10 best Christmas concerts from Classic FM’s partner orchestras

1 December 2022, 11:53 | Updated: 2 December 2022, 15:40

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Christmas.
The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Christmas. Picture: BSO

By Siena Linton

As the season turns festive, we cherry-pick 10 unmissable concerts this winter, from Classic FM’s partners across the UK.

From unmissable Christmas concerts to steadfast festive must-sees, the winter season is one of the greatest times of the year for excellent live music.

So, whether Handel’s Messiah is a core part of your Christmas tradition, or you’re looking for a family friendly concert to liven up the holidays, here are 10 brilliant events from Classic FM’s partner orchestras and choir this winter.

Read more: The 30 greatest Christmas carols of all time

  1. Throughout December: The Sixteen at Christmas

    The Voices of Classic FM, The Sixteen, take a choral Christmas on tour across the UK this winter season, from Gateshead to Saffron Walden. Together with conductor Harry Christophers, they present a guaranteed evening of delight ranging from contemporary carols by Gabriel Jackson and Cecilia McDowall, to long-beloved traditional favourites.

    When? Throughout December

    Where? Venues throughout the UK

    How much? Ticket prices vary by venue

    Book now

  2. 1–9 December: Royal Northern Sinfonia present ‘Christmas by Candlelight’

    This December, Classic FM’s Orchestra in North-East England and at Sage Gateshead, Royal Northern Sinfonia offer up a classical festive feast, from Corelli’s ‘Christmas Concerto’ to Pärt’s Trisagion, plus brilliant music by Biber, Hildegard of Bingen, and Bach.

    When? Thursday 1 to Friday 9 December, 7.30pm

    Where? Sage Gateshead

    How much? Tickets from £5

    Book now

    The Royal Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Martin Yates, performing at Classic FM Live in 2014
    The Royal Northern Sinfonia, conducted by Martin Yates, performing at Classic FM Live in 2014. Picture: Alamy
  3. 4 December: Philharmonia Orchestra present Christmas at the Movies

    Classic FM’s Orchestra on Tour, the Philharmonia Orchestra, invite you to join them for an afternoon of music from family-favourite festive films, from Love Actually and Home Alone, to Elf and Danny Elfman’s spine-tingling score to The Nightmare Before Christmas.

    When? Sunday 4 December, 2:30pm

    Where? Royal Festival Hall, London

    How much? Tickets from £19

    Book now

    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    The Nightmare Before Christmas. Picture: Alamy
  4. 4 December: Philharmonia Orchestra present Handel’s Messiah

    The Philharmonia Orchestra and the voices of 350 singers descend upon the south bank of London to perform a rousing piece of music that has become a seasonal staple: Handel’s monumental Messiah.

    When? Sunday 4 December, 7:30pm

    Where? Royal Festival Hall, London

    How much? Tickets from £20

    Book now

  5. 14 December: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra perform Handel’s Messiah

    The festive season wouldn’t be complete without Handel’s Messiah, and this concert by Classic FM’s Orchestra in the South of England is sure to be among the best this year. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra are joined by the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus for their performance, under the direction of Laurence Cummings.

    When? Wednesday 14 December, 7:30pm

    Where? Lighthouse, Poole

    How much? Tickets from £6

    Book now

  6. 15 December: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Cake Concert

    Musicians of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra continue their Cake Concert series, as part of their ongoing work to bring music and entertainment to those living with dementia.

    This December, a flute, harp, and cello trio bring a blend of classical and popular favourites to the Poole community, with free cake and hot drinks during intervals.

    When? Thursday 15 December, 2:30pm

    Where? The Spire, Poole

    How much? Tickets £5

    Book now

    Members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Picture: Alamy
  7. 15-16 December: A CBSO Choral Christmas with Alan Titchmarsh

    Classic FM’s very own Alan Titchmarsh joins the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the CBSO Choruses for an evening of festive cheer, full of traditional carols and new Christmas classics.

    When? Thursday 15 & Friday 16 December, 7:30pm

    Where? Symphony Hall, Birmingham

    How much? Tickets from £26

    Book now

  8. 15-18 December: RSNO Christmas Concert featuring The Snowman

    Classic FM presenter Aled Jones is in Scotland for a magical concert by Classic FM’s Orchestra in Scotland, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and their choruses. The family-friendly concert features carols for all to sing along to, plus the RSNO perform the magical soundtrack to The Snowman, in front of a live screening of the film, as Aled narrates.

    When? Thursday 15 to Sunday 18 December, times vary

    Where? Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh

    How much? Tickets vary by venue

    Book now

  9. 17-23 December: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s Spirit of Christmas

    Classic FM’s Orchestra in North West England, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and two massed choirs come together for a whirlwind of festive music, featuring RLPO’s Artist in Residence trumpeter Pacho Flores, and presented by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason.

    When? Saturday 17 to Friday 23 December, 7:30pm

    Where? Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

    How much? Tickets from £24

    Book now

    The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vasily Petrenko, perform at Classic FM Live in 2014
    The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vasily Petrenko, perform at Classic FM Live in 2014. Picture: Alamy
  10. 23-24 December: RSNO present Gaspard’s Christmas

    The RSNO bring Gaspard the friendly fox to life in a special Christmas concert narrated by Classic FM presenter Zeb Soanes, with live illustrations by James Mayhew. Jonathan Dove’s music will fill the concert hall, as well as time-tested festive favourites including When Santa Got Stuck up the Chimney.

    When? Friday 23 & Saturday 24 December, times vary

    Where? Usher Hall, Edinburgh (Friday) & Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Saturday)

    How much? Tickets vary by venue

    Book now