Hidden from small

The Glorious Gift of Music (and Laughter)

December 08, 2015

All tied up in a beautiful bow, here’s a present we want you to peek at: The Philadelphia Orchestra’s wonderful holiday concerts.

Photo by Will Figg

We start on an incredibly high note, with Handel’s immortal Messiah (December 11-13). Although many orchestras feature a guest conductor for this holiday staple, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin himself will be on the podium. He tells the Philadelphia Inquirer he always listens to a complete Messiah over the holidays, and he’s been wanting to conduct it since coming to Philadelphia. “It’s crucially important to me … Messiah is a moment of reflection for our community at large, and it’s important to be a part of that.”

Yannick will have a super-star cast of singers at his disposal: Soprano Karina Gauvin, mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, tenor Andrew Staples, and bass Matthew Rose. And with countertenor Christophe Dumaux among the soloists, you’ll have a rare chance to hear “But who may abide the day of His coming” as Handel himself envisioned it. The Philadelphia Voices, a group of exceptional singers from throughout the area drawn together specifically for these concerts, will excel on the choral sections, including of course the “Hallelujah” Chorus. We think you’ll agree with King George II: This is music worth standing for.

Photo by Jessica Griffin

Way back in 1962, the Orchestra recorded The Glorious Sound of Christmas. We’ve been making indelible holiday memories ever since. Join us on December 17, 18, 19, or 20 as conductor Bramwell Tovey, back by overwhelming popular demand, leads this season’s edition of Glorious, featuring the Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia. From such favorites as “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” and “Silent Night,” to Tovey’s own “Rittenhouse Carol” (written specially for us last season) and his inimitable rendition of “The Night Before Christmas,” these are the perfect holiday concerts. They’re a tradition for many Philadelphia families; why not yours?

If you’re looking to ring in the New Year, look no further than the Kimmel Center, where Yannick and the Orchestra will usher in 2016 in style. From opera highlights featuring soprano Angela Meade to the “Meditation” from Thaïs with our brilliant concertmaster David Kim and “Auld Lang Syne” (starring all of you!), give 2015 the sendoff it deserves this New Year’s Eve.

What’s that you say? The holidays end on New Year’s Day? Not on our calendar! On January 2 we present the white-hot Broadway superstar, Emmy- and Tony-winner Kristin Chenoweth. She’ll sing unforgettable renditions of her hits from Wicked, Glee, and On the Twentieth Century, plus more favorites from Broadway and Hollywood. Entertainment personified!

And finally, to keep the ho-ho-hos echoing well past Saint Nick’s visit, we have a reverse stocking-stuffer (it comes after the presents have all been opened): Please join us on Sunday afternoon January 3 as we present the Capitol Steps. This legendary Washington political comedy troupe was born at a Christmas staff party; that’s all the excuse we need to bring you these expert funny-men and -women to help wrap up the holidays on a hilarious note. What better way is there to prepare for an election year? (Note: The Philadelphia Orchestra does not perform at this concert.)

Click here to find out more about our holiday concerts.