Though the weather outside is delightful, soon the seasons will change, and the holidays will be upon us, with carols and other yuletide music ringing throughout Symphony Center. Starting July 20, tickets will go on sale for a festive array of seasonal concerts in November and December, including the musical revue “Merry, Merry Chicago!” and the annual CSO Brass showcase. Concerts begin Nov. 24 and continue through Dec. 23 at Symphony Center, unless otherwise noted.
THE VIENNA BOYS CHOIR: Continuing an annual tradition, the Vienna Boys Choir returns for a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 24. 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.
A CHANTICLEER CHRISTMAS: The Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer marks its 18th annual Chicago yuletide engagement with two performances at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4-5 at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut. Based in San Francisco, founded in 1978 and celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018, the 12-voice male a cappella group will offer a program of traditional carols, sacred works and holiday favorites.
‘HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS’: Led by guest conductor Justin Freer, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform a live-to-picture presentation of the second installment of one of Hollywood’s most beloved film franchises on Dec. 7 (7 p.m.), Dec. 8 (2 p.m.) and Dec. 9 (2 p.m.). Featuring John Williams’ Grammy-nominated score, “The Chamber of Secrets” (2002) is part of the Harry Potter Film Concert series, another multimedia experience from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Launched in June 2016, the Harry Potter Film Concert series consists of hundreds of performances across more than 35 countries worldwide through 2018.
MERRY, MERRY CHICAGO!: Returning for its fourth edition, the holiday revue features members of the CSO, conducted by Michael Krajewski, performing holiday favorites, a festive sing-along including “Christmas in Chicago” with the Young Naperville Singers and a special guest from the North Pole. Also appearing will be Storm Large, vocalist with the international sensation Pink Martini. Seven performances, Dec. 14 (7 p.m.), Dec. 15 (3 p.m.), Dec. 16 (1 and 4:30 p.m.), Dec. 21 (7 p.m.), Dec. 22 (3 p.m.) and Dec. 23 (7 p.m.).
THE CSO BRASS: Known for its power and precision, the ensemble will perform traditional brass repertoire as well as symphonic masterworks and holiday treasures in an evening concert beginning at 8 p.m. Dec. 19.
MESSIAH: The CSO will perform Handel’s choral masterpiece, often associated with the yuletide season. Making his CSO debut, guest conductor Matthew Halls will lead the orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Chorus and guest vocalists Amanda Forsythe, Sasha Cooke, Nicholas Phan and Joshua Hopkins in four performances on Dec. 20 (8 p.m.), Dec. 21 (1:30 p.m.), Dec. 22 (8 p.m.) and Dec. 23 (2 p.m.).
Tickets for all CSOA-presented 2018 holiday performances may be purchased beginning at 10 a.m. July 20 by phone at (312) 294-3000, online at cso.org or by visiting the Symphony Center box office, 220 S. Michigan.
TOP: Choristers sing during “Merry, Merry Chicago!” last season. | ©Todd Rosenberg Photography 2017