classical-holidays
However you celebrate the holidays, Classical KUSC has you covered with musical selections to keep you company all season long. Below are some musical treats we’re planning this season.

The Holiday Spirit Channel

From festive brass to carols and more, we have the soundtrack to your holiday season streaming live on our Holiday Spirit Channel page and on our free Apple and Android apps.

The Evening Program with Jim Svejda


Three Messiahs

Friday, December 6 | 9 pm
In the first of our three versions of Handel’s Messiah for the Christmas season, John Butt conducts the Dunedin Consort.

Monday, December 16 | 9 pm
In the second of our three Messiahs, the modern orchestra version conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham.

Monday, December 23 | 9 pm
In the last of our Christmas Messiahs, the benchmark recording with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony.

Other Holiday Highlights

Friday, December 13 | 9 pm
A complete performance of the work without which Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas in most of Europe, Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel.

Tuesday, December 17 | 9 pm
Bach’s Magnificat (with the Christmas interpolations) and at 11:00, Benjamin Britten’s Saint Nicolas.

Wednesday, December 18 | 9 pm
The Czech Christmas Mass by Jakub Jan Ryba, and Karolju by Christopher Rouse.

Friday, December 20 | 9 pm
The classic recording of L’Enfance du Christ by Berlioz with the Paris Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Andre Cluytens.

Tuesday, December 24 | 7 pm to midnight
Our Christmas Eve edition of the program features Dylan Thomas reading his A Child’s Christmas in Wales, a complete performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Midnight Mass.

Wednesday, December 25 | 7 pm to midnight
A complete performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Christmas cantata, Hodie.

KUSC’s Annual Chanukkah Program

Thursday, December 19 | 7 pm
Our annual Channukah celebration with The Channukah Story with Leonard Nimoy and Western Wind, and George Frederic Handel’s telling of the story, the oratorio Judas Maccabaeus.

An Evening of Holiday Music

Sunday, December 15 | 7 pm
Hollywood Holiday – Saturday Cinema host Lynne Warfel presents an hour-long musical retrospective of some of Hollywood’s most cherished Christmas-themed movies.

Sunday, December 15 | 8 pm
Hygge Holiday: Cozy Classics – Join host Elena See as she plays a mix of wintry and nostalgic classical pieces designed to accompany listeners as they enjoy cozy wintertime activities.

Sunday, December 22 | 7 pm
Candles Burning Brightly – Mindy Ratner hosts this 2017 encore celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. “Candles Burning Brightly” explores the meaning and traditions of Chanukah, including holiday foods and Sephardic and Ashkenazi music.

Sunday, December 22 | 8 pm
A Chanticleer Christmas – Celebrate the season with song! Brian Newhouse hosts this one-hour program of a cappella holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by Chanticleer, the superb 12-man choral ensemble known as “an orchestra of voices.”

A Festival of 9 Lessons and Carols

Tuesday, December 24 | 7 am
A glorious KUSC tradition! Live from the chapel of King’s College in Cambridge, England the beloved 30-voice King’s College Choir in this storied annual service of music and Biblical readings. Michael Barone hosts.

KUSC’S New Year’S Eve Bash

Tuesday, December 31 | 7 pm to 2 am
The annual KUSC New Year’s Eve Bash, featuring seven hours of mirth, mayhem, and questionable taste, featuring a complete performance of Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss (with the composer himself as the intermission guest) and the annual KUSC New Year’s Eve Bash Sobriety Test, a chance to compete for more or less valuable prizes (more than 8 feet of brand new, fresh-in-the-shrink-wrap classical CDs).

Soul Music with Brian Lauritzen


Sunday, December 15 | 6 am
Multiple settings of the nativity text “O Magnum Mysterium,” including Morten Lauridsen’s, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year!

Sunday, December 22 | 6 am
A delightful mix of music for Christmas and Hanukkah, including new carols by Libby Larsen, Jennifer Higdon, and Nico Muhly, as well as music for Hanukkah by Judith Shatin, Chaim Parchi and Samuel Adler.

The Record Shelf with Jim Svejda


Sunday, December 15 | 10 pm
Hallelujah, Take 1. Historic recordings of Handel’s Messiah.

Sunday, December 22 | 10 pm
A Golden Age Christmas. An hour of Christmas music with the great singers of the past.

Sunday, December 29 | 10 pm
The Alternative New Year’s Day Concert. Our answer to the celebrated gala concert from Vienna.

The Opera Show with Jennifer Miller

Sunday, December 15 | 9 pm
Opera stars singing Christmas tunes and other holiday related fare.

Sunday, December 22 | 9 pm
Amahl and the Night Visitors in its entirety.

A Musical Offering with Alan Chapman

Sunday, December 22 | 9 am
Music for Christmas week by Corelli, Manfredini, and Bach.

Modern Times with Alan Chapman

Saturday, December 21 | 10 pm
A twentieth-century Christmas featuring Lutoslawski’s Twenty Polish Christmas Carols.

KUSC’s Sounds of the Season

36 hours of Classical Christmas favorites beginning Christmas eve at noon through Christmas night!