the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria. The group has also released several successful records over the past few years, including Peace and All Is Bright.

One of the biggest problems H&H faces today, Deissler said, is a lack of desirable performing dates in Sanders Theatre and Symphony Hall, where the group performs. "Basically we have been homeless for 190 years," Deissler told the paper, "and that makes planning and scheduling very difficult. I guess we should be grateful that we don't face the issue of a leaking roof, but if someone were to offer to build us a suitable venue, we would be very happy."

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