Enjoy seasonal favorites and a variety of Christmas and Hanukkah programs. Here is a day-by-day guide to all of our special holiday programming for the 2023 season, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.
Programs - on-air and online
Listen to these programs on YourClassical MPR stations and online at the following times. Linked titles go to more information and on-demand audio (when available) to listen to the program at any time.
This listing will be updated regularly throughout the season with links and audio as they become available, so check back often.
All times are central.
Nov. 22, 6 p.m. — Every Good Thing: Giving thanks and celebrating the gift of music. Hosted by Andrea Blain.
Nov. 23, 10 a.m. — Every Good Thing (encore; see Nov. 22).
Nov. 23, 7 p.m. — Giving Thanks: A 25th-anniversary, contemporary celebration of spirit of gratitude. Hosted by John Birge.
Nov. 24, 10 a.m. — Giving Thanks (encore; see Nov. 23.)
Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m. (livestream) — St. Olaf Christmas Festival: The college in Northfield, Minnesota, presents one of the nation's most treasured holiday celebrations at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. This year’s event, Love and Joy Come to You, will initially be livestreamed on YourClassical.org on Dec. 2. Then YourClassical MPR will present it on Dec. 19 and 23 as a two-hour special encore on-air, with on-demand audio available here. Hosted by Valerie Kahler.
Dec. 3, 6 p.m. — All Is Bright: An hourlong program of contemplative choral and solo vocal music of the season. Hosted by Lynne Warfel.
Dec. 4, 7 p.m. — Christmas at Luther: The Gifts They Gave Emmanuel: Each December, the Center for Faith and Life at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, rings out with the sacred and the exuberant sounds of the Christmas season. Enjoy their 2022 program. Hosted by Melissa Ousley.
Dec. 5, 7 p.m. — Welcome Christmas: A joyful, classic holiday special featuring VocalEssence. Hosted by John Birge.
Dec. 6, 7 p.m. — Chanticleer Christmas: Holiday favorites presented live by the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices" (encore from 2022). Hosted by Melissa Ousley.
Dec. 8, 8 p.m. — Minnesota Orchestra Performs Messiah: British conductor Christopher Warren-Green visits Orchestra Hall to lead the orchestra and Minnesota Chorale in Handel’s holiday classic. Hosted by Melissa Ousley.
Dec. 9, 7 p.m. — Candles Burning Brightly: A one-hour celebration of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, which runs Dec. 7-15. Hosted by Mindy Ratner.
Dec. 10, 7 p.m. — Chanukah Memories and Melodies: A new 1-hour radio special from WQXR featuring interviews with artists and public personalities about their Hanukkah memories grounded in the music tied to their holiday memories. Note: Not available as on-demand audio. Hosted by Elliot Forest.
Dec. 11, 7 p.m. — Welcome Christmas (encore; see Dec. 5).
Dec. 12, 7 p.m. — YourClassical Christmas Favorites: Listen to the top Christmas songs, as ranked by listeners. Hosted by Tom Crann and Valerie Kahler.
Dec. 13, 7 p.m. — Carols as Home: A new holiday special featuring the Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds. Hosted by members of Imani Winds.
Dec. 14, 7 p.m. — Anticipation and Celebration: Advent With the Montserrat Boy Choir: One of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious boys’ choirs is captured live in its Midwest premiere at the majestic Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. Hosted by Steve Staruch.
Dec 18, 7 p.m. — Carols as Home (encore; see Dec. 13).
Dec. 19, 7 p.m. — St. Olaf Christmas Festival (encore; see Dec. 2).
Dec. 20, 7 p.m. — Anticipation and Celebration: Advent With the Montserrat Boy Choir (encore; see Dec. 14).
Dec. 21, 7 p.m. — In Winter’s Glow: A new special featuring music to celebrate the winter solstice. Hosted by Steve Seel.
Dec. 23, noon — YourClassical Christmas Favorites (encore; see Dec. 12).
Dec. 23, 7 p.m. — St. Olaf Christmas Festival (encore; see Dec. 2).
Dec. 24, 9 a.m. — A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols: A time-honored service of biblical readings, carols and seasonal classical music, from King's College, Cambridge, England. The live broadcast is followed by an encore on Christmas Eve, with on-demand audio available here for 30 days afterward. Hosted by Michael Barone.
Dec. 24, 7 p.m. — A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (encore).
Dec. 25, 3 p.m. — YourClassical Christmas Favorites (encore; see Dec. 12).
Dec. 29, 7 p.m. — Minnesota Orchestra’s 2023 New Year's Celebration: Mei-Ann Chen takes the podium to ring in the new year with the orchestra and soloist Awadagin Pratt in this encore broadcast from Orchestra Hall on Jan. 1, 2023. Hosted by Melissa Ousley.
Jan. 1, noon — Vienna New Year’s Day Special: Usher in the new year with conductor Christian Thielemann and the famous Vienna Philharmonic.
Jan. 1, 2 p.m. — New Year’s Celebration with the Minnesota Orchestra: Step, dance and soar into 2024 with Thomas Søndergård and the Minnesota Orchestra, along with the brilliant pianist Stephen Hough. Hosted by Melissa Ousley.
Programs - online
Enjoy encore presentations of these popular holiday specials from the past now, with on-demand audio.
Christmas With Cantus: A holiday program from the Minnesota-based men's vocal ensemble.
Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square: A celebration featuring a 360-voice choir, a 150-piece orchestra and a 32-member bell choir.
Echoes of Christmas – A Dale Warland Special: A holiday program featuring the legendary choir leader, with host Steve Staruch.
Hollywood Holiday: A musical retrospective of our most-cherished Christmas-themed movies.
Hygge Holiday: 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.
A Soulful Christmas: An uplifting holiday special that features Black music and composers.
We Stand on Top of the Mountain: A Kwanzaa Celebration: This Kwanzaa, which runs Dec. 26-Jan. 1, we celebrate African-American culture with composers that have imbued the essence of the Seven Principles in their timeless and joyous music. Jeffrey Yelverton hosts.
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