Christmas on Classic FM

27 November 2017, 17:03 | Updated: 20 December 2017, 10:09

Classic FM is the home of Christmas music! Join us for plenty of festive programmes from Friday 1st December to Monday 1st January.

Classic FM Christmas

Listen to all the greatest Christmas music in one place online - it's Classic FM Christmas!

If you can't get enough of Christmas music at this time of year, we've got a treat for you. For the first time, we've created a whole separate radio station purely for the most festive classical Christmas music - it's basically Classic FM's Christmas playlist, but all the time. Bliss.

Click To Listen To Classic FM Christmas

> Vote for your favourite carol

And then find out what the nation chose as their favourite at 1pm on 25th December as John Brunning counts down this year's top 30. 

In 2016, O Holy Night retook the crown as the Nation’s Favourite Carol. Will Silent Night be back at the top for 2017?

Sunday 3rd December

Everything You Wanted to Know About Classical Music with Catherine Bott, 9-10pm
On this, the first Sunday of Advent, Catherine Bott explores music written specially for this period in the church calendar.
> Find out more 


Wednesday 6th December

The Full Works Concert, 8-10pm
This evening, there are visions of Sergei Prokofiev completing the sixteen circuits on a frozen lake, as Jane Jones plays his suite from Lieutenant Kije and gives us a glimpse into the composer's Christmas letters of 1912.
> Find out more 


Thursday 7th December

The Full Works Concert: Christmas in New York, 8-10pm
Tonight, Classic FM presents a truly celebratory concert from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, on the date they mark 175 years since their very first performance, including classics such as The Twelve Days of Christmas. 
> Find out more


Friday 8th December

The Full Works Concert, 8-10pm
Leroy Anderson's A Christmas Festival opens tonight's concert with the unashamed ringing of sleigh bells.
> Find out more


Sunday 10th December

David Mellor, 7-9pm
With Christmas fast approaching, David dips into his musical hamper and selects some seasonal treats that you're sure to enjoy.
> Find out more


Monday 11th December

The Full Works Concert, 8-10pm
With this being the week before Christmas, there's plenty of festive cheer to spread, with tonight's concert including John Rutter's Rejoice and be Merry and a brilliant performance of The 12 Days of Christmas, narrated by Joanna Lumley.
> Find out more


Tuesday 12th December

The Full Works Concert, 8-10pm
Tonight, Jane Jones presenters a real Christmas classic: Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. 
> Find out more


Wednesday 13th December

The Full Works Concert, 8-10pm
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Classic FM tonight, as Jane Jones presents two hours of mid-week treats to gear you up for the festive season, beginning with A Christmas Overture by Nigel Hess.
> Find out more


Thursday 14th December

The Full Works Concert, 8-10pm
There's nothing better at this time of year than gathering the family together and sitting down to a good Christmas film, and tonight, Catherine Bott brings the music heard in some of the greatest Christmas classics to listeners.
> Find out more


Friday 15th December

The Full Works Concert, 8-10pm
Leroy Anderson's A Christmas Festival opens two hours of festive music on Classic FM tonight, which includes a glorious performance of highlights from Messiah.
> Find out more 


Sunday 17th December

A Classic FM Christmas, 7pm
Join us for A Classic FM Christmas, a spectacular live concert at the iconic Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on Sunday, December 17 at 7pm.
The programme will include a wonderful mix of classical Christmas favourites and feature over 100 performers on stage, comprising the full orchestra and chorus of the world-renowned English National Opera. Classics like Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful, excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, Anderson’s Sleigh Ride and many more will be performed on an epic scale. 
> Find out more and book your tickets 

David Mellor, 7-9pm
The tree is up, the decorations are in place, and David Mellor is here to provide the final touches for that festive feeling, with a Christmas Light Music special.
> Find out more


Monday 18th December

The Full Works Concert: A Classic FM Exclusive - The Lord's Taveners Christmas Concert, 8-10pm
Earlier this month, the Lord's Taveners 2017 'Christmas Carol Concert with the Stars' was recorded for exclusive broadcast on Classic FM. Tonight, hear Nicholas Cleobury conduct the St Marylebone Parish Church and Intermusica choirs in an evening of festive carols for all the family, beginning in traditional fashion with Once in Royal David's City.
> Find out more


Tuesday 19th December

The Full Works Concert: A Hallé Christmas, 8-10pm
Tonight's Full Works Concert brings the city of Manchester's biggest musical family together as the Hallé Orchestra are joined not just by the Hallé Choir, but their superb Youth Choir and Children's Choir, too.
> Find out more


