A seasonal smorgasbord of classical music throughout the Bay Space

A seasonal smorgasbord of classical music throughout the Bay Space

A seasonal smorgasbord of classical music throughout the Bay Space
The San Francisco Symphony Refrain performs in Handel’s “Messiah” on the San Francisco Symphony in 2006. Picture: Jakub Mosur / The Chronicle 2006

California Bach Society

There are many methods to have a good time Christmas with Bach, however the California Bach Society and Creative Director Paul Flight maintain discovering new methods to offer the vacation season some musical selection.

This 12 months’s program is dedicated to Christmas music from the British Isles, a lineup that features seasonal choices by such English composers as Benjamin Britten, John Tavener and John Rutter, in addition to a recent carol by composer Ann Burgess.

An array of conventional carols in English, Welsh and Gaelic completes this system.

8 p.m. Dec. 2. St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell, S.F.; 8 p.m. Dec. 3. All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 555 Waverley St., Palo Alto; 4 p.m. Dec. 4. St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 2300 Bancroft Ave., Berkeley. $10-$30. 650-485-1097. www.calbach.org

Berkeley comic and writer W. Kamau Bell would be the narrator for S.F. Symphony’s “Peter and the Wolf.” Picture: Paul Chinn / The Chronicle 2017

San Francisco Symphony

The San Francisco Symphony all the time takes the chance of the Christmas season to unfold its wings stylistically, providing a wealth of programming that encompasses carols, vacation choices, movie music and extra.

This 12 months’s schedule will get beneath manner with the return of the festive household program “Deck the Corridor” (Dec. 4), and continues up by means of a New 12 months’s Eve program that includes Seth MacFarlane.

In between come two performances of Handel’s “Messiah” (Dec. 9-10) led by Japanese conductor Masaaki Suzuki; “Peter and the Wolf” with narrator W. Kamau Bell (Dec. 11); a Dec. 15 “Vacation Gaiety” occasion with Edwin Outwater and Peaches Christ; and movie screenings with reside orchestral accompaniment of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (Dec. 16-17) and “Elf” (Dec. 21-22).

Dec. 4-31. $20-$175. Davies Symphony Corridor, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F. 415-864-6000. www.sfsymphony.org

The ladies’s refrain Kitka Picture: Vincent Louis Carrella


The venerable Bay Space girls’s refrain, which focuses on vocal music of the Balkans, reprises its well-liked “Wintersongs” program of seasonal music from Jap Europe.

This 12 months’s iteration places a particular emphasis on music of Ukraine, each secular and sacred, in help of the nation’s ongoing humanitarian disaster.

Dec. 9-18. $25-$50. Places in Belvedere, Sacramento, Menlo Park, Oakland and San Francisco. 510-444-0323. www.kitka.org

Grace Cathedral in Nob Hill. Picture: Stephanie Wright Hession

Grace Cathedral

Twelve days of Christmas means a dozen separate musical occasions for the vacation season, not less than based on the oldsters at Grace Cathedral. And who might decline such abundance?

Among the many seasonal choices are performances by Cathedral’s Choir of Males and Boys, the Bay Brass, Presto Opera and Future Muhammad. They embody carols from world wide in addition to organ music, jazz and a wealth of religious feeling.

Dec. 10-23. $15-$70. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F. www.gracecathedral.org

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

It will hardly be Christmas with out “Messiah,” and this season brings a number of alternatives to get pleasure from Handel’s sensible and beloved oratorio.

First out of the gate — although solely by a nostril — are Music Director Richard Egarr and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale.

For these performances, the group welcomes a formidable lineup of vocal soloists, most of them new to the Bay Space: soprano Stefanie True, mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb, tenor Andrew Tortise and bass Joshua Bloom. Additionally readily available is the Philharmonia Chorale, beneath new management because the arrival of director Valérie Sainte-Agathe.

7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. Bing Live performance Corridor, 327 Lasuen St., Stanford; 7 p.m. Dec. 15. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F.; 7 p.m. Dec. 17, 4 p.m. Dec. 18. First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Manner, Berkeley. $32-$130. 415-295-1900. www.philharmonia.org

American Bach Soloists

The vacation lineup from American Bach Soloists and Music Director Jeffrey Thomas is historically a three-part affair, starting with a combined live performance of Baroque music after which executing a pure segue into performances of Handel’s “Messiah.” This 12 months, the lead-in program (Dec. 14) contains music by Valentini, Charpentier and Johann Christoph Pez alongside “Messiah” excerpts.

The entire “Messiah” follows on Dec. 15-16, with soloists soprano Maya Kherani, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, tenor James Reese and bass-baritone Christian Pursell.

Lastly, soprano Liv Redpath and bass Alex Rosen are anticipated to hitch forces for a New 12 months’s Eve program of operatic arias by Rameau, Purcell and extra.

Dec. 14-16. Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St., S.F. 4 p.m.; Dec. 31. Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave., S.F. $25-$125. 415-621-7900. www.americanbach.org

The lads’s refrain Chanticleer Picture: Courtesy Chanticleer


Vacation music is only one a part of the repertoire of the Bay Space’s main males’s refrain. The group additionally excels in jazz, Renaissance polyphony, pop music and spirituals — and all of these traditions make their presence identified in Chanticleer’s annual Christmas program.

This 12 months’s lineup features a new jazz association of “O, Come All Ye Devoted” by Grammy nominee Amanda Taylor.

Dec. 15-23. $35-$79. Places in Palo Alto, Petaluma, San Francisco, Sacramento, Carmel, Santa Clara and Berkeley. 415-252-8589. www.chanticleer.org

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