Detail from a portrait of Handel attributed to Balthasar Denner, 1726–8, The National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG 1976
Detail from a portrait of Handel attributed to Balthasar Denner, 1726–8, The National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG 1976
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The Handel Institute fosters the study and appreciation of the music and life of George Frideric Handel (1685–1759), and of his associates and contemporaries.

It is not a membership society. Its purpose is to co-ordinate and make accessible the work of British Handel scholars, and to promote Handel scholarship internationally, in collaboration particularly with the Georg-Friedrich-Händel-Gesellschaft and the American Handel Society.

The Handel Institute is governed by Trustees with an interest in Handel. Its activities are directed by a Council  formed from among Handel scholars who are based mainly in Britain.

The Handel Institute exists to:

  • stimulate and fund research, publications and performances
  • supply information and educational input for Handel performances
  • represent Britain, and provide editors and editorial consultants, for the ongoing modern critical edition of Handel’s collected musical works (Hallische Händel-Ausgabe)
  • maintain links with British and foreign institutions concerned with Handel and his times

Activities realising these aims include:

Recent activities:

  • Updated website, assisted by Thirty8Digital, launched in September 2021 to stimulate and fund research, publications and performances
  • Conference ‘Handel and his Music for Patrons’ at The Foundling Museum on 23–25 November 2018: 65 delegates from Japan, the USA, the UK and Europe; 17 papers, including four by HI Council members; two concerts – at the British Library and at St Lawrence Whitchurch, Little Stanmore
  • Planning the conference ‘Handel: Interactions and Influences’ at The Foundling Museum on 20–21 November 2021
  • Research awards were made to Elena Abbado (for work on the singer Stefano Frilli) and Emily Baines (for research into the implications of mechanical musical instruments for historically informed performance)
  • Conference awards were made to Christopher Parton and Elizabeth Ford in 2020 to enable them to read papers at conferences of the Society for Eighteenth-Century Music in Stockholm (March) and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh (April), respectively
  • Financial and academic support for the Cambridge Handel Opera Company production of Tamerlano
  • George Frideric Handel: Collected Documents: vol. 4 was published (2020), and work continued on vol. 5 (the last)
  • Hallische Händel-Ausgabe: six Council members continued work on editions: Carrie Churnside (Muzio Scevola), Matthew Gardner (Deborah), Andrew V. Jones (Cantatas for solo voice and continuo), Reinhard Strohm (Scipione), David Vickers (Partenope) and Silas Wollston (Hercules)
  • In 2020 the Handel Institute Newsletter issues included articles by Donald Burrows, Andrew Jones, Ruth Smith, Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson, Hiromi Hoshino, and John Snape (see ‘Newsletter’)
  • Gerald Coke Handel Foundation (GCHF): the Handel Institute’s nominees (Andrew V. Jones and Peter Smaill) continue to represent the Institute on the board of the GCHF, the body that supports the maintenance and development of the Gerald Coke Handel Collection at The Foundling Museum