The Handel Institute

The Handel Institute

The Handel Institute was established by a declaration of trust in 1987 to advance education by promoting the study and appreciation of the music and life of George Frideric Handel and his contemporaries and associates and by supporting and publishing the fruits of research into such areas. Its activities and organization are as follows.

Hallische Händel-Ausgabe
The Handel Institute is the principal means whereby British Handel scholarship is channelled into the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe (HHA), the modern collected edition of Handel’s works. The Editorial Board of the HHA includes two representatives of the Institute, one of whom is joint general editor.

Gerald Coke Handel Foundation
The Institute nominates two members to the board of the Gerald Coke Handel Foundation, which was created jointly by The Thomas Coram Foundation (known now as Coram Family) and The Handel Institute to realize the vision of the late Gerald Coke, the Institute’s first patron, for the preservation and use of his magnificent Handel collection. The GCHF is responsible for funding and managing the Gerald Coke Handel Collection, which is housed in The Foundling Museum at 40 Brunswick Square, London, WC1N 1AZ.

Scholarly Activity
The Institute organizes academic conferences and also study days related to forthcoming performances. The conferences are normally international and triennial: 'Handel Collections and their History' (1990: papers published by OUP, 1993); 'Handel in the 1730s' (1993); 'Handel and His Rivals' (1996); 'Great among the Nations' (1999); 'Handel in Cities and Houses' (2002); 'Performing Handel – Then and Now' (2005); Commemorating Handel (2007); 'Purcell, Handel and Literature' (2009 - in collaboration with the Purcell Society, the Open University and the University of London's Institute of Musical Research); 'Handel at Court' (2012); 'Handel and his Eighteenth-Century Performers' (2015). Study days have included 'From Passion to Oratorio' (London, 2002), 'Serse in Perspective' (Cambridge, 2003), 'Tamerlano' (Cambridge, 2005), 'Imeneo' (Cambridge, 2007), 'Ariodante' (Cambridge, 2009), 'Handel Documents' (London, 2010), 'Agrippina' (Cambridge, 2011), 'Atalanta' (Cambridge, 2013) and 'Theodora' (Manchester 2017).

Awards for Research
Handel Institute Research Awards are intended to help individual scholars pursue a research project relating to George Frideric Handel or his associates or contemporaries. No single award will exceed £1,000, but more than one award may be made. Awards may not be used to pay university or college fees. The closing date for applications was 30 November 2017. Past recipients and their subjects include:

  • Susanne Dunlap (New York): the sources of the libretto of Susanna
  • David Hunter (Austin, Texas): the Irish audience for and against Handel
  • Berta Joncus (Oxford): the career of singer–actress Kitty Clive
  • Olga Komok (St Petersburg): London concert life in the first third of the eighteenth century
  • Thomas McGeary (Champaign, Illinois): opera and patronage in Handel's London
  • Natassa Varka (University of Cambridge): the Aylesford sources of Handel's music from Saul onwards
  • Helen Coffey (Open University): archival research on musical patronage in Hanover
  • Matthew Gardner (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg): studying the performing scores of Handel's Deborah
  • Robert Rawson (Canterbury): for an edition and recording of Pepusch’s Venus and Adonis
  • Judit Zsovár (Budapest): for research on the singer Anna Maria Strada
  • Carlo Lanfossi (Pennsylvania): Handel as Arranger and Producer: Listening to Pasticci in Eighteenth-Century London
  • Valentina Anzani (Bologna): A controversial singer among Handel’s interpreters: Antonio Maria Bernacchi
  • Elizabeth Ford (Glasgow): Edition of the chamber music of James Oswald
  • Makiko Hayasaka (Bristol): Accompanying the Nation: Handel’s Choral Works Arranged for Music Festivals in Nineteenth-Century Britain, with Particular Reference to Manuscript Scores by Sir Michael Costa
  • Carole Taylor (Huddersfield): Funding of the Italian opera in 1730s London

Conference Awards
Handel Institute Conference Awards are intended to help individuals attend an overseas conference to read a paper on a Handel-related subject that has already been accepted by the conference organisers. The awards, which relate to the cost of travel and/or accommodation, are open to UK residents who wish to attend a conference elsewhere and to overseas residents who wish to attend one in the UK; preference will be given to postgraduate students and early-career academics.

Further Particulars

Grants for Staged Productions of Handel's Operas
The Handel Institute offers a grant of up to £5,000 towards a production of an opera by Handel. The production should be planned to take place before the end of 2020. The production company may be professional or amateur or a combination. The closing date for applications is 31 October 2018. Past recipients include:

Further Particulars

The Institute publishes a Newsletter twice a year. Regular items include short research articles, and previews and reviews of Handel festivals, conferences and opera productions, especially those taking place overseas.

Members of the Institute work closely with sister organizations at home and abroad, notably the Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Gesellschaft (Halle), the American Handel Society, the London Handel Festival, the Foundling Museum and the Handel House Trust. King’s College London and the Royal Musical Association each nominate a Handel Institute trustee.

Donald Burrows (chair); Laurence Cummings; Linda, Lady Davies; John Deathridge; John Greenacombe; Andrew V. Jones; Curtis Price; Ruth Smith; Colin Timms; Lawrence Wragg

Donald Burrows (chair); Terence Best; Carrie Churnside; Helen Coffey; Victoria Cooper; Matthew Gardner; Berta Joncus; Andrew Jones; Sylvia Levi (treasurer); Curtis Price; Ruth Smith; Reinhard Strohm; Colin Timms; David Vickers; Silas Wollston

Dr Helen Coffey (

Winton Dean
The Handel Institute regrets to announce the death, on Thursday 19 December 2013, at the age of 97, of the distinguished Handel scholar Winton Dean (b. 1916). Dean’s interest in Handel was stimulated at Cambridge during the 1930s by staged performances of the composer’s oratorios. His book on Handel’s Dramatic Oratorios and Masques (1959) established him as the foremost Handel scholar of his generation and was followed by two magisterial volumes on the composer’s operas (1987 and 2006), the first a collaboration with J. Merrill Knapp. The funeral took place at Hambledon (Surrey) church on Friday 10 January at 11.30am. An appreciation of Dean’s life and work appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of the Newsletter of the Handel Institute, of which he was a founder-member and a benefactor.

To become a Friend of The Handel Institute the minimum subscription is £20/$36 per annum (student £10/$18). As a Friend of The Handel Institute you will receive two issues of the Newsletter for each year of subscription, and you will be supporting the work of a registered educational charity devoted to Handel. We also welcome larger donations and gifts; their value is increased if made under the Gift Aid Scheme. Please address all subscriptions, contributions and related enquiries to the treasurer:

Sylvia Levi
254a Kew Road
United Kingdom

All other enquiries should be addressed to the Secretary:

Dr Helen Coffey





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Last updated: March 19, 2018  · Site design: Duncan Fielden, Matthew Gardner and David Vickers