Wednesday 20th December

The Full Works Concert: A Classic FM Exclusive - The Sixteen at Christmas
One of the world's foremost chamber choirs, The Sixteen, treat Classic FM listeners to another exclusive concert, recorded earlier this month at St Luke's Church, Battersea.
> Find out more


Thursday 21st December

The Full Works Concert: Christmas in Boston
Catherine Bott presents a toe-tapping Christmas fiesta courtesy of one of the most energetic orchestras in the world: the Boston Pops Orchestra.
> Find out more


Friday 22nd December

The Full Works Concert: A Viennese Christmas
Tonight, Catherine Bott takes listeners to the Christmas markets and snow-capped mountains of Austria, with a Viennese Christmas special.
> Find out more


Saturday 23rd December

Katie Breathwick, 1-4am
Katie presents the perfect blend of night-time Christmas music. 

Jane Jones, 4-7am
Jane presents three hours of start-the-day seasonal music, along with plenty of information about what's in store on Classic FM this Christmas weekend.

Alan Titchmarsh, 7-10am
Whether you're working this Christmas, heading off on the long drive to see family or simply relaxing at home, join Alan for the perfect blend of carols and seasonal favourites. 

Bill Turnbull, 10am-1pm
Bill invites you to join him for three hours of favourite seasonal music. 

Alexander Armstrong, 1-3pm
Join Alexander for two hours of wonderful Christmas music.

A Winchester Christmas with Nicholas Owen, 3-5pm
Nicholas Owen transports us to the beautiful surroundings of Winchester College Chapel, for an exclusively-recorded performance of seasonal favourites, sacred carols and festive readings. The Quiristers of Winchester College will be directed by Malcolm Archer, in a programme of festive favourites and rarely heard carols, interspersed with seasonal readings. This two-hour programme promises to provide a moment of serenity and reflection, amidst the hustle and bustle of pre-Christmas preparations. 

Saturday Night at the Movies with Andrew Collins: 2017 in Film, 5-7pm
Andrew Collins looks back at 2017 in the film world, from the biggest box office hits like Beauty and the Beast and Dunkirk to the award wins and surprises such as La La Land and Moonlight. Andrew will also pay tribute to those we've lost this year such as actors John Hurt and Roger Moore, and the director Jonathan Demme. 

Smooth Carols at Seven with John Brunning, 7-9pm
John plays a selection of the season's most relaxing carols to help you wind down at this busy time of year. 

A Victorian Christmas with Margherita Taylor, 9-10pm
The ITV drama Victoria has been one of the most popular programmes of 2017, and this year’s Christmas special is set to be a highlight of the seasonal television calendar. Inspired by the series, tonight, Margherita Taylor explores the music associated with a Victorian Christmas.
It was during the Victorian era that the idea of ‘carolling’ first became truly popular.  Many now-famous Christmas carols and festive melodies were recreated or modified during that time: among them, Away in a MangerWe Three Kings, and Jingle Bells, all of which we’ll hear tonight.  Carols were performed in sacred settings, and expressed as worship, but were also used to create a sense of community spirit, often being sung among friends and family. It was not uncommon to find a piano (or even a small organ) in a Victorian home, around which carols would often be sung on Christmas Day.
Alongside plenty of Victorian carols, Margherita will also play the much-loved score for Victoria, composed by Martin Phipps and Ruth Barrett, as she explores what it would have been like to celebrate a Victorian Christmas.

Smooth Carols with Myleene Klass, 10pm-1am
Myleene keeps you company with three hours of relaxing carols.


Sunday 24th December

Katie Breathwick, 1-6am
Katie presents the perfect blend of night-time Christmas music.

Classic FM's More Music Breakfast with Jane Jones, 6-10am
Jane eases you into Chistmas Eve with music to recharge the batteries before the big day tomorrow, and keeps you up-to-date with the latest news.

Bill Turnbull, 10am-1pm
Bill invites you to join him for three hours of favourites seasonal music this Christmas Eve, perfect to get you in the holiday mood. 

Christmas Eve Requests with Anne-Marie Minhall and John Brunning, 1-5.30pm
On Classic FM, it wouldn’t be Christmas without some special request programmes, as the station’s listeners are put in the driving seat of the music selection. Once again, this Christmas Eve, Anne-Marie Minhall and John Brunning join forces to play the music you want to hear.
Last year’s dedications included carols for servicemen and women overseas, celebratory festive music for newborn babies, and requests for hardworking emergency services staff, spending their Christmas keeping others safe.
> Whatever you’re up to, Anne-Marie and John would love to hear from you - get in touch

Aled Jones narrates The Snowman, 5.30-6pm
Aled narrates the timeless story of The Snowman, complete with Howard Blake's wonderful music. 

