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By Olivia Kiers / September 21, 12:00 AM
Boston Accent: Music to Her Ears

Concertmaster Aisslinn Nosky shares the joy of Handel and Haydn Society’s period-accurate performances

Photo: Stu Rosner


Few people have a more interesting job title than Aisslinn Nosky, concertmaster with Boston’s baroque and classical music orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society (H+H). “Concertmasters are the first violinist, or leader of an orchestra’s string section,” Nosky explains. “I’ve played professionally for orchestras since my undergraduate days. As a violinist, my training just came through years of experience, and now I manage the string section.”

Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Nosky arrived in Boston to join H+H in 2011, right before the venerable society’s 200th anniversary in 2015. “One of the main reasons I love Handel and Haydn is that we use historical instruments—18th century antiques or copies that are actually quite different from the instruments used today in orchestras,” Nosky says. “The music we play resembles what Handel or Mozart would have listened to as they composed. I feel this gives us a deeper insight into the composer, and their world of sound.”

She’s excited to open the current season at Symphony Hall on Friday, September 28 with the program “The Great Bach Concertos and Cantatas.” Nosky describes one of the pieces in the evening’s lineup, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, as “justly some of the most famous music ever written.” She continues: “It’s really entertaining, both to play and to watch. Because of the complicated interplay among instruments, people have likened it to a fast-paced sports game.” H+H’s second concert takes place in early November, featuring Beethoven’s epic Emperor Piano Concerto No. 5, and Schubert’s The Great Symphony No. 9 in C Major. “Schubert’s symphony was unknown until after his death. There’s some mystery why this intriguing, melodic work was never shared in his lifetime.”

H+H attracts Bostonians and visitors from all walks of life to its renowned concerts. “The only thing needed to enjoy a concert is curiosity,” says Nosky. “Our audiences range from life-long connoisseurs, to high schoolers who didn’t know what to expect. It’s rewarding for me to see all the people who come, who become interested in the music and period instruments, and who simply have fun.”


September 28 & 30 at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., 617-266-3605, handelandhaydn.org

301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
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