With such a large number of talented musicians living in the city, it shouldn't be surprising that holiday music in New York is unparalleled. The following constitutes just a small selection of a long list of concerts about town. The sounds of the season resonate with great majesty in the city's spectacular venues - Carnegie Hall, The Cloisters, the Met's Medieval Sculpture Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, among others, as well as in the city's many historic cathedrals and churches. Walk into any church in the next few weeks, and you're likely to catch a concert or rehearsal.
• Cathedral of St. Patrick Choir, Young People’s Chorus of New York, Long Island Choral Society, The Cathedral Organs, and New York Symphonic Brass: 29th Annual A City Singing at Christmas
Dec. 11, 2008 7:00 p.m
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets
General Seating is free and open to the public.
• The New York City Gay Men's Chorus Holiday Spectacular
Dec. 11, 8 p.m.
Carnegie Hall, 154 W. 57th St., at Seventh Ave.; 212-247-7800.
250-member choir is joined this year by Kelli O’Hara (The Light in the Piazza), bass-baritone Robert Osbourne, and the students of the Third Street Music Settlement. Price: $27–$84
• The Waverly Consort: The Christmas Story
Dec. 13–14, 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The Cloisters, 99 Margaret Corbin Dr., nr. Park Dr.; 212-923-3700
Thirteen-member ensemble presents a programs of processionals, antiphons, hymns, and Mass compositions from the tenth to the fifteenth century. and features both vocal and instrumental music. Price: $45
• Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: The Brandenburg Concertos
Dec. 14 at 5 and Dec. 16 at 7:30.
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theatre, Broadway at 60th St. 212-875-5788. $32-$100.
• Paul Winter Consort: Winter Solstice Concert
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St. 866-811-4111
The show returns to the newly renovated nave of the Cathedral. Special guests include the Brazilian singer and guitarist Renato Braz, the gospel singer Theresa Thomason, and the woodwind master Paul McCandless. General Admission seats available at $50 and $35.
• The Boys of St. Thomas and New York Polyphony: Ceremony of Carols and Medieval & Modern Carols
December 18 6:30-7:30p.m.
Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue at 53rd Street. Unreserved open seating.$40.
• New York Philharmonic: Handel's Messiah
Dec. 19–22; Wed.–Thurs. 7:30 p.m., Fri. 2 p.m., Sat. 8 p.m.
Avery Fisher Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plz., nr. 65th St.; 212-875-5900.
• The Trinity Choristers, joined by the American Boy Choir: Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols
December 19, 2008 4:30 PM
St. Paul's Chapel, 209 Broadway at Fulton Street, 10007
• The Choirs of Riverside: Annual Riverside Christmas Concert Candlelight Carol Festival
December 21, 2008 3:30PM - 5:30PM
Nave, The Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive
$25/15/10. Call the Box Office at 212.870.6784 for tickets.
• Lionheart: “Christmas in Medieval Italy: Il Laudario di Cortona"
Dec. 23 at 6:30 and 8:30
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Ave. at 83rd St. 212-570-3949.
A beautiful setting in the museum’s Medieval Sculpture Hall. $60
OK, so the following item doesn't technically fall into the category of holiday music, but I can't think of many other performers who sing more heavenly. (Except for Brazilian singer Renato Braz - See the Paul Winter Solstice event above.)
• Mandy Patinkin at The Public: Mamaloshen, Celebrating Sondheim, and Dress Casual, in repertory with Paul Ford on piano
Mon Dec 8 - Sun Dec 21
The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street; 212.539.8500
Mandy Patinkin returns, but not in his capacity of solving gruesome crimes. Wow, did you know he can sing? Kidding! The Public Theatre presents a two-week concert series in honor of the 20th Anniversary of his first concert. Patinkin will present three of his most popular concerts in repertory. Check dates for specific concert program. $60: Monday - Friday and Sunday performances; $70: Saturday evening performances.
Image: listening to a holiday concert, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Fifth Avenue. New York, December 5, 2008.