fb-pixel Skip to main content

8 classical concerts Yule be sure to enjoy

Keith Lockhart led the Boston Pops 2020 Holiday Celebration.Aram Boghosian/BSO

BOSTON POPS The Boston Pops turn Symphony Hall into a winter wonderland for almost the entire month of December, with all the holiday favorites you’d expect, carol sing-alongs, and a visit from Santa Claus. Families with young children may want to opt for one of the seven 11 a.m. children’s matinees, which are shorter with no intermission. Dec. 2-24. 617-266-1200, www.bso.org

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY: BACH CHRISTMAS Making his H+H debut, French conductor Raphaël Pichon leads holiday music by two Bachs (J.S. and C.P.E.) and Giovanni Gabrieli. Dec. 3, Saint Cecilia Parish, Boston; Dec. 4 and 5, First Church in Cambridge. 617-266-3605, www.handelandhaydn.org


Holiday Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, pictured right, will lead the Pops in 34 performances this December, with seven children's matinees and one sensory-friendly concert.Winslow Townson

MISTRAL MUSIC This Brookline-based ensemble revives a holiday tradition with its Baroque Big Band concert, which promises several vibrant Baroque concertos by Bach, Vivaldi, Telemann, and Vitali. Dec. 4, Ruggles Baptist Church, Brookline; Dec. 5, South Church, Andover. www.mistralmusic.org

BOSTON CAMERATA: A MEDIEVAL CHRISTMAS Artistic director Anne Azéma leads an all-female ensemble of singers and musicians in a grand tour of Christmas music from medieval Europe in this program, which just was released on CD by Harmonia Mundi. Dec. 17, Follen Church, Lexington; Dec. 18, Central Congregational Church, Newburyport; Dec. 19, First Church in Cambridge. 617-262-2092, www.bostoncamerata.org

Boston Camerata artistic director Anne Azéma (center, standing) will lead "A Medieval Christmas" this December.Dan Busler

MUSICIANS OF THE OLD POST ROAD: SOUNDING JOY Works for the festive season from the Classical period, including Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate, an Advent aria by Haydn, and Leopold Mozart’s Musical Sleigh Ride. Dec. 18, Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester. Virtual tickets also available. www.oldpostroad.org

MESSIAH Handel’s evergreen oratorio remains as popular as ever for the Christmas season, though participatory sing-ins are slightly more sparse this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

Ryan Turner led the Orchestra and Chorus of Emmanuel Music during rehearsal at Emmanuel Church in Boston on March 15, 2016. John Blanding, Boston Globe staff

EMMANUEL MUSIC: CHRISTMAS IN LEIPZIG Bach bastion Emmanuel Music presents music from the composer’s first Christmas in his adopted home of Leipzig, 1723: the beloved Magnificat and a rarely performed cantata. Dec. 19, 3 p.m. Emmanuel Church. 617-536-3356, www.emmanuelmusic.org


SEVEN TIMES SALT: THE MOON BEFORE YULE This rollicking period instrument band presents its 19th annual celebration of the winter solstice, which promises French Baroque carols, Sephardic Jewish songs, Irish dance music, and complimentary hot cider outside after the concert. Advance ticket purchase required; no door sales. Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. Church of the Good Shepherd, Watertown. www.seventimessalt.com

A.Z. Madonna can be reached at az.madonna@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @knitandlisten.