2019 Holiday Schedule

The Sounds of the Season are sponsored by Terra Toys and KMFA Board Members Malcolm Cooper and Nancy Scanlan. 


*Please note that this list will continue to be updated. To receive up-to-date playlists in your inbox each morning, head to kmfa.org/signup to subscribe to our Daily Playlist.

Thursday, November 28

9:00 a.m. | Every Good Thing

Host Andrea Blain takes time with classical music fans around the country to give thanks and celebrate one of life's most meaningful gifts: music. 
**This program will be repeated at 6:00 p.m.**

11:00 a.m. | Giving Thanks

Host John Birge presents a thoughtful, contemporary celebration of gratitude with classical music and stories of Thanksgiving. This year's Giving Thanks will feature the words of poet Mary Oliver, the great Walt Whitman (this year marks the 200th anniversary of his birth), and many more in a program rich with the warmth of classical music and truly memorable words. 
**This program will be repeated at 10:00 p.m.**

Friday, December 13

12:00 p.m. | Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker

The perennial favorite, Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet is heard in its entirety.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14

10:00 a.m. | Wind and Rhythm - A Bright Brassy Christmas

Monday, December 16

6:00 p.m. | Welcome Christmas!

The perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups. John Birge hosts this hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

For 2019, hear the world premiere of Nico Muhly's "The Faire Starre," a nativity cantata that draws on 17th century metaphysical poets and is set in the unique, eclectic style that has earned Nico Muhly rave reviews from the Metropolitan Opera.

Tuesday, December 17

6:00 p.m. | All Is Bright

Lynne Warfel hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star, and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cantus, Chanticleer, Cambridge Singers, Bryn Terfel, Emma Kirkby, Jessye Norman, and a variety of choirs.

Wednesday, December 18

6:00 p.m. | Winter Holidays Around the World with Bill McGlaughlin

Winter holidays are celebrated around the world, and their music is wonderful to hear, regardless of which tradition you observe. Bill’s spirited selection starts in the 12th century with Nova Stella, medieval Italian Christmas music from Saint Francis of Assisi’s staging of the nativity; jazz pianist Dave Brubeck’s classical composition La Fiesta de la Posada, evoking a Mexican Christmas celebration; and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols. We will enjoy this time of year in Paris with music from Debussy, and then travel to Polynesia for a traditional hymn, Anau Oia Ea. And then ending with an excerpt from Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors from the original television production.

Thursday, December 19

6:00 p.m. | Listen Local: ACMC's A Charlie Brown Christmas

Michelle Schumann, Utah Hamrick, and David Sierra usher in the spirit of the holidays with A Charlie Brown Christmas. This beloved music brings back memories for just about everyone from one to ninety-two.

Friday, December 20

6:00 p.m. | Chanticleer Christmas 2019

Celebrate the season with song! All new for 2019, 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."

9:00 p.m. | Icons of Broadway Holiday Special

Saturday, December 21

10:00 a.m. | Wind and Rhythm - Favorite Carols

4:00 p.m. | The Christmas Revels: In celebration of the Winter Solstice, 2019

A compilation of musical excerpts, plus a couple of short poetry and prose readings, selected from the live Christmas/Winter Solstice Revels stage productions that took place in December 2018, in four cities across the United States. Christmas Revels performances are made up of sacred and secular folk materials, plus some composed popular and "art" music, from traditional European and American celebrations of Christmas, The Feast of St. Nicholas, Chanukah, St. Lucia's Day, the Feast of Fools, New Year's, Twelfth Night/Epiphany, and other end-of-the-year festivals, along with various cultures' hereditary observances of the Winter Solstice, some of which date back to pre-Christian times.

5:00 p.m. | Concierto – Holiday 2019 edition

7:00 p.m. | New York Philharmonic – Winter Jukebox

Travel down a wintry memory lane with the New York Philharmonic as they celebrate the holidays, in performances led through the years by Skitch Henderson, Lorin Maazel, Andrew Davis, Aland Gilbert – even Danny Kaye!

9:00 p.m. | Feminine Fusion

This Winter Music program will include holiday works, with performances from Anonymous 4, La Pieta, and the all-female vocal ensemble Musae, who took their name from the original “ladies of song,” the classic nine muses of Greek mythology.

Sunday, December 22 through Christmas Day

Festival of Carols - A long-standing tradition, KMFA brings you wonderful music for the holiday, in addition to specials leading up to the 25th. Great music to get you and yours into the spirit!

Sunday, December 22

6:00 a.m. | An Elizabethan Christmas with the Rose Ensemble

7:00 a.m. | Bach: Christmas Oratorio

9:00 a.m. | A Mexican Baroque Christmas

10:00 a.m. | Early Music Now – Holiday edition

11:00 a.m. | Classical Austin Christmas

12:00 p.m. | Classical Guitar Alive – Holiday edition

1:00 p.m. | Listen Local: Handel's Messiah with Ensemble VIII

Join KMFA's Sara Schneider as she hosts a performance of the complete Messiah by Handel, with Austin's Ensemble VIII.

