Critic’s picks: Holiday classical music concerts

The British vocal ensemble Tallis Scholars performs in a holiday-themed program Dec. 2.
Eric Richmond
The British vocal ensemble Tallis Scholars performs in a holiday-themed program Dec. 2.

Critic’s Picks:
Classical Music

CELEBRITY SERIES: CHANTICLEER A century-hopping, Christmas-themed program from the California-based men’s a cappella choir. Nov. 30. Jordan Hall. 617-482-6661,

HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY: HANDEL’S “MESSIAH’’ Under the direction of Harry Christophers, with vocal soloists Karina Gauvin (soprano), Daniel Taylor (countertenor), James Gilchrist, (tenor), and Sumner Thompson (bass). Nov. 31-Dec. 2. Symphony Hall. 617-266-3605, www.handeland
Also from H&H: Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio,” under John Finney’s direction. Dec. 13, 16. Jordan Hall.

EMMANUEL MUSIC: BACH’S CHRISTMAS ORATORIO With the chorus, soloists, and orchestra under the direction of Ryan Turner. Composer John Harbison delivers a pre-concert talk. Dec. 1. Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St. 617-536-3356,


BOSTON EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL: TALLIS SCHOLARS A holiday-themed program with works by Vivanco, Lassus, and Arvo Pärt from the veteran British vocal ensemble. Dec. 2. St. Paul Church, Cambridge. 617-661-1812,

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BOSTON POPS The BSO rolls out its Holiday Pops programming starting on Dec. 5, with the orchestra led by Keith Lockhart. Through Dec. 24. 617-266-1200,

BOSTON BAROQUE: HANDEL’S “MESSIAH’’ Under the direction of Martin Pearlman, with vocal soloists Mary Wilson (soprano), Ann McMahon Quintero
(mezzo-soprano), John McVeigh (tenor), and Andrew Garland (baritone). Dec. 7-8. Jordan Hall. 617-987-8600, Also from Boston Baroque: Pergolesi’s “La Serva Padrona,” with baritone David Kravitz. Dec. 31, Jan. 1. Sanders Theatre.

MUSICIANS OF THE OLD POST ROAD: A FESTIVE CHRISTMAS FROM GERMANY Works by Bach, Werner, and Graupner, with guest artist Kristen Watson (soprano). Dec. 8. Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St. 781-466-6694, www.oldpost

BOSTON CAMERATA: A HISPANIC CHRISTMAS, 1300-1700 Works from Spanish-speaking countries, under the direction of Joel Cohen, with the women’s choir Les Fleurs des Caraïbes as guests. Dec. 15-22. Various locations. 617-262-2092,


BLUE HERON: CHRISTMAS IN 15th CENTURY FRANCE & BURGUNDY Music by Dufay, Josquin, Obrecht, and Brumel, led by Scott Metcalfe. Dec. 21-22. First Church, Cambridge,
11 Garden St. 617-960-7956,

CHORAL BOSTON Many of the city’s choruses have ambitious holiday plans, for instance: Coro Allegro (Nov. 18); Zamir Chorale (Dec. 2); Exsultemus (Dec. 9); Boston Gay Men’s Chorus (Dec. 9-17); Masterworks Chorale (Dec. 14-15); Boston Cecilia (Dec. 14 and 16); Back Bay Chorale (Dec. 15); Musica Sacra (Dec. 15); Boston Choral Ensemble (Dec. 15); Cappella Clausura (Dec. 15-16); Chorus Pro Musica (Dec. 21). www.bostonsings
Also, some out-of-town guests: the Vienna Boys Choir sings (Dec. 2) at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

Jeremy Eichler