Children & The Arts' Christmas Carol Concert with Catherine Bott, 6-8pm
Join Catherine for a very special carol concert, recorded at Holy Trinity Church in Sloane Square earlier this month, in aid of Children & The Arts. This concert is filled with seasonal music from young British soprano Carly Paoli, acclaimed violinist Jennifer Pike and composer and pianist Nigel Hess, as well as readings from celebrities including Academy Award nominee Felicity Jones, Brian Blessed, Adrian Lester and Ben Miller.

The Story of Carols with Anne-Marie Minhall, 8-10pm
Tonight, as we settle in for Christmas Eve, Anne-Marie takes us on a musical journey through some festive favourites – and promises to share some fascinating tales behind our most famous carols.
Discover, for example, why the French sing a very different version of The Twelve Days of Christmas: there’s no mention of a pear tree or gold rings; instead, it’s all about pigs’ trotters, spitted rabbits and partridges with cabbage.
Plus: what was the first carol ever played on the radio?

Smooth Carols with Myleene Klass, 10pm-1am
Whether you’re wrapping those final presents, listening en route to church, or simply relaxing this Christmas Eve with Classic FM as your musical accompaniment, join Myleene Klass for three hours of beautifully relaxing Smooth Carols.


Monday 25th December

Bob Jones, 1-6am
Bob presents the perfect blend of festive music to welcome in the start of Christmas Day.

Classic FM's Christmas Breakfast with Tim Lihoreau, 6-10am
Tim Lihoreau invites you to join him for a four-hour selection of carols and seasonal favourites, providing the perfect way to wake up this Christmas.
As well as playing lots of well-known festive music, Tim will also be inviting you to get in touch to tell him how you’re spending Christmas morning.

Christmas Day Requests with Anne-Marie Minhall, 10am-1pm
Every Christmas Day, we turn Classic FM over to you for three hours of requests and dedications. Anne-Marie Minhall – the host of our weekday afternoon show, Classic FM Requests – will once again keep you company this Christmas morning.
As always, Anne-Marie is particularly keen to hear from anyone for whom this Christmas will be extra-special.  She’ll also be playing music for people hard at work. If you’d like to let Anne-Marie know what you’ll be up to this Christmas Day, she’d love to hear from you.
> Get in touch

The Nation's Favourite Carol with John Brunning, 1-3pm
Over the past three weeks, Classic FM listeners have been voting for their favourite Christmas carol – and this afternoon, John Brunning counts down this year’s top 30.
In 2016, O Holy Night retook the crown as the Nation’s Favourite Carol. Will Silent Night be back at the top for 2017?
Join John from 1pm, with that all-important number one revealed just before The Queen’s Speech at 3pm.

The Queen's Speech, 3pm
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II delivers her annual Christmas message.

The Buckingham Palace Carol Concert for the Royal Household with Nicholas Owen, 3.05-7pm
Every year, an annual Carol Concert takes place at Buckingham Palace, to thank the staff who work for Her Majesty The Queen – and this year, Classic FM was once again given exclusive access to record the event for broadcast.
Nicholas Owen hosts this very special concert, from the beautiful surroundings of the Buckingham Palace Ballroom.

Smooth Carols at Seven with Jane Jones, 7-10pm
Jane plays a selection of the season's most relaxing carols to help you wind down after the day's celebrations.

Smooth Carols with Margherita Taylor, 10pm-1am
Margherita keeps you company with three hours of relaxing carols, providing a peaceful conclusion to Christmas Day.  


Tuesday 26th December

Bob Jones, 1-6am
Bob presents the perfect blend of night-time Christmas music.

Classic FM's More Music Breakfast with Nicholas Owen, 6-10am
Nicholas eases you into Boxing Day with music to recharge the batteries after the busy day yesterday, and keeps you up-to-date with the latest news. From 9am, it’s The Classic FM Hall of Fame Hour – with favourite pieces voted into the Classic FM Top 300.

John Brunning, 10am-2pm
John plays the finest selection of classical music and seasonal favourites, providing the perfect soundtrack to Boxing Day.

Jane Jones, 2-6pm
Join Jane this afternoon as she provides seasonal music to keep the Christmas spirit going. Whether you’re preparing turkey sandwiches or getting to grips with new presents, she has the perfect playlist. 

