Thursday, November 28, 7 p.m.
Eternal Echoes for Hanukkah
Host James David Jacobs joins together with violinist Itzhak Perlman and the New England Conservatory’s Hankus Netsky, a pioneer in the revival of klezmer music, to explore the musical common ground of Jewish sacred music from diverse cultures. Featuring performances by Itzhak Perlman in new, unique arrangements by Netsky, the director of NEC’s acclaimed Contemporary Improvisation department and the founder of the world-renowned Klezmer Conservatory Band.
Thursday, November 28, 8 p.m.
Thanksgiving with Cantus
Host Alison Young is joined by Cantus, one of America’s best all-male choruses, for singing and storytelling about gratitude and what it means to be thankful.
Thursday, November 28, 10 p.m.
With music and stories for Thanksgiving and no cliches about pilgrims and pumpkin pies, host John Birge creates a thoughtful, contemporary reflection on the meaning of the holiday. Guests include Julia Sweeney, Anne Lamott, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, soprano Dawn Upshaw, and a spellbinding story from actor Charles Laughton, giving thanks for art that connects us to the creative spirit.
Saturday, December 14 and 21, 8 p.m.
A two-part special: “Merry Christmas.”
Thursday, December 19, 8 p.m.
Love Is Better Than Wine
For their 25th anniversary tour of the U.S., the globally-revered vocal ensemble Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips, presents a truly sublime holiday program in concert at St. Paul’s Church in Harvard Square. Presented by the Boston Early Music Festival and hosted by Cathy Fuller.
Thursday, December 19, 9 p.m., and Sunday, December 22, Noon
Harmonia: Santa’s Playlist
When Santa and his reindeer make the rounds this Christmas, what tunes do you suppose the big guy will play on his sleigh stereo system? We’re taking our best guess on this edition of the program. Tune in for a playlist of holiday samplings from an array of early music recordings both old and new.
Friday, December 20, 8 p.m.
Afterglow: A Vintage Christmas
Doris Day, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and others help us celebrate holidays in 1940s and ’50s style.
Friday, December 20, 9 p.m.
Standards by Starlight
Host Dick Bishop presents “Holiday Spirits” on tonight’s installment.
Friday, December 20, 10 p.m.
Night Lights: Cool Christmas
Get hep to the holidays with music from Shirley Horn, Duke Ellington, Wes Montgomery, and others.
Friday, December 20, 11 p.m.
Jazz at Lincoln Center: Big Band Holidays
No one throws a holiday party like Jazz At Lincoln Center! Wynton Marsalis leads an all-star lineup through a Yuletide romp. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra is joined by vocalists René Marie and Gregory Porter for a New Orleans-style holiday treatment of I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Winter Wonderland and We Three Kings.
Saturday, December 21, 9 p.m.
The Thistle and Shamrock: A Festive Celtic Celebration
Join Fiona Ritchie to celebrate the season by exploring festive songs, carols, and dances from traditions old and new.
Sunday, December 22, 1 p.m.
With Heart and Voice: A Christmas Celebration
We ring in the Festival of Christmas with spectacular choral and organ music from around the country and around the world.
Sunday, December 22, 8 p.m.
A Journey through The Nutcracker
We go behind the scenes for Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker, uncovering the secrets of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece with conductor Jonathan McPhee, cast members, and the audience at the Boston Opera House. The story and the music unfold as never before in this gripping narrative.
Sunday, December 22, 10 p.m.
Traditional Lessons and Carols from Dallas
The Dallas Christmas Lessons and Carols has emerged as one of the most distinctive holiday events in Texas. Taking its British forebear as a starting point, it has made the rhythm of the familiar service its own in both song and text. Artistic director Scott Dettra is widely regarded as one of the finest concert organists of his generation.
Monday, December 23, 8 p.m.
St. Olaf Christmas Festival Concert
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, Minnesota, are always gone months in advance. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, and orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians who are members of five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.
Tuesday, December 24, 7 p.m.
Glad Tidings of Great Joy
Christmas comes early this year with an exceptional program, taking us from medieval England and Germany to baroque London and Leipzig with the music of Henry Purcell and Johann Sebastian Bach. From the glorious cathedral chant, Veni Emmanuel, to Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, this program offers some of the most splendid Christmas music ever to come from northern Europe. Two renowned musical institutions band together in this Early-Music tour de force: the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis, directed by Dr. Dana Marsh; and the Early Music Institute of the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, directed by Paul Elliott.
Tuesday, December 24, 8 p.m.
Ether Game: Season’s Greetings
The Ether Game Brain Trust stuffs your stockings with sounds of the season and absolutely no coal.
Tuesday, December 24, 9 p.m.
A Centennial Ceremony of Carols: A Benjamin Britten Holiday Celebration
A celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the renowned British composer Benjamin Britten through his beloved choral music for the holidays. Centerpiece of the program will be Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, which will also feature other Britten holiday works and standard carols arranged by Sir David Willcocks.
Tuesday, December 24, 10 p.m.
Horizons in Music: On Christmas Night
Arrangements of traditional carols and newly written music for the season.
Thursday, December 26, 8 p.m.
A Season’s Griot
Hosted for nearly 20 years by storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual special captures the tales, traditions, and music of African American and African peoples. This year’s program celebrates family with guests Elisha Minter, Beverly Burnette, and other members of the Season’s Griot family.