WRTI's 2022 Classical holiday soundtrack with beloved specials: The schedule is here!
Where can you find the most delightful music for the most wonderful time of the year? On WRTI, of course! A sleighful of yuletide favorites are on their way to bring joy and cheer to your Christmas season.
Our carefully curated playlists and beloved specials will keep the wonder and sparkle of the holidays alive for you from now through New Year's Day. Listen on the radio at 90.1, or stream from the WRTI mobile app or your favorite smart speaker.
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Week of Dec. 19
Breakfast with Bach, 8 a.m. - Enjoy music from J. S. Bach’s extensive catalog of music composed for Christmas and Advent.
Morning Meditation, 11 a.m. - Take the edge off of holiday stress with sublime Christmas music by Eric Whitacre, Charles Gounod, Morten Lauridsen and more.
Flix@5 - Music from Christmas movie favorites by Alan Silvestri (from The Polar Express), Albert Hague (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!), and John Williams (from Home Alone).
Tuesday, Dec. 20, 4 p.m.
John Rutter’s Brother Heinrich’s Christmas
Wednesday, Dec. 21
Classical At Your Request, 12 p.m.
Vivaldi’s Gloria in D major, RV 589, 2 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 22, 2 p.m.
Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (complete ballet)
Friday, Dec. 23, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Join hosts Join Josh Jackson, Melinda Whiting, and Kevin Gordon for Christmas favorites and holiday tracks drawn from the rich traditions of Christmas music from around the world, including longer works like Margaret Bonds’ The Ballad of the Brown King, Arcangelo Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, William Henry Fry’s Santa Claus (Christmas Symphony) and Victor Hely-Hutchinson’s A Carol Symphony.
Handel’s entire Messiah, 2 to 4:30 p.m. Emma Kirkby (soprano), Carolyn Watkinson (contralto), David Thomas (bass), Paul Elliott (tenor), Judith Nelson (soprano), Academy of Ancient Music, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Oxford. Christopher Hogwood, conductor.
Welcome Christmas, 5 to 6 p.m.
There’s no better way to welcome Christmas than Welcome Christmas!, the VocalEssence holiday concert conducted by Philip Brunelle. It’s an hour of joyful, classic holiday music from one of the world’s premiere choral groups, singing traditional carols and new discoveries.
Saturday, Dec. 24, Christmas Eve
Performance Today: 6 to 8 a.m.
Enjoy a lovely program for Christmas Eve morning.
Saturday Morning Classics, 8 to 10 a.m.
Mike Bolton hosts an all-Christmas show, including a performance of John Rutter’s Brother Heinrich’s Christmas at 9 a.m.
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, 10 a.m. to 12 noon
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is an annual live, worldwide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal Classical music. This special will be presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue, the 500-year-old Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England. Read the official order of service here.
Overture, 12 to 1 p.m.
A complete performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Christmas classic, his 1951 opera Amahl and the Night Visitors will delight one and all.
The Metropolitan Opera, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, 1 to 3 p.m.
Hear an abridged, English-language version of this holiday favorite starring Ben Bliss as Tamino, Joelle Harvey as Pamina, Joshua Hopkins as Papageno, Solomon Howard as Sarastro, and Alekssandra Olczyk as the Queen of the Night. Debra Lew Harder is host.
An Operavore Christmas, 3 to 4 p.m.
Naomi Lewin presents an hour of Christmas and holiday music from the world of opera and oratorio sung by some of the greatest singers past and present including Marilyn Horne, Leontyne Price, Bryn Terfel, Thomas Hampson, Joan Sutherland and more.
The Crossing @ Christmas, 4 to 6 p.m.
Donald Nally, conductor of The Crossing, hosts this broadcast of their annual Christmas concert held at the First Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. This year’s program features Ochre, a new work by Caroline Shaw, and Mason Bates’ Mass Transmission, with organist Scott Dettra. Read our story about this concert here.
O Magnum Mysterium: The Brass & Choral Holiday Concert, 7 to 9 p.m. on HD-2
Music makes the holidays come alive, and through the centuries this special time of year inspired composers to new creative heights. Drawn from diverse cultures and various points in history, Music of the Baroque Conductor Andrew Megill has assembled a program inspired by O Magnum Mysterium, an ancient chant sung at midnight on Christmas in the medieval church. This concert, recorded in 2021, features the debut of Music of the Baroque’s new Chorus Director Andrew Megill. Hosted by celebrated WFMT host Candice Agree, tune in to the great works of composers like Tomás Luis de Victoria, Giovanni Gabrieli, Roland de Lassus, Hans Leo Hassler, Diego José de Salazar, and many more.
Sunday, Dec. 25, Christmas Day
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, 1 to 3 p.m.
Repeat of the Christmas Eve broadcast. A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is an annual live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal Classical music. This special will be presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue, the 500-year-old Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England. Read the official order of service here.
Christmas with Morehouse and Spelman Glee Clubs, 3 to 4 p.m.
One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges — two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation — get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This encore presentation features the best works of the last several years. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.
The Canadian Brass: Christmas Time Is Here, 4 to 5 p.m.
Hear arrangements of music by Vince Guaraldi and Luther Henderson as well as traditional favorites from "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman" and more – timeless classics infused with jazz and lush harmonies.
A Chanticleer Christmas, 5 to 6 p.m
Holiday favorites, new and old, will be presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices." Chanticleer is one of the premiere vocal ensembles in the nation.
A Handel & Haydn Society Christmas, 6 to 7 p.m. on HD-2
Celebrate the season with Christmas choral music from America’s oldest continuously performing ensemble, Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society.
All Is Bright, 8 to 9 p.m. on HD-2
All Is Bright is an hour of contemplative music related to the Christmas season and its symbolism. This program uses sacred choral music grouped in a way to tell the traditional Christmas story by way of songs about angels, the star, and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cambridge Singers, Cantus, and Chanticleer.
A Choral Christmas with Stile Antico, 9 to 10 p.m. on HD-2
Celebrate Christmas with the sound of soaring voices. Stile Antico, the award winning choir from London, pays a visit to St. Paul’s church on Harvard Square for a concert of radiant sacred music for the Christmas season by the most acclaimed composers of the renaissance. Hear the group’s luminous blend of voices sing the intricately woven music of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. Hosted by Cathy Fuller.
Need more presents from WRTI under the tree? Check out our Jingle All the Way Classical and Jazz Spotify Playlist. Wherever you are, and however you want your holiday music, we've got you covered. From all of your friends at WRTI, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy 2023!
Sunday, Jan. 1, New Year's Day
New Year’s Day From Vienna 2023, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Waltz into 2023 listening to the annual New Year’s Day Concert performed by the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Franz Welser-Most - featuring the lively and at the same time nostalgic music from the vast repertoire of the family of Johann Straus and contemporaries. It's the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's greeting to the world in the spirit of hope, friendship and peace. Complete program here.
The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert, 1 to 3 p.m.
A festive performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Program details here.