5:00 p.m. | Pianoforte Christmas

6:00 p.m. | Christmastime in New York

The Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine performs at the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a program that spans hundreds of years and describes the story of the nativity. The program includes settings of the "O Magnum Mysterium" text by  Victoria, Morton Lauridsen, and Francis Poulenc; works by Byrd, Biebl, and Hassler; as well as music by Eric Whitacre, Francis Poulenc, William Byrd and Morten Lauridsen.

7:00 p.m. | Listen Local: 2019 Holiday Choral Concert

This holiday season KMFA is bringing you a wonderful holiday concert from the Butler School of Music, featuring the combined forces of The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Singers, Concert Chorale, Treble Choir, and Tenor/Bass Chorus led by James Morrow and Suzanne Pence. You’ll hear music of Randol Bass, Tchaikovsky, Robert Russell Bennett, and more in this holiday Listen Local presentation hosted by Jeffrey Blair.

9:00 p.m. | Pipeworks Holiday Edition

Monday, December 23

6:00 p.m. | Listen Local: Texas Early Music Project's An Early Christmas

Join Texas Early Music Project for a festive array of Christmas music through the ages on a special Listen Local broadcast of An Early Christmas! TEMP celebrates the season with medieval chant, joyous English and French carols, magnificent motets, lively Celtic songs, dulcet Dutch carols, exuberant folk-tunes, and more. KMFA’s Sara Schneider hosts.

7:00 p.m. | Music of the Baroque Brass and Choral Holiday Concert

Hosted by WFMT Chicago’s Candice Agree, this program features the great works of composers like Samuel Scheidt, Giovanni Gabrieli, William Billings, Claudio Monteverdi, and many more. Music makes the holidays come alive, and through the centuries this special time of year inspired composers to new creative heights. Drawn from diverse cultures and various points in history, conductor William Jon Gray has assembled a program highlighting multifarious holiday traditions around a single unifying principle: whether in the twelfth or nineteenth centuries, in Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, the Netherlands, or Spain, music gives voice to the spirit of the season.

9:00 p.m. | Christmas at the Movies

The Christmas holiday is charged with nostalgia and hope, so a Christmas setting can effectively heighten the emotional power of any film. There have been many Christmas scenes in movies, and host David Garland unwraps some of the accompanying music for them.

Tuesday, December 24

9:00 a.m. | Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Live from King's College

An annual and beloved Christmas tradition, “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” is an extraordinary and memorable live service of word and music from the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, England.

Audiences will share in a live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast of a service of Biblical readings, carols, and related seasonal music (anthems a cappella and with organ accompaniment, and congregational hymns), presented by one of the world’s foremost choirs of men and boys and performed in an acoustically and architecturally renowned venue.

5:00 p.m. | Christmastime in New York (rebroadcast)

The Choir of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine performs at the Medieval Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a program that spans hundreds of years and describes the story of the nativity. The program includes settings of the "O Magnum Mysterium" text by  Victoria, Morton Lauridsen, and Francis Poulenc; works by Byrd, Biebl, and Hassler; as well as music by Eric Whitacre, Francis Poulenc, William Byrd and Morten Lauridsen.

6:00 p.m. | Canadian Brass Christmas

7:00 p.m. | Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (rebroadcast)

9:00 p.m. | Choral Classics Holiday Show

Wednesday, December 25

9:00 a.m. | All Is Bright (rebroadcast)

Lynne Warfel hosts an hour of gorgeous, contemplative choral music that tells the traditional Christmas story with songs about angels, the star, and the manger scene. Featured artists include Cantus, Chanticleer, Cambridge Singers, Bryn Terfel, Emma Kirkby, Jessye Norman, and a variety of choirs.

11:00 a.m. | Canadian Brass Christmas (rebroadcast)

5:00 p.m. | Welcome Christmas! (rebroadcast)

The perennial Christmas favorite from VocalEssence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups. John Birge hosts this hour of traditional carols and new discoveries, including the world premiere of two carols from the annual Christmas Carol Contest.

For 2019, hear the world premiere of Nico Muhly's "The Faire Starre," a nativity cantata that draws on 17th century metaphysical poets and is set in the unique, eclectic style that has earned Nico Muhly rave reviews from the Metropolitan Opera.

7:00 p.m. | St. Olaf Christmas

One of the nation's most cherished holiday celebrations, the St. Olaf Christmas Festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians in five choirs, and the St. Olaf Orchestra. Valerie Kahler shares the sights and sounds of this choral favorite.

9:00 p.m. | Classical Austin Christmas

Thursday, December 26

6:00 p.m. | Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party

Join the superstar violinist as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday—some serious, some silly. This engaging one-hour special includes numbers from Itzhak Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel; evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino; classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the story; and Chanukah gems by American folk singers. The master storyteller also regales you with jokes and memories, plus tales of three classic Chanukah symbols: the menorah, the latke, and, of course, the dreidel. A good time for the whole family at Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party!

Friday, December 27

6:00 p.m. | 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.

 

Programming subject to change. See the playlist page for current information.