Events & Specials

Christmas and Chanukah Specials

For program descriptions, scroll further down the page.

Dec. 3 at 6pm
6pm – First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

Dec. 4-8
9am and 4pm – Salt Lake Children’s Choir at Christmas

Dec. 7
8pm – Candles Burning Brightly

Dec. 9
5pm – Candles Burning Brightly

Dec. 10
1pm – Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker

Dec. 11-14
8am, noon, 4pm – High School Choir Festival

Dec. 14
8pm – A Chanukah Celebration

Dec. 16
8pm – Your Classical Christmas Favorites

Dec. 17
3pm – Handel’s Messiah

Dec. 18
5pm – Monserrat Boy Choir
8pm – This is Christmas with Imani Winds

Dec. 19
11am – First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional
5pm – Winter Holidays Around the World
8pm – The Ballad of the Brown King

Dec. 20
3pm – BYU Celebration of Christmas
5pm – This is Christmas with Imani Winds
8pm – Welcome Christmas

Dec. 21
5pm – Ballad of the Brown King
8pm – A Winter’s Solstice

Dec. 22
5pm – Welcome Christmas
8pm – Monserrat Boy Choir

Dec. 23
11am – Your Classical Christmas Favorites
3pm – BYU Celebration of Christmas
5pm – All is Bright
8pm – St. Olaf Christmas Festival

Dec. 24
8am – A Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols (LIVE)
9:30am – Music and the Spoken Word
10am – Monserrat Boy Choir
4pm – St. Olaf Christmas Festival
6pm – BYU Celebration of Christmas
8pm – All is Bright
Dec. 25
12pm – BYU Celebration of Christmas
4pm – A Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols (Repeat)
8pm – Welcome Christmas

Dec. 26-31
8am-6pm – Classical 89 Top 100 Countdown

Dec. 31
6pm – Minnesota Orchestra New Year Celebration

Jan. 1
4pm – Minnesota Orchestra New Year Celebration

All is Bright: Contemplative Music for Christmas

Dec. 23 at 5pm | Dec. 24 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.

The Ballad of the Brown King

Dec. 19 at 8pm | Dec. 21 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. 20 at 3pm | Dec. 23 at 3pm | Dec. 24 at 6pm | Dec. 25 at noon

Join us for this concert recorded live earlier this month. Performances by the BYU Philharmonic, Singers, Concert Choir, and Men's Chorus.

Candles Burning Brightly

Dec. 7 at 8pm | Dec. 9 at 5pm

A delightful hour for everyone to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights! There is lots of music from Jewish communities worldwide, a hilarious lesson on preparing a classic Chanukah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home.

A Chanukah Celebration with Chicago A Cappella

Dec. 14 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.

Classical 89 High School Choir Festival

Dec. 11-14 at 8am, 12:02pm, and 4pm

Classical 89 has invited 4 high school choirs to showcase their talents on the air. Each choir has recorded a Christmas song in our studios, and from December 11-14 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 4pm (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.

First Presidency's Christmas Devotional

December 3 at 6pm

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. 17 at 3pm

In the summer of 1741, George Frideric 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 Elizabeth Harwood, Janet Baker, Paul Esswood, Robert Tear, and Raimund Herincx with the Ambrosian Singers and English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Charles Mackerras.

Minnesota Orchestra New Year’s Celebration

Dec. 31 at 6pm | Jan. 1 at 4pm

Ring in the new year with the Minnesota Orchestra! The program opens with Bernstein’s animated Overture to Candide. Awadagin Pratt performs the Minnesota premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Rounds for Piano and Orchestra, a work written for him. A New Year’s celebration wouldn’t be complete without adventure and passion, and the Orchestra brings that in multitudes in Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s beloved Scheherazade. Encore of 2022 live performance.

Montserrat Boy Choir

Dec. 18 at 5pm | Dec. 22 at 8pm | Dec. 24 at 10am

Perched atop the mountains near Barcelona, the choir of the Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious boy choirs. For the first time in their 800-year history, the choir made its Midwest premiere. Bringing with them a message of peace, the choristers use music to transcend borders and speak directly to your heart.

The Nutcracker

Dec. 10 at 1pm

The complete ballet by Tchaikovsky about Clara's magical journey to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Salt Lake Children’s Choir at Christmas

Dec. 4-8 at 9am and 4pm

Join Classical 89 for selections from the choir’s 2022 Christmas concert in the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

St. Olaf Christmas Festival

Dec. 23 at 8pm | Dec. 24 at 4pm

The St. Olaf Christmas Festival has become one of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations. Started in 1912 by F. Melius Christiansen, founder of the St. Olaf College Music Department, the festival includes hymns, carols, choral works and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity. It features the St. Olaf Choir, the St. Olaf Orchestra, the St. Olaf Cantorei, the St. Olaf Chapel Choir, the Manitou Singers and the Viking Chorus, performing as individual groups and as a massed ensemble.

This is Christmas with the Imani Winds

Dec. 18 at 8pm | Dec. 20 at 5pm

Join us for a new Christmas special featuring the Imani Winds.

Welcome Christmas

Dec. 20 at 8pm | Dec. 22 at 5pm | Dec. 25 at 8pm

There’s no better way to welcome Christmas than Welcome Christmas!, the VocalEssence holiday concert. It’s an hour of joyful, classic holiday music from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, singing traditional carols and new discoveries.

Winter Holidays Around the World

Dec. 19 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.

A Winter’s Solstice

Dec. 21 at 8pm

A winter solstice program, with modern classical sounds for the longest night of the year, chosen especially to complement the chilly, starry nights of the season.

Your Classical Christmas Favorites

Dec. 16 at 8pm | Dec. 23 at 11am

Listen to a countdown of favorite Christmas songs.

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