Christmas concerts with live audiences: where can you attend classical concerts this Christmas?

A round-up of the venues hosting live Christmas concerts and showcasing classical artists across the UK

Merton College - Christmas Carol Service by Ian Wallman

The Sixteen at Cadogan Hall

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Tuesday 15 December, 5pm and 7.30pm
Wednesday 16 December, 5pm and 7.30pm

This concert will be recorded for later broadcast on Wednesday 23 December at 7.30pm.

Programme:

Traditional The truth from above
Will Todd My Lord has come
Palestrina Rorate caeli
Howard Skempton Adam lay ybounden
Byrd Rorate caeli
Traditional Gabriel’s message
Nicholas Allan Jesus’ Christmas Party
plainsong Veni, veni Emmanuel
Jonathan Dove I am the Day
Traditional Wexford Carol
Lassus Laetentur caeli
Ord Adam lay ybounden
Byrd Laetentur caeli
Clement Clarke Moore The Night before Christmas
Leontovich Carol of the Bells
McDowall Now may we singen

Organ Recital with Benjamin Nicholas at Merton College Chapel, Oxford

Thursday 17 December, 1.15pm

This event will also be livestreamed on YouTube. Book seats here. Livestream link here.

Programme:

Louis-Claude Daquin Noël Suisse
Henri Mulet Noël

Three Chorale Preludes:

  • JS Bach Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 659
  • Jeanne Demessieux Rorate Caeli
  • JS Bach Wachet Auf BWV 645

Alexandre Guilmant Offertoire sur Deux Noëls

Judith Bingham The Dawn of Redeeming Grace

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, from the Nutcracker Suite Op.71a

  1. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
  2. Dance of the Reed Pipes

Olivier Messiaen Dieu Parmi Nous (La Nativité du Seigneur)

Swing into Christmas at Cadogan Hall

Thursday 17 December, 5pm and 8pm

Down for the Count Concert Orchestra feat. City String Ensemble with conductor Mike Paul-Smith.

Programme to include:

I’ve Got You Under My Skin
That Ole Devil Called Love
When I Fall In Love
Let’s Face the Music and Dance
Chestnuts Roasting (The Christmas Song)
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

London Gay Men’s Chorus at Snape Maltings

Friday 18 December, 12pm and 4pm

Programme to include Christmas classics, pop hits, carols and musical numbers.

The Swingles at Snape Maltings

Friday 18 December, 7pm
Saturday 19 December, 2pm and 7pm

Programme to include reworkings of Christmas classics and modern seasonal favourites.

Hampstead Jazz Club at Cadogan Hall

Saturday 19 December, 7pm

Live performance with socially distanced audience and ticketed live stream.

Host Nigel Williams/ Carroll Thompson/ Paul Lee/ Jo Harrop/ Tara Minton

Featuring Pianist Alex Webb/ pianist Phil Merriman/ pianist Paul Edis/ guitarist Ciyo Brown/ saxophonist Tommaso Starace/ trumpeter Freddie Gavita/ double bassist Ed Babar/ drummer David Ingamells/ Amika String Quartet.

Chamber Choir of London at Snape Maltings

Sunday 20 December, 12pm and 4pm

Programme to include Britten’s A Ceremony of CarolsCoventry CarolSilent Night and Christmas carols written in the last century.

Solus Trumpet Ensemble at Snape Maltings

Monday 21 December, 12pm and 4pm

Programme to include trumpet ensemble arrangements of Christmas music ranging from Britten to Mariah Carey.

The King’s Singers at Snape Maltings

Tuesday 22 December, 12pm and 4pm

Programme to include Christmas pieces from the UK, Europe and America, from Victoria’s O Magnum mysterium to carol arrangements and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. 

Carols by Candlelight at Cadogan Hall

Thursday 24 December, 3pm

Soprano Harriet Eyley/ Mozart Festival Chorus/ Mozart Festival Ensemble in full 18th century costume/ conductor Steven Devine/ special guest reader Mark Williams

Programme:

Cullen Joy to the World
Pearsall In dulci jubilo
Willcocks I saw three ships
Handel Let the Bright Seraphim
Rutter Sussex Carol
Handel Eternal Source of Light Devine
Willcocks Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Vaughan Williams O Little Town of Bethlehem

Viennese Christmas Spectacular at Cadogan Hall

Sunday 27 December, 3.30pm and 7pm

London Concertante

Programme:

Strauss Die Fledermaus Overture
Strauss Trish-trasch Polka
Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty Waltz
Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5
Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite
Strauss Blue Danube Waltz

Rainer Hersch Orkestra at Cadogan Hall

Thursday 31 December, 3pm and 7pm

Rainer Hersch Orkestra with I Fagiolini Choir.

Programme:

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Trump: The Opera (world premiere)
The Brexit Train or ‘Goodbye E.U.’
BBC Radio 4 The Shipping Forecast (orchestrated)
Beethoven Complete Symphonies in 5 minutes
Bizet Carmen Overture
Handel Zadok the Priest (‘translated’)
Pachelbel Canon Remix
Ravel Bolero
Wagner The Ride of the Valkyries
plus, the traditional, comedy ‘conducting competition’, seasonal favourites and more.