Celebrate the season with our annual feast of holiday specials! And of course, many of our regular programs will celebrate, too.
Your membership support helps make our special programs possible. Thanks and have a wonderful holiday season!
Tuesday, December 24th
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (live broadcast at 9am C.T./10am E.T.): Each year's broadcast begins with the sound of a single voice breaking the silence within the medieval chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England. Each year, readings are woven among carols that celebrate the storied English choral tradition. Learn more and download this year's program booklet. (repeated on Christmas Day at 1 pm C.T./2 pm E.T.).
A Journey Through the Nutcraker (11am C.T./Noon E.T.) Host James David Jacobs goes behind the scenes for Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker, uncovering the secrets of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece with conductor Jonathan McPhee, cast members, and the audience at the Boston Opera House. The story – and the music – unfolds as never before in this gripping narrative.
St. Olaf Christmas Festival (1 pm C.T./2 pm E.T.) A service in song and word that has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations. Tickets to the event, which takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, are always gone months in advance. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.
Wednesday, December 25th
Handel's Messiah from Boston (9am C.T./10am E.T.): No holiday season is complete without Handel’s stunning oratorio, and one of Boston's most cherished holiday traditions: Music Director Harry Christophers leads the Handel & Haydn Society Period Instrument Orchestra, Chorus, and internationally-acclaimed soloists in Handel's dramatic masterwork, in the acoustic splendor of Boston’s Symphony Hall.
Selected Shorts Christmas Special (Noon C.T./1pm E.T.) On this program, three stories are presented that each offer a different side of the Christmas experience, as well as a hilarious poem by humorist Calvin Trillin.
The first story narrated is Ron Carlson’s charming and funny, “The H Street Sledding Record,” in which a young family enacts a unique Christmas ritual. Frank O’Connor’s “Christmas Morning” gives a richly detailed picture of a family in turn-of-the-century Ireland, and a touching portrait of a mother’s attempt to make things perfect for her young sons one day of the year.
George Shephard’s “Occurrence on the Six-Seventeen.,’ first published in The New Yorker in the 1930s, imagines a small Christmas miracle—sober, self-absorbed commuters, “with necks that know exactly how long they must be pressed against the seat back”, briefly unite in decorating a forlorn tree that has been smuggled on board their train. The reader is Broadway star Tony Roberts.
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (1pm C.T./2 pm E.T.): A rebroadcast of Tuesday’s live program from the medieval King’s College Chapel in Cambridge, England. You can see the 2013 program notes here.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Boston Baroque Gala First Day Concert 2014 (8pm C.T./9pm E.T.) Champagne, Concertos…and Coffee! Join us for a Boston New Year’s Tradition, now shared with the nation! Martin Pearlman leads Boston Baroque, now in its 40th Anniversary Season as America’s oldest “period-instrument” orchestra in a festive All-Bach New Year’s Day concert live from Sanders Theatre in Harvard Square.