Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra presents a week-long celebration of Franz Joseph Haydn. The Haydn Festival features a series of engaging talks, social outings, amateur music making recitals and HPO performances in the community. People will get a closer look inside Haydn’s world as a teacher of Beethoven, visionary artist and Father of the Symphony. The festival concludes with HPO’s mainstage concert, Gemma Conducts Haydn at FirstOntario Concert Hall (formerly Hamilton Place).

On Friday, February 9 at 12pm, HPO’S Haydn Festival kicks off at the Hamilton Public Library Central Branch. Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte leads a free Lunch & Learn and musical demonstration of Haydn’s work and the influence it had on the music that followed.

On Saturday, February 10 at 2pm, your HPO invites amateur musicians to a Community Recital featuring movements of Haydn or Haydn-inspired work. This community event concludes in a performance by Associate Concertmaster Lance Ouellette.

On Tuesday, February 13 at 2pm the HPO returns to the Burlington Public Library for a lecture on The World before Haydn. Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte explores the music of the Baroque era and how it influenced Haydn’s work.

Also on Tuesday, February 13 at 7:30pm, Professor of Music History and Culture at the University of Toronto Dr. Caryl Clark presents a lecture on the cultural influence of Haydn at Ewart Angus Centre, McMaster University campus. In collaboration with The Hamilton Association for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art (HAALSA), this lecture explains Haydn’s fascinating life and incorporates musical demonstrations from the HPO String Quartet.

On Thursday, February 15 at 5:30pm Haydn Happy Hour heads to Shawn & Ed Brewing Co. in Dundas. Enjoy specialty brews from Shawn & Ed while the HPO String Quartet performs works influenced and written by Haydn. This casual and approachable event is a great way to appreciate the prankster, Haydn.

On Friday, February 16 at 11am the festival continues with the Seniors’ Talk and Tea at FirstOntario Concert Hall.  HPO Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte offers an informative and entertaining glimpse into Haydn’s life before a behind-the-scenes visit to the HPO rehearsal in the Great Hall.

Finally, The Haydn Festival concludes on the mainstage at FirstOntario Concert Hall with Gemma Conducts Haydn on February 17 at 7:30pm. Hear the musical voices of Haydn’s world and his most influential work, including Symphony No. 88. Principal Bassoon Eric Hall performs a work by Ignaz Pleyel, a contemporary of Haydn.

Immediately following the mainstage Gemma Conducts Haydn concert, guests are invited to join HPO musicians for a Pro-Am Jam. Professional and amateur musicians of all ages and levels are invited to the FirstOntario Concert Hall mezzanine to play an excerpt of Haydn’s unforgettable Symphony No. 104 alongside HPO musicians. Participants must be ticket holders to the Gemma Conducts Haydn concert and provide their own instrument.

Ticket information: To purchase tickets to Haydn Festival events or RSVP for free events, visit or call 905-526-7756.

Twitter: @H_P_O

About the HPO: The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.    

Media Contacts:

Christina Volpini
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 x226

Kim Varian
Director, Development and Communications
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra
905.526.1677 x222