The Sound Of The Season: CPR Classical’s 2020 Holiday Music Guide

November 13, 2020

Music this holiday season takes on heightened importance. As our world is upended, music is what we can rely on to fill our home and hearts with the holiday spirit.

Who would have ever guessed that singing carols in a group could be dangerous? Or that coming together as an audience – emblematic of our most basic need for connection and community – would have to be put on hold?

Without the normal flurry of holiday concerts and events to fill our souls this year, “stay-at-home” music becomes even more vital. For this reason, CPR’s annual Sound of the Season takes on a sweet, if more critical tone, feeding our hearts and souls on a deeper level than perhaps ever before. 

CPR Classical is here for you throughout the holiday season, bringing joy, escape, and celebration! There's the annual Carol Countdown (Don't forget to vote!) and the grand finale for Beethoven's 250th birthday, plus Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, stories and music for Hanukkah and African American Spirituals for Christmas.

We also keep the spirit of Colorado music alive through memorable holiday performances of the Colorado Symphony and the Colorado Children's Chorale at a lively, sold-out Boettcher Concert Hall, as well as Colorado musical pillars like St. Martin's Chamber Choir, Kantorei, the Denver Brass, Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado and exclusive performances from the CPR Performance Studio.

All of your favorite programs are back this year, plus some new ones. CPR Classical's Sound of the Season is one great part of your holidays that the pandemic cannot stop!

Complete Sound Of The Season Schedule:

(download a printable schedule)

