Holiday Concerts Guide 2011

Sunday, December 04, 2011

If Muzak piped over store loudspeakers has you pining for Yuletide music with a bit more soul, consider these options around New York City.

George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker
Nov. 25-Dec. 31

New York City Ballet
David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center, $55-$225 [Details]

The unmistakable sound of the celesta, Tchaikovsky’s cue for the Sugar Plum Fairy, is just one memorable moment in George Balanchine’s classic version.


Handel's Messiah
Dec. 6 & 8 at 7:30 pm

Saint Thomas Church, 1 West 53rd Street at Fifth Avenue, $35-$95 [Details]

The Saint Thomas Choir of Men & Boys. If you can only make one of the myriad performances of Messiah taking place this month, consider the choir at Saint Thomas Church.


The Colonial Nutcracker
Dec. 11 at 2 pm

Dance Theater in Westchester
Brooklyn College, 2900 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn $7 [Details]

Dance Theatre in Westchester brings a Revolutionary War version of the famous ballet to the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts.


Peter and the Wolf
Dec. 10, 11, 16, 17, 18

The Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th St., $35 [Details]

Sergei Prokofiev’s music brings the characters of this story to life. Narrated by Isaac Mizrahi, George Manahan leads the Juilliard Ensemble.


A Cathedral Christmas
Dec. 10 at 7:30 pm

St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, $40-$60 [Details]

Vivaldi's Gloria, the Charpentier Te Deum and antiphonal works for double choir by Gabrieli and Schütz highlight this program for choir, organ and orchestra. WQXR host Kent Tritle leads the Cathedral’s Choir.


American Ballet Theatre's Nutcracker
Dec. 14-30

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave.; 718-636-4100 [Details]

Alexei Ratmansky’s version of the classic premiered last year to strong reviews, and this year the company has nearly doubled the number of performances.


A New Holiday Revue
Dec. 15-17

Rose Theater, Broadway at 60th St., Ground Floor of The Shops at Columbus Circle, The Time Warner Center, $30-$120 [Details]

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis is joined by singer Kim Burrell for an evening of jazzy holiday arrangements.


My Yiddishe Chanukah: A Musical Feast for New York
Dec. 18 at 12pm
Winter Garden, 200 Vesey Street, World Financial Center, FREE [Details]

Artists from The National Yiddish Theatre-Folksblene under the direction of Zalmen Mlotek.


Vox Vocal Ensemble, Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble
Dec. 18 and 19 at 7 pm

The Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th St., FREE [Details]

The rotunda, a space designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is a unique setting for this annual concert.


Handel's Messiah
Dec. 19 at 8pm

Oratorio Society of New York
Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue at 57th St., $22-$85 [Details]

The Oratorio Society has been performing this piece annually since 1874, and the acoustics and ambiance of Carnegie's Stern Auditorium simply can’t be beat.


Seventh Annual Sephardic Music Festival
Dec 20-27

Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker Street, $18

One highlight of this week-long festival features famous Israeli musician Miki Gavrielov at Le Poisson Rouge on December 24.


Hannukah Concert: Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Band Allstars
Dec. 27
at 7:30 pm
The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, $45 [Details]

A unique spin on traditional Jewish holiday music by an energetic, globe-trotting band.


Kwanzaa Celebration
Dec. 30 at 7:30 pm

Apollo Theater, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. and Frederick Douglass Blvd. (7th and 8th avenues), $14-$16 [Details]

Featuring Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, this legendary venue hosts an evening of music and dance in celebration of Kwanzaa.


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Comments [4]


Agree with all the above. Christianity celebrates the season of Christmas up to the 6th Jan the feast of the Epihany when the wise men brought their gifts to the infant Jesus. Hope I am not offending the seperation of Church and State but I am British so it doesnt apply to me. Merry Christmas

Dec. 19 2011 02:26 PM
Ginette Lange from Woodland Park NJ

I am happy that more listenenrs feel this way about ending the Christmas season the day after the actual day. The time until Jnuary 6th is perfect for enjoying beautiful Christmas music, as it should be.

Dec. 15 2011 02:24 PM
Vincent from Massapequa Park NY

Excellent comment Peter. I always though Christmas/Holiday music stopped at midnight on Christmas Day seeing the last gifts had been sold. It was time to pack up the Christmas music until the selling began again the following October and it was time to push Christmas/Holiday gifts again. I think it would be nice in WQXR occasionally played Christmas/Holiday music until January 6th.

Dec. 12 2011 08:49 PM
Peter O'Malley from Oakland, New Jersey

I must chime in with my annual complaint here; why is it that Christmas music is killed off, essentially, on the day the actual season (the 12 days of Christmas, ending with Twelfth Night, January 5th) is just starting? I know that it's partially because it's been in overdrive since before Thanksgiving, but why does WQXR, who is not beholden to retailers, go along with it? Just thought I'd ask.

Dec. 06 2011 04:44 PM

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