Our Christmas cover star is the soprano Diana Damrau. The German chanteuse tells Rebecca Franks how she is celebrating the festive season: with a new recording that recalls the Christmas music of her Bavarian childhood.
Elsewhere in the magazine, we give some thought to that all-important question: what is the perfect music to get yourself in the Christmas mood? Ten of our writers including Stephen Johnson, Richard Morrison, Tom Service and Natasha Loges reveal the music that gets them feeling festive.
We're off to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland this issue. Jessica Duchen explores how Romantic composers were inspired by the peaks and waterfalls of the Swiss Alps to wrote some of the era's most rousing and atmospheric music. And we also take a journey back in time, as Nicholas Kenyon looks at the history of early music broadcasting over the BBC's 100 years on air.
Among our regular features, Paul Riley selects the best versions of Messiaen's La Nativité du Seigneur, while Clare Stevens salutes the choral brilliance of John Rutter, our Composer of the Month. And Andrew Nethsingha, soon to take over as organist and choirmaster at Westminster Abbey, is this month's BBC Music Magazine interviewee.
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Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.