Classic FM at the Movies with Andrew Collins, 6-8pm
Andrew Collins celebrates music from the movies we love to watch at this time of year. From festive hits like A Muppets Christmas CarolThe Nightmare Before ChristmasIt’s A Wonderful Life and Home Alone, to family favourites Mary PoppinsHarry PotterThe Sound of Music and some classic James Bond scores, Andrew promises a two-hour selection of scores from some of the best seasonal films.

The Full Works Concert with Lucy Coward, 8-10pm
Whether you’ve still got all the family together, or are taking it easy this Boxing Day, join Lucy Coward for two hours of sublime classical music. There’s some festive spirit to accompany the Christmas lunch leftovers in Nigel Hess’s A Christmas Carol, and a toast to St Stephen courtesy of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. 
> Find out more


Thursday 28th December

The Full Works Concert with David Mellor, 8-10pm
Tonight, David Mellor showcases some of the finest classical releases of the last twelve months. Find out why he’s calling 2017 ‘the year of the cello’, with performances from the likes of Steven Isserlis – who plays Haydn’s Cello Concerto No.2 – and Johannes Moser, our soloist for the Elgar Cello Concerto.
> Find out more


Friday 29th December

The Full Works Concert with David Mellor, 8-10pm
Tonight, David Mellor shines a spotlight on some of the biggest anniversaries that fell in 2017 – and there’s no shortage of legendary names to feature.
> Find out more


Saturday 30th December

Saturday Night at the Movies with Andrew Collins: The Best Film Scores of 2017, 5-7pm
Andrew Collins selects the best film scores of 2017, shining a spotlight on composers who have made their mark over the past 12 months, including Carter Burwell (Goodbye, Christopher RobinThe Founder), Benjamin Wallfisch (ITDunkirk) and Nicholas Britell (MoonlightBattle of the Sexes). Documentaries such as Kedi and Jane will make an appearance, along with superhero hits like Thor: RagnarokWonder Woman and Spider-Man Homecoming.


Sunday 31st December

David Mellor's New Year Viennese-Up, 7-10pm
The city of Vienna is synonymous with this time of year: tickets to the annual New Year’s Day Concert are like gold dust, and the waltzes and polkas of the Strauss family will forever be associated with the passing of one year, and the start of the next.
Tonight, David Mellor presents a lighthearted selection of some of the most uplifting Viennese classics, in a three-hour ‘Viennese-Up’.  Alongside music by Johann Strauss Junior and Senior, David will also uncover some rarely-heard gems by the Strausses’ contemporaries, providing a toe-tapping accompaniment to your own new year celebrations.
Every piece of music played will be taken from a live recording of the New Year’s Day Concert, with David’s selections stretching back across seven decades of this annual, much-anticipated event.  Alongside the plethora of Viennese music, David celebrates other European composers who caught the Strauss family mood, like the French waltz king Emile Waldteufel and Hans Christian Lumbye, Denmark’s answer to the Strausses.


Monday 1st January

The Classic FM Chart of the Year with John Brunning, 4-7pm
This New Year’s Day, John Brunning presents a special countdown of the biggest selling classical releases of 2017.
The contenders for the number one spot include Andre Rieu, Jonas Kaufmann, and Ludovico Einaudi, all of whom have topped the weekly Classic FM Chart at some point over the last year. 2017 was also a year for film score successes, with many blockbuster soundtracks reaching the top of the countdown.
There’s only one way to find out which release is crowned victorious: join John from 4pm, as he unveils the Top 30 in full.

Christmas features

O Holy Night named the nation's favourite Christmas carol

‘O Holy Night’ is officially the nation’s favourite Christmas carol

Chorister Rehearse For A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols At Kings College Cambridge

What is the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols – and what is the order of service?

Can you identify the Christmas carols from just the first few notes?

Can you identify the Christmas carols from just the first few notes?

New Zealand Police singing carols

New Zealand Police go viral singing ‘Silent Night’ and other Christmas carols

Descants are a choral Christmas tradition

What actually are descants – and why do we sing them at Christmas?

What are the lyrics to ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’?

What are the lyrics to ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’, and what is the Christmas carol really about?

12 of the funniest classical music Christmas tweets you’ll see all year

12 of the funniest Christmas classical music tweets you’ll see all year

Funny nativity girl

This adorable village church nativity video will never get old

The little girl joins her grandad at the piano for a duet in the festive advert

Independent piano shop makes the most heartwarming Christmas advert on a £10 budget

Kings College Choir Rehearse 'A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols'

Who composed ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’, and what are the lyrics to the Christmas carol?