DateTimeProgram
Wed, Dec. 2 9 a.m.Christmas with the Colorado Children’s Chorale Highlights from the group's 2018 and 2019 holiday performances, hosted by David Ginder.
Wed, Dec. 2 6 p.m.Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” CPR Classical brings you a variety of the best recordings throughout the season of the complete beloved ballet.
Wed, Dec. 2 7 p.m.“Hodie” An exploration of Ralph Vaughan Williams' retelling of the Nativity, fusing the Christmas spirit with overtones of the English countryside.
Thu, Dec. 3 9 a.m., 7 p.m.A Classical Christmas with the Colorado Symphony An encore broadcast of the symphony's 2018 holiday concert, hosted by David Ginder.
Fri, Dec. 4 12:30 p.m.Beethoven 250 Concert: The Musical Era of the “Choral” Symphony Featuring Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Schubert's “Unfinished” Symphony, hosted by Karla Walker.
Fri, Dec. 4 7 p.m.“Amahl and the Night Visitors” Gian Carlo Menotti's 1951 one-act opera inspired by The Adoration of the Magi by 15th century Dutch painter, Hieronymus Bosch.
Sat, Dec. 5 10:30 a.m.The Met Opera Radio Broadcasts Return The Met opens the vaults for a new season of the legendary radi o series, beginning with Prokofiev's “War and Peace” recorded in 2002.
Sat, Dec. 5 3 p.m.Comfort & Joy CPR Classical's exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio's Performance Studio, hosted by David Ginder.
Sat, Dec. 5 6 p.m.Beethoven 250 Concert: The Musical Era of the “Choral” Symphony Featuring Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Schubert's “Unfinished” Symphony, hosted by Karla Walker.
Sun, Dec. 6 6 a.m.Sing for the Holidays! Turn the volume up and join the choir from home! David Ginder includes some familiar holiday favorites.
Sun, Dec. 6 4 p.m.Beethoven 250 Concert: The Musical Era of the “Choral” Symphony Featuring Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Schubert's “Unfinished” Symphony, hosted by Karla Walker.
Mon, Dec. 7 7 a.m.Colorado Conductor Scott O'Neil on “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” A holiday edition of the insightful series of vignettes from the conductor and lecturer. Complete daily broadcast schedule found here. Holiday times subject to change.
Mon, Dec. 7 9 a.m., 7 p.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight Enjoy holiday music from St. Martin's Chamber Choir of Denver and the Denver Brass.
Mon, Dec. 7 10 a.m.Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” CPR Classical brings you a variety of the best recordings throughout the season of the complete beloved ballet.
Mon, Dec. 7 2 p.m.250 Minutes of (your favorite!) Beethoven We asked, you answered! Hear over 4 hours of your favorite Beethoven pieces plus Beethoven stories from Coloradans, hosted by Ray White.
Tue, Dec. 8 9 a.m., 7 p.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight Enjoy holiday music from right here in Colorado, Kantorei and The Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado.
Tue, Dec. 8 2 p.m.Comfort & Joy CPR Classical's exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio's Performance Studio, hosted by David Ginder.
Wed, Dec. 9 9 a.m., 7 p.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight Enjoy holiday music recorded in CPR's Performance Studio.
Wed, Dec. 9 1 p.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas 2 hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.
Wed, Dec. 9 11:59 p.m.Carol Countdown voting ends! Cast your vote by Dec. 9 at midnight to help us determine Colorado's favorite holiday music.
Thu, Dec. 10 8 a.m., 4 p.m.Stories of Hanukkah begins The sounds and stories of Hanukkah, presented in short vignettes by Colorado Public Radio's Rebekah Romberg.
Thu, Dec. 10 9 a.m., 7 p.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight Memorable holiday recordings from the Colorado Symphony at Boettcher Concert Hall.
Fri, Dec. 11 8 a.m., 4 p.m.Stories of Hanukkah The sounds and stories of Hanukkah, presented in short vignettes by Colorado Public Radio's Rebekah Romberg.
Fri, Dec. 11 9 a.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight Enjoy holiday music featuring choice selections from the Colorado Children's Chorale.
Fri, Dec. 11 12:30 p.m.Beethoven 250 Historic Concert from December 22, 1808 Part I A re-creation of this historic concert featuring Symphony No. 6, Piano Concerto No. 4 and more, hosted by Karla Walker.
Fri, Dec. 11 4:05 p.m.Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” CPR Classical brings you a variety of the best recordings throughout the season of the complete beloved ballet.
Fri, Dec. 11 7 p.m.Christmas with the Colorado Children’s Chorale Highlights from the group's 2018 and 2019 holiday performances, hosted by David Ginder.
Sat, Dec. 12 6 a.m.Holiday Baroque A celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah through the beauty of Baroque music, hosted by Jean Inaba.
Sat, Dec. 12 8 a.m., 5 p.m.Stories of Hanukkah The sounds and stories of Hanukkah, presented in short vignettes by Colorado Public Radio's Rebekah Romberg.
