Though the weather outside is balmy, soon it will be yuletide, and holiday carols will go ringing through the rafters at Symphony Center. Starting July 24, tickets are on sale for a festive array of seasonal concerts in November and December, including the new musical revue “Merry, Merry Chicago” and the annual CSO Brass showcase. Concerts begin Nov. 28 and continue through Dec. 23 at Symphony Center, unless otherwise noted.
THE VIENNA BOYS CHOIR: Continuing a Thanksgiving-weekend tradition, the Vienna Boys Choir returns for a 3 p.m. matinee on Nov. 28. Established more than 500 years ago, the choir is known for its polished sound, irresistible charm and wide repertoire, ranging from Renaissance-era music to contemporary works.
CHANTICLEER: The Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble marks its 15th annual Chicago engagement of “A Chanticleer Christmas” with two performances at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-2 at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut. Based in San Francisco and founded in 1978, the 12-voice male a cappella ensemble also celebrates its 38th anniversary this season with a program of traditional carols, sacred works and holiday favorites.
MESSIAH: For the first time in more than a decade, the CSO will perform Handel’s choral masterpiece, often associated with the yuletide season. Guest conductor Bernard Labadie will lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Chorus and guest vocalists in five performances on Dec. 10 (8 p.m.), Dec. 11 (1:30 p.m.), Dec. 12 (8 p.m.), Dec. 15 (7:30 p.m.) and Dec. 20 (3 p.m.). The CSO has performed the full work many times, beginning with its first season in 1891.
HOME ALONE: The Oscar-nominated score by Symphony Center favorite John Williams for the classic 1990 holiday-themed comedy will be performed by members of the CSO, led by guest conductor Richard Kaufman, in three concerts Dec. 11 (7 p.m. ), Dec. 12 (3 p.m.) and Dec. 13 (3 p.m.).
CSO BRASS: Known for its power and precision, the ensemble will perform traditional brass repertoire as well as symphonic masterworks and holiday treasures in a special evening concert beginning at 8 p.m. Dec. 16.
MERRY, MERRY CHICAGO: The CSO’s all-new holiday program features members of the CSO performing holiday favorites, a festive sing-along including “Christmas in Chicago” with the Midwest Young Artists: Voices Rising, and an extraordinary guest from the North Pole. Also appearing will be the vocal group The von Trapps, the great-grandchildren of the family depicted in “The Sound of Music.” Five performances, Dec. 18 (7 p.m.), Dec. 19 (3 p.m.), Dec. 21 (3 p.m.), Dec. 22 (3 p.m.) and Dec. 23 (3 p.m.).
Tickets for all CSOA-presented 2014 holiday performances may be purchased beginning July 24 by phone at (312) 294-3000, online at cso.org or by visiting the Symphony Center box office, 220 S. Michigan.