It may sound a little corny, but this truly is “the most wonderful time of the year.” Everyone has a little more spring in their step. Brightly decorated homes and shops light-up the night, and if you live in a region where the weather turns cold, the crisp air and fall leaves are reminders that another year is drawing to a close. And the big, juicy cherry on top of the holiday time fruitcake is the abundance of concerts to help you celebrate the season and ring in a new year.
Why not give yourself and your loved ones the gift of music? Here are some of our curated picks for you to choose from:
Christmas in Vienna: What can be better than spending time in one of the most culturally rich cities in the world? Being there at holiday time and seeing a performance at one of the most cherished classical music venues, The Musikverein. Enjoy the Christmas concert of the Austria Sound Philharmonic featuring music by Eybler, Mozart, and Haydn conducted by Markus Landerer. Dec. 21.
Nothing says it’s holiday time in New York more than a performance of Handel’s Messiah by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, Dec. 17-21. Jane Glover conducts the Philharmonic in the biblical-themed saga that includes the universally known Hallelujah Chorus.
If you live on the west coast, you can bask in the glory of Messiah performed by the San Francisco Symphony, conducted by Ragnar Bohlin. Dec. 13-14 at Davies Symphony Hall. The concert features vocalists Lauren Snouffer (soprano), Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, (countertenor), Ben Bliss (tenor), and Adam Lau (bass) and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus.
This year’s annual Royal Albert Hall Christmas Festival includes “Trevor Nelson’s Soul Christmas” featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra on Dec. 16. It’s an evening of holiday season classics reimagined with the help of Music Director Troy Miller and guest vocalists such as Ray BLK, Laura Mvula, Emeli Sandé, JP Cooper, Rebecca Ferguson, Eve, Samm Henshaw, Vula Malinga, and Tony Momrelle.
Come to the Windy City for an evening of Stravinsky and Dvorak with Leila Josefowicz and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Dec. 19-22 at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Symphony Center. The program feature’s Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, Op.92 and Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op.88, Stravinsky’s Concerto for Violin in D, and John Adams’ The Chairman Dances.
The world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir sets the holiday mood Dec. 20 at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, Va. The Choir was founded by Maximillian I in 1498 and over the centuries has appeared at some of the most famous venues for concerts and church services and has performed with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sing along with the more than 130 voice-strong Washington Chorus during the annual Candlelight Christmas Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 at the Kennedy Center. Under the direction of Artistic Director and Conductor, Christopher Bell, the Chorus, with the National Capital Brass, performs Christmas favorites such as The Dream Isaiah Saw and the Hallelujah Chorus.
Ring in the new year with George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Strauss waltzes and a variety of light classics performed by the Charlotte Symphony under the direction of Christopher Warren-Green. Dec. 31 at the Belk Theater in Charlotte, N.C. Admission includes a post-concert party featuring treats from Crave Dessert Bar, champagne, and dancing to the Robyn Springer Quartet while counting down to midnight.
There’s a wealth of wonderful holiday music in the air this month and we hope you have the opportunity to enjoy these special concerts. Now, what are your plans for the rest of the season? You can always stay in (especially if the weather is frightful where you live) and enjoy some binge-worthy entertainment from iconic music recordings to books, and classic movies. Enjoy!
Top photo: NY Philharmonic plays Handel's Messiah, courtesy of nyphil.com