Sat, Dec. 12 9 a.m.A Classical Christmas with the Colorado Symphony An encore broadcast of the symphony's 2018 holiday concert, hosted by David Ginder.
Sat, Dec. 12 11 a.m.The Met Opera An encore broadcast of Beethoven's “Fidelio” (recorded April 1, 2017).
Sat, Dec. 12 2 p.m.Carol Countdown 3 hours of Colorado's favorite Christmas carols as selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Sat, Dec. 12 6 p.m.Beethoven 250 Historic Concert from December 22, 1808 Part II A re-creation of this historic concert featuring Symphony No. 5, Choral Fantasy and more, hosted by Karla Walker.
Sun, Dec. 13 6 a.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas 2 hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.
Sun, Dec. 13 10 a.m.Holiday Baroque A celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah through the beauty of Baroque music, hosted by Jean Inaba.
Sun, Dec. 13 12 p.m., 3:55 p.m.Stories of Hanukkah The sounds and stories of Hanukkah, presented in short vignettes by Colorado Public Radio's Rebekah Romberg.
Sun, Dec. 13 1 p.m.Itzhak Perlman's Hanukkah Radio Party Hear favorite Hanukkah recordings and the story of the Jewish festival of lights, hosted by the famous violinist.
Sun, Dec. 13 3 p.m.“Ceremony of Carols” A short masterpiece of simple beauty and innocence composed during WW II by outspoken pacifist, Benjamin Britten.
Sun, Dec. 13 4 p.m.Beethoven 250 Historic Concert from December 22, 1808 Parts I & II A re-creation of this 4 hour long historic concert featuring Symphony No. 5, Symphony No. 6, Piano Concerto No. 4, Choral Fantasy and more, hosted by Karla Walker.
Mon, Dec. 14 7 a.m.Colorado Conductor Scott O'Neil on “In The Bleak Midwinter” A holiday edition of the insightful series of vignettes from the conductor and lecturer. Complete daily broadcast schedule found here. Holiday times subject to change.
Mon, Dec. 14 8 a.m., 4 p.m.Stories of Hanukkah The sounds and stories of Hanukkah, presented in short vignettes by Colorado Public Radio's Rebekah Romberg.
Mon, Dec. 14 8:05 a.m.Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” CPR Classical brings you a variety of the best recordings throughout the season of the complete beloved ballet.
Mon, Dec. 14 1 p.m.Comfort & Joy CPR Classical's exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio's Performance Studio, hosted by David Ginder.
Mon, Dec. 14 7 p.m.Handel's “Judas Maccabaeus” The classic oratorio which illuminates the origins of the Festival of Lights, the heart of the Hanukkah story
Tue, Dec. 15 8 a.m., 3:55 p.m.Stories of Hanukkah The sounds and stories of Hanukkah, presented in short vignettes by Colorado Public Radio's Rebekah Romberg.
Tue, Dec. 152 p.m.The Life of Beethoven Host Marilyn Cooley walks us through the life and music of Beethoven.
Tue, Dec. 15 7 p.m.Itzhak Perlman's Hanukkah Radio Party Hear favorite Hanukkah recordings and the story of the Jewish festival of lights, hosted by the famous violinist.
Tue, Dec. 158 p.m.The Ballad of the Brown King A cantata by Margaret Bonds set to text by Langston Hughes, inspired to  “reinforce the image of African participation in the Nativity story”.
Wed, Dec. 16 6 a.m.Beethoven 250th Birthday Party! Non-stop Beethoven into the night on the celebration of his 250th birthday starting at 6 a.m. — symphonies, sonatas, chamber works and more, with stories demonstrating Beethoven's relevance.
Wed, Dec. 16 8 a.m., 4 p.m.Stories of Hanukkah The sounds and stories of Hanukkah, presented in short vignettes by Colorado Public Radio's Rebekah Romberg.
Wed, Dec. 16 10 a.m.250 Minutes of (your favorite!) Beethoven We asked, you answered! Hear over 4 hours of your favorite Beethoven pieces plus Beethoven stories from Coloradans, hosted by Ray White.
Thu, Dec. 17 8 a.m., 4 p.m.Stories of Hanukkah The sounds and stories of Hanukkah, presented in short vignettes by Colorado Public Radio's Rebekah Romberg.
Thu, Dec. 17 11 a.m.Carol Countdown 3 hours of Colorado's favorite Christmas carols as selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Thu, Dec. 17 7 p.m.St. Olaf Christmas Festival A century-old tradition from Northfield, Minnesota.
Fri, Dec. 18 12:30 p.m.Holiday Pops! Join Karla Walker for an hour of the great pops orchestras playing the great holiday hits.
Fri, Dec. 18 2 p.m.Christmas with the Colorado Children’s Chorale Highlights from the group's 2018 and 2019 holiday performances, hosted by David Ginder.
Fri, Dec. 18 7 p.m.“L'enfance du Christ” A 90-minute grand masterpiece in 3 parts by Hector Berlioz, focusing on the dramatic events after Christ's birth as Joseph, Mary and Jesus flee to safety.
Sat, Dec. 19 9 a.m.Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” CPR Classical brings you a variety of the best recordings throughout the season of the complete beloved ballet.
Sat, Dec. 19 11 a.m.The Met Opera An encore broadcast of Humperdinck's “Hansel & Gretel” (recorded January 6, 2018).
Sat, Dec. 19 2 p.m.Carol Countdown 3 hours of Colorado's favorite Christmas carols as selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Sat, Dec. 19 5 p.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas 2 hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.
