School of music
with Peter Van de Graaff
Upcoming Specials
Advent Voices
3 broadcasts
12/3 4pm, 12/18 5pm, 12/24 10am. Advent is a time of quiet contemplation and waiting. It’s waiting for darkness to become light and for hopes to be realized. Throughout the centuries Advent has been observed musically in sacred and secular ways. Tune in for an hour of the most beautiful vocal music inspired by and written for Advent.

An Anonymous 4 Christmas
12/3 5pm; 12/23 4pm
For Christmas, the legendary Anonymous 4 sings medieval music from England, France and Spain that praises the Virgin Mary. The devotional songs come from the Codex Las Huelgas, Montpellier Codex, and Cantigas de Santa Maria. Anglo-American ballads such as the Cherry Tree Carol and A Virgin Unspotted add a homespun seasonal touch.

BYU Celebration of Christmas
3 broadcasts.
12/22 5pm; 12/23 noon; 12/25 11am. Join us for this concert recorded live in BYU's De Jong Concert Hall earlier this month. Performances by the BYU Philharmonic, Singers, Concert Choir, and Men's Chorus.

Candles Burning Brightly
12/12 8pm
A Celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights with an exploration of Chanukah foods and traditional activities…and plenty of music.

First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional
3 broadcasts
12/3 6pm (LIVE); 12/17 7:30pm; 12/19 11am. Christmas messages from General Authorities and Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

Christmas with the King’s Singers
3 broadcasts
12/21 5pm; 12/23 11am; 12/24 1pm. It’s an a cappella Christmas from England with the King’s Singers, one of the world’s most celebrated vocal ensembles. In an exclusive New York appearance recorded at The Greene Space, this male sextet — consummate entertainers with a delightfully British wit — perform timeless carols, Christmas classics and new arrangements in their impeccable vocal blend. WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon hosts.

Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir
3 broadcasts
12/20 5pm; 12/23 3pm; 12/25 10am. The sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir floated into many homes during the holidays in the '60s & '70s on Goodyear and Firestone albums, bringing lush renditions of favorite Christmas carols. Those warm memories and feelings come right back again in this holiday special. The choir continues its tradition of great artistry with touching arrangements of familiar carols, and surprises with lesser-known melodies that are fast becoming the new classics.

Classical 89 High School Choir Competition
4 schools compete
Classical 89 has invited 4 high school choirs to compete for a chance to perform on our live performance series “Highway 89.” Each choir has recorded a Christmas song in our studios, and the winners will be selected by an audience vote combined with the scores of an independent panel of judges. December 11-14 we’ll schedule one choir’s song each day at 8:06am, 12:06pm, and 4:06pm. And on December 15, we’ll announce the winner and broadcast their selection again at those same times. To listen to each choir's selection on-demand, and to vote for your favorite, please visit our Facebook page beginning December 11.

Eight Nights of Chanukah
8 broadcasts
12/12-12/19 at 6:01pm. The Jewish holiday of Chanukah – the Festival of Lights – is celebrated over the course of eight nights. In a series of radio vignettes called The Eight Nights of Chanukah, WQXR’s Naomi Lewin tells the stories, and talks about the customs of the holiday, including the Chanukah miracle, lighting the menorah, traditional foods, and why Chanukah is so hard to spell. Each of The Eight Nights of Chanukah also contains music for the holiday.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
12/24 8am; 12/25 4pm
The legendary music and spoken-word broadcast from the chapel of King’s College in Cambridge, England. Since 1928, this service of Biblical readings with choral and organ selections has been broadcast live by the BBC. It is now a treasured worldwide Christmas Eve tradition.

Handel’s Messiah
12/10 4pm
In the summer of 1741 Handel was at the peak of his musical prowess, but depressed and in debt. He began setting Charles Jennens' Biblical libretto to music at his usual breakneck speed. In just 24 days, Messiah was complete. Right up to the day of the premiere, Messiah was troubled by production difficulties and last-minute rearrangements of the score. Despite these difficulties, the oratorio soon became a favorite of audiences, with a popularity that lasts to this day.

Hollywood Holiday
12/19 5pm; 12/25 1pm
An hour of holiday movie music that ranges from the sentimental to the completely cranky. From “White Christmas” and cozy homes for the holidays, to Grinches and Scrooges, Hollywood Holiday takes in your favorite holiday movies from a musical point of view.

Leroy Anderson Christmas
12/23 10am
Classic Christmas arrangements and original music by Leroy Anderson. Co-hosted and produced by the composer's son Kurt. You’ll also hear Leroy Anderson talking about how he wrote some of his famous Christmas music and what Christmas means to him.

The Nutcracker
12/3 1pm
The complete ballet about Clara's magical journey to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

An Operavore Christmas
12/23 8pm
Naomi Lewin presents an hour of Christmas and holiday music from the world of opera and oratorio sung by some of the greatest singers past and present including Marilyn Horne, Leontyne Price, Bryn Terfel, Thomas Hampson, Joan Sutherland and more.

organ fest x
Dec 4 at 9pm
Tune in for a broadcast of “Organ Fest X." The concert, recorded October 20, 2017, features the five organists from the Salt Lake Tabernacle (Andrew Unsworth, Bonnie Goodliffe, Clay Christiansen, Linda Margetts, and Richard Elliott) as well as the organist at The Cathedral of the Madeleine, Gabriele Terrone. With anticipated retirements in the Tabernacle organ staff during the coming year, this was the final year to feature this particular group of performers, and the programming and commentary reflected the special sentiments of the occasion.

Salt Lake Children’s Choir at Christmas
Week of 12/4
12/4-12/8 at 10am and 4:06pm. Join Classical 89 for selections from the choir’s 2013 Christmas concert in the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Favorite carols, music from many lands, newer compositions, and lesser-known gems.

St. Olaf Christmas Festival
12/17 4pm; 12/23 9pm
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.

Welcome Christmas
12/24 4pm; 12/25 9am
The perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups. An hour of traditional carols and new discoveries.