Events & Specials

Classical 89 Top 50

Deadline for voting is December 9 | Countdown begins December 26

What are your favorite pieces of classical music? Tell us and then we’ll count down our listeners’ Top 50 the week after Christmas. We'll also play some of the "also-rans." Send us an e-mail with up to 10 favorite pieces, listed in no particular order. The deadline for your vote is December 9th. The e-mail address is To get you thinking, here is the Top 50 from last year.

01 - Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, From the New World
02 - Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
03 - Handel: Messiah
04 - Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
05 - Holst: The Planets
06 - Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
07 - Smetana: The Moldau
08 - Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherezade
09 - Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
10 - Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas
11 - Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
12 - Grieg: Peer Gynt
13 - Grieg: Piano Concerto in a
14 - Sibelius: Finlandia
15 - Beethoven: Symphony No. 6
16 - Debussy: Clair de lune
17 - Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3, Organ
18 - Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
19 - Copland: Appalachian Spring
20 - Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
21 - Barber: Adagio for Strings
22 - Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14, Moonlight
23 - Stravinsky: The Firebird
24 - Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker
25 - Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
26 - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6
27 - Mahler: Symphony No. 2
28 - Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture
29 - Copland: Rodeo
30 - Pachelbel: Canon in D
31 - Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet
32 - Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
33 -Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake
34 - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
35 - Brahms: A German Requiem
36 - Elgar: Cello Concerto in e minor
37 - Elgar: Enigma Variations
38 - Mahler: Symphony No. 1
39 - Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
40 - Verdi: Requiem
41 - Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
42 - Bizet: Carmen
43 - Grieg: Wedding Day at Troldhagen
44 - Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite
45 - Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
46 - Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
47 - Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
48 - Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor
49 - Beethoven: Violin Concerto
50 - Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man

Christmas and Chanukah Specials

We'll start including Christmas songs in our programming on November 25. We'll begin with a small hourly amount, but will increase the quantity with each passing week as we near the holiday. In addition, we've scheduled the following Christmas and Chanukah specials:

Dec. 4
1pm - The Nutcracker
6pm - First Presidency's Christmas Devotional (LIVE)

Dec. 5-9
9am and 4pm - Salt Lake Children's Choir at Christmas
Dec. 10
8pm – Christmas with Music of the Baroque
Dec. 11
8pm – Handel’s Messiah
Dec. 12
8am, noon, and 4pm – High School Choir Festival (Mountain Ridge)

Dec. 13
8am, noon, and 4pm – High School Choir Festival (Skyline)

Dec. 14
8am, noon, and 4pm – High School Choir Festival (Viewmont)

Dec. 15
8am, noon, and 4pm – High School Choir Festival (Jordan)
8pm – A Mexican Christmas

Dec. 16
8am, noon, and 4pm – High School Choir Festival (Farmington)
8pm – Candles Burning Brightly (Chanukah)

Dec. 17
11am – BYU Celebration of Christmas
4pm – Christmas with Music of the Baroque
8pm – St. Olaf Christmas Festival

Dec. 18
3pm – St. Olaf Christmas Festival
6pm – BYU Celebration of Christmas

Dec. 19
5pm – A Mexican Christmas
8pm – A Chanukah Celebration

Dec. 20
11am – First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional
5pm – Winter Holidays Around the World
8pm – The Ballad of the Brown King

Dec. 21
5pm – Candles Burning Brightly
8pm – Welcome Christmas

Dec. 22
3pm – BYU Celebration of Christmas
5pm – The Ballad of the Brown King

Dec. 23
5pm – Welcome Christmas
8pm – All is Bright

Dec. 24
8am - A Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols (LIVE)
3pm – BYU Celebration of Christmas
5pm – All is Bright
8pm – A Chanticleer Christmas
9pm – Welcome Christmas

Dec. 25
6pm – A Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols (Repeat)
8pm – All is Bright

All is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas

Dec. 23 at 8pm | Dec. 24 at 5pm | Dec. 25 at 8pm

Lynne Warfel hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star, and the manger scene. Playlist at

The Ballad of the Brown King

Dec. 20 at 8pm | Dec. 22 at 5pm

Dr. Louise Toppin, a noted performer and scholar who specializes in the concert repertoire of African American composers, presents the world premiere recording of Margaret Bonds’s The Ballad of the Brown King. With a libretto by Langston Hughes, this Christmas cantata focuses on Balthazar, the dark-skinned king who journeyed to Bethlehem to witness the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s beautifully interpreted by the New York City-based Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra, soloists soprano Laquita Mitchell, mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford and tenor Noah Stewart, led by Malcolm J. Merriweather.