Sat, Dec. 19 7 p.m.Holiday Pops! Join Karla Walker for an hour of the great pops orchestras playing the great holiday hits.
Sat, Dec. 19 8 p.m.December Solstice An hour of midwinter reflection and music to celebrate the Winter Solstice, with host Marilyn Cooley.
Sun, Dec. 20 6 a.m.Sing for the Holidays! with host David Ginder.
Sun, Dec. 20 1 p.m.December Solstice An hour of midwinter reflection and music to celebrate the Winter Solstice, with host Marilyn Cooley.
Sun, Dec. 20 3 p.m.Comfort & Joy CPR Classical's exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio's Performance Studio, hosted by David Ginder.
Sun, Dec. 20 4 p.m.Holiday Pops! Join Karla Walker for an hour of the great pops orchestras playing the great holiday hits.
Sun, Dec. 20 6 p.m.December Solstice An hour of midwinter reflection and music to celebrate the Winter Solstice, with host Marilyn Cooley.
Sun, Dec. 20 7 p.m.Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” CPR Classical brings you a variety of the best recordings throughout the season of the complete beloved ballet.
Mon, Dec. 21 6 a.m.December Solstice An hour of midwinter reflection and music to celebrate the Winter Solstice, with host Marilyn Cooley.
Mon, Dec. 21 7 a.m.Carol Countdown 3 hours of Colorado's favorite Christmas carols as selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Mon, Dec. 21 12 p.m.A Classical Christmas with the Colorado Symphony An encore broadcast of the symphony's 2018 holiday concert, hosted by David Ginder.
Mon, Dec. 21 2 p.m.Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” CPR Classical brings you a variety of the best recordings throughout the season of the complete beloved ballet.
Mon, Dec. 21 5 p.m.December Solstice An hour of midwinter reflection and music to celebrate the Winter Solstice, with host Marilyn Cooley.
Mon, Dec. 21 7 p.m.A Colorado Christmas An hour of Colorado's finest magical performances for the holidays, hosted by David Ginder.
Tue, Dec. 22 10 a.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas 2 hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.
Tue, Dec. 22 1 p.m.Scott O'Neil Shares a Holiday Memory A holiday edition of insightful vignettes from the Colorado Symphony's former Resident Conductor. Complete daily broadcast schedule found here. Holiday times subject to change.
Tue, Dec. 22 7 p.m.Richard Toensing's “Kontakion on the Nativity of Christ” A seasonal treasure and liturgical hymn by the late Colorado composer and CU music professor.
Wed, Dec. 23 11 a.m.A Colorado Christmas Some of Colorado's finest, magical performances for the holidays, hosted by David Ginder.
Wed, Dec. 23 4 p.m.The Ballad of the Brown King A cantata by Margaret Bonds set to text by Langston Hughes, inspired to  “reinforce the image of African participation in the Nativity story”.
Wed, Dec. 23 5 p.m.St. Olaf Christmas Festival A century-old tradition from Northfield, Minnesota.
Wed, Dec. 23 6 p.m.Handel's “Messiah” A classic recording of Handel's enduring masterwork.
Thu, Dec. 24 8 a.m.A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols A live, world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast from The Choir of King's College in Cambridge, England.
Thu, Dec. 24 10 a.m.Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” CPR Classical brings you a variety of the best recordings throughout the season of the complete beloved ballet.
Thu, Dec. 24 12 p.m.A Colorado Christmas An hour of Colorado's finest magical performances for the holidays, hosted by David Ginder.
Thu, Dec. 24 3 p.m.Carol Countdown 3 hours of Colorado's favorite Christmas carols as selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Thu, Dec. 24 6 p.m.A Candlelight Christmas Eve Join CPR Classical just after sundown for 30 continuous hours of holiday music beginning on Christmas Eve, taking you throughout Christmas Day.
Fri, Dec. 25 9 a.m.Christmas with the Colorado Children’s Chorale Highlights from the 2018 & 2019 holiday concerts at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, hosted by David Ginder.
Fri, Dec. 25 11 a.m.Comfort & Joy CPR Classical's exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio's Performance Studio, hosted by David Ginder.
Fri, Dec. 25 12
p.m.
Carol Countdown 3 hours of Colorado's favorite Christmas carols as selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Fri, Dec. 25 3 p.m.A Colorado Christmas An hour of Colorado's finest magical performances for the holidays, hosted by David Ginder.
Fri, Dec. 25 4 p.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas 2 hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.
Sat, Dec. 26 11 a.m.The Met Opera An encore broadcast of Mozart's “The Magic Flute” (Abridged English-language version recorded December 21, 2010).
Thu, Dec. 31 6 p.m.Beethoven Bash ~ New Year's Eve! Continuing the long tradition, hear all 9 Beethoven Symphonies in a row, culminating with the “Ode to Joy” at Midnight!
Fri, Jan. 1 9 a.m.New Year's Day from Vienna Ring in the new year with the Vienna Philharmonic. An annual tradition reaching millions around the world.

