Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Continues Messiah Tradition!

One of the world’s most beloved musical works, George Frideric Handel’s musical masterpiece Messiah—first premiered by Handel in the spring of 1742—will be presented once again by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in April 2020! This continues a biennial tradition begun in 2014.

Plan to join us on Good Friday, April 10. and Saturday, April 11, 2020. as part of your Easter weekend celebrations.

In 2014, 2016, and 2018, the Choir and Orchestra performed Messiah at Easter time in the Salt Lake Tabernacle and live streamed the concert over the internet to audiences around the world. With each concert the audiences for both the live performances and the digital stream have continued to grow. On Temple Square and at other places around the world, people have gathered in homes, schools, and community centers to share the Messiah experience through the performance of the Choir and Orchestra.

In 2018, the Choir and Orchestra’s Messiah concerts reached a total audience over 250,000 around the world. Nearly 50,000 of that total viewed the live performances on Temple Square or via the digital live stream available from the Choir’s website. Following the live performance and stream, an additional audience of nearly 195,000 enjoyed the concert over the internet for ten days. Of the total number, over 36,000 viewed the internet stream in French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The Choir has both an appreciation for and a long history with Handel’s Messiah.

  • The first Messiah oratorio performance of the Choir and local community members took place in Salt Lake City in 1875—just a few years after the railroad connected the country.
  • In 1893, “Worthy Is the Lamb” from Messiah was the first of three numbers sung by the Choir in the World’s Fair music competition in Chicago, Illinois—the Choir’s first tour outside the state of Utah.
  • In 1910, the first recording of the Choir included the “Hallelujah” Chorus from Messiah—a “milestone in the history of recorded music” because it was the first successful recording of a large choral group.
  • The Choir’s 1959 recording of Messiah with Richard Condie and Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra received a Gold Album and was later placed in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for its significance.
  • In March 2016, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square released a landmark recording of Handel’s beloved oratorio in an edition by Mack Wilberg for large choir and orchestra which still retains the Baroque aesthetics and sound of Handel’s original masterpiece. Relying on history and musical tradition, Wilberg created a Messiah for our own time.

Mark your calendars now for April 10 and 11, 2020!