BYU Celebration of Christmas

Dec. 17 at 11am | Dec. 18 at 6pm | Dec. 22 at 3pm | Dec. 24 at 3pm

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

Dec. 16 at 8pm | Dec. 21 at 5pm

A Celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights with an exploration of Chanukah foods and traditional activities…and plenty of music. Playlist at

A Chanticleer Christmas

Dec. 16 at 8pm | Dec. 21 at 5pm

Holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices." Playlist at

A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago A Cappella

Dec. 19 at 8pm

Join Jonathan Miller, artistic director of Chicago A Cappella and a longtime champion of Jewish choral music, for an inspiring and informative show featuring choral music set to Chanukah texts.

Christmas with Music of the Baroque

Dec. 10 at 8pm | Dec. 17 at 4pm

Tune in for great works by composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Gabrieli, Roland de Lassus, Hans Leo Hassler, Diego José de Salazar, and many more.

Classical 89 High School Choir Festival

Dec. 12-16, 8am, 12:02pm, 4:00pm

Classical 89 has invited 5 high school choirs to showcase their talents on the air. Each choir has recorded a Christmas song in our studios, and from December 12-16 we’ll schedule one choir’s song three times each day at 8:00am, 12:02pm, and 4:00pm.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Dec. 24 at 8am (Live) | Dec. 25 at 6pm (Repeat)

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’s now a treasured worldwide Christmas Eve tradition. Playlist at

First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

Dec. 4 at 6pm (Live) | Dec. 20 at 11am (Repeat)

Christmas messages from General Authorities and Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with music by the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

Handel’s Messiah

Dec. 11 at 3pm

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. Join us for a recording featuring soloists Arleen Auger, Anne Sophie von Otter, Howard Crook, Michael Chance, and John Tomlinson, with the English Concert conducted by Trevor Pinnock.

A Mexican Christmas

Dec. 15 at 8pm | Dec. 15 at 5pm

The Newberry Consort and EnsAmble Ad-Hoc present A Mexican Christmas, an album of 17th century traditional music for worship and celebration. The collection features pieces commonly heard in both liturgical service and in the streets, and evoke the solemnity and fanfare heard in Mexico City’s convents and plazas, with jubilant vocals and lively strings, guitars, and percussion. Organ, harp, bassoon, and a variety of Mexican traditional instruments bring this exuberant and diverse music to life.

The Nutcracker

Dec. 4 at 1pm

The complete ballet by Tchaikovsky about Clara's magical journey to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Maurice Abravanel conducts the Utah Symphony.

Salt Lake Children’s Choir at Christmas

Dec. 5-9 at 8am, noon, and 4pm

Join Classical 89 for selections from the choir’s 2021 Christmas concert in the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Favorite carols, music from many lands, newer compositions, and lesser-known gems.

St. Olaf Christmas Festival

Dec. 17 at 8pm | Dec. 1 at 3pm

A service in song and word that has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity. Recorded at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Playlist at

Welcome Christmas

Dec. 21 at 8pm | Dec. 23 at 5pm | Dec. 24 at 8pm

The perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups. An hour of traditional carols and new discoveries. Playlist at

Winter Holidays Around the World

Dec. 20 at 5pm

Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Bill McGlaughlin’s spirited selection starts in the 12th century with Nova Stella, medieval Italian Christmas music from Saint Francis of Assisi’s staging of the nativity; jazz pianist Dave Brubeck’s classical composition La Fiesta de la Posada, evoking a Mexican Christmas celebration; and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols. We will enjoy this time of year in Paris with music from Debussy, and then travel to Polynesia for a traditional hymn, Anau Oia Ea. And then ending with an excerpt from Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors from the original television production. Turn on your radio, pour a cup of hot chocolate, cozy up to a warm fire, and enjoy the music!

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