Here's what's previously aired:

DateTimeProgram
Thu, Nov. 266 a.m.A CPR Classical Thanksgiving A rich helping of American music throughout the day.
Thu, Nov. 265 p.m.Giving Thanks with John Birge For Thanksgiving, a celebration of fall, food and gratitude, with special guests Michael Tilson Thomas and Brooklyn Rider.
Fri, Nov. 276 a.m.Carol Countdown voting begins! Cast your vote by Dec. 9 at midnight to help us determine Colorado's favorite holiday music.
Fri, Nov. 276 a.m.The Sound of the Season begins! Hear your favorite holiday music on CPR Classical throughout each day this holiday season.
Fri, Nov. 279 a.m.Giving Thanks with John Birge For Thanksgiving, a celebration of fall, food and gratitude, with special guests Michael Tilson Thomas and Brooklyn Rider.
Fri, Nov. 2711 a.m.Colorado Conductor Scott O'Neil breaks down the emotional DNA of “White Christmas”, in Italian that you'll understand. Complete daily broadcast schedule found hereHoliday times subject to change.
Fri, Nov. 2712:30 p.m.Beethoven 250 Historic Concert from February 27, 1814 A re-creation of the concert debut of Symphony No. 7, Wellington's Victory and Symphony No. 8, hosted by Karla Walker.
Sat, Nov. 289 a.m.Comfort & Joy CPR Classical's exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio's Performance Studio, hosted by David Ginder.
Sat, Nov. 2810 a.m.250 Minutes of (your favorite!) Beethoven We asked, you answered! Hear over 4 hours of your favorite Beethoven pieces plus Beethoven stories from Coloradans, hosted by Ray White.
Sat, Nov. 285 p.m.The Ballad of the Brown King A cantata by Margaret Bonds set to text by Langston Hughes, inspired to  “reinforce the image of African participation in the Nativity story”.
Sat, Nov. 286 p.m.Beethoven 250 Historic Concert from February 27, 1814 A re-creation of the concert debut of Symphony No. 7, Wellington's Victory and Symphony No. 8, hosted by Karla Walker.
Sun, Nov. 296 a.m.Sing for the Holidays! David Ginder presents great holiday choral performances.
Sun, Nov. 2912 p.m.Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” CPR Classical brings you a variety of the best recordings throughout the season of the complete beloved ballet.
Sun, Nov. 294 p.m.Beethoven 250 Historic Concert from February 27, 1814 A re-creation of the concert debut of Symphony No. 7, Wellington's Victory and Symphony No. 8, hosted by Karla Walker.
Mon, Nov. 30 7 a.m.Conductor Scott O'Neil Shares a Holiday Memory about an unusual instrument that adds to the magic of the season: the celesta. Complete daily broadcast schedule found here. Holiday times subject to change.
Mon, Nov. 30 7 p.m.Comfort & Joy CPR Classical's exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio's Performance Studio, hosted by David Ginder.
Tue, Dec. 1 9 a.m.250 Minutes of (your favorite!) Beethoven We asked, you answered! Hear over 4 hours of your favorite Beethoven pieces plus Beethoven stories from Coloradans, hosted by Ray White.
Tue, Dec. 1 7 p.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas 2 hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.

The Sound of the Season on CPR Classical

Nov. 27 - Jan. 1: Click "Listen Live" on this website, tune to 88.1 FM in Denver, tune to radio signals around Colorado, or ask your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical.”

View virtual and in-person holiday concerts in Colorado and beyond.