The 2021 Sound of the Season is here! Your CPR Classical guide to daily holiday listening

November 24, 2021
CPR Classical is here for you throughout the holiday season, bringing joy and celebration!

Great music helps set the scene for the holidays. Beautiful decorations, a perfectly set table, and wonderful food are made even better by a delightfully curated holiday soundtrack. And once again, CPR Classical provides a cornucopia of great holiday musical offerings.


Long time favorites like the annual Carol Countdown are back. Voting for your favorite carols is now live. Voting is “bracket style” with a new round of voting every few days, so keep checking back to vote in the latest bracket to ensure your favorite carol makes it to #1. Then listen for the debut of all fifty of Colorado’s favorite carols as chosen by you on Saturday, December 11th at 3 p.m.


New this year is a lovely program for Hanukkah called “Hanukkah Reflections,” two hours of music celebrating Jewish traditions co-hosted by Colorado Springs composer Ofer Ben-Amots. Also this year, the “12 Days of Carols.” Beginning Sunday, December 12th, listen for a featured carol every day along with the fascinating story behind it. One carol each day for twelve days and then we’ll combine them all on Christmas Day at 5 p.m.


Back this year are two programs introduced last year. “The Holiday Pops!” concert – a glittery potpourri of holiday favorites “pops” style. And “Shout for Joy” - a two hour joyful celebration of Christmas related spirituals, co-hosted by M. Roger Holland, II, the director of the Spirituals Project Choir, housed at the University of Denver.


Catch full broadcasts of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” ballet, special holiday versions of “Sing!” on Sunday morning and the weekend “Baroque Show,” festive Behind the Baton features, and, of course, your favorite holiday carols and pieces throughout each day.


Complete Sound Of The Season Schedule:

(download a printable schedule)

Date Time |Program
Nov 269 a.m., 7 p.m.Giving Thanks: A celebration of fall, food and gratitude with John Birge.
Nov 261 p.m.At Home with Sphere: Highlights from the new holiday collection from Denver’s Sphere Ensemble.
Nov 279 a.m.Comfort and Joy! CPR Classical’s exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio’s Performance Studio.
Nov 2711 a.m.Essential Christmas: Six hours of the holiday essentials, hosted by Monika Vischer.
Nov 275 p.m."Ballad of the Brown King” -- A cantata by Margaret Bonds set to text by Langston Hughes, who felt inspired to “reinforce the image of African participation in the Nativity story.”
Nov 286 a.m.Sing for the Holidays! David Ginder presents America’s greatest holiday choral performances.
Nov 288 a.m., 5 p.m.Stories of Hanukkah begins The sounds and stories of Hanukkah, presented in short vignettes by Colorado Public Radio's Rebekah Romberg.
Nov 2812 p.m. Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" -- The quintessential fairy tale ballet and classic Christmas story.
Nov 283 p.m.New for 2021! Hanukkah Reflections: Music celebrating Jewish traditions at Hanukkah. Monika Vischer is joined by Colorado composer Ofer Ben-Amots.
Nov 286 p.m.“Judas Maccabaeus” -- The classic oratorio which illuminates the origins of the Festival of Lights, the heart of the Hanukkah story.
Nov 297 a.m.New for 2021! Hanukkah Reflections: Music celebrating Jewish traditions at Hanukkah. Monika Vischer is joined by Colorado composer Ofer Ben-Amots.
Nov 298 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.
Nov 297 p.m.Comfort and Joy!: CPR Classical’s exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio’s Performance Studio.
Nov 308 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.
Nov 3010 a.m.At Home with Sphere: Highlights from the new holiday collection from Denver’s Sphere Ensemble.
Nov 30 7 p.m. Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas Two hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.

Date TimeProgram
Dec 18 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.
Dec 19 a.m.Christmas with the Colorado Children’s Chorale: The best of the group’s 2018 and 2019 holiday concerts at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 13 p.m.Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” -- The quintessential fairy tale ballet and classic Christmas story.
Dec 17 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.
Dec 28 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.
Dec 29 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.
Dec 23 p.m. Hanukkah Reflections: Music celebrating Jewish traditions at Hanukkah. Monika Vischer is joined by Colorado composer Ofer Ben-Amots.
Dec 38 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.
Dec 37 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.
Dec 48 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.
Dec 410 a.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.
Dec 411 a.m.The Met Opera: Aucoin’s “Eurydice” -- The Met opens the vaults for a new season of the legendary radio series, beginning with a new work: “Eurydice” by composer Matthew Aucoin, adapted from the 2003 play by Sarah Ruhl.
Dec 42 p.m.Hanukkah Reflections: Music celebrating Jewish traditions at Hanukkah. Monika Vischer is joined by Colorado composer Ofer Ben-Amots.
Dec 44:05 p.m. Comfort and Joy! CPR Classical’s exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio’s Performance Studio.
Dec 4 7 p.m. “L’enfance du Christ” -- A 90-minute grand masterpiece in three parts by Hector Berlioz focusing on the dramatic events after Christ’s birth as Joseph, Mary and Jesus flee to safety.
Date Time Program
Dec 56 a.m.Sing for the Holiday! David Ginder presents America’s greatest holiday choral performances.
Dec 55 p.m.At Home with Sphere: Highlights from the new holiday collection from Denver’s Sphere Ensemble.
Dec 5 7 p.m.Hanukkah Reflections: Music celebrating Jewish traditions at Hanukkah. Monika Vischer is joined by Colorado composer Ofer Ben-Amots.
Dec 69 a.m., 7 p.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight: Exclusive recordings from CPR’s Performance Studio.
Dec 610 a.m.Hanukkah Reflections: Music celebrating Jewish traditions at Hanukkah. Monika Vischer is joined by Colorado composer Ofer Ben-Amots.
Dec 79 a.m., 7 p.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight: St. Martin’s Chamber Choir and The Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado.
Dec 710 a.m.Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” -- Quintessential holiday music from the fairy tale ballet and classic Christmas story.
Dec 72 p.m.Comfort and Joy! CPR Classical’s exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio’s Performance Studio.
Dec 8 9 a.m., 7 p.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight: Kantorei and the Denver Brass
Dec 81 p.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas Two hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.
Dec 99 a.m., 7 p.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight: The Colorado Symphony
Dec 109 a.m.Colorado Holiday Spotlight: The Colorado Children’s Chorale
Dec 104 p.m.Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” -- Quintessential holiday music from the fairy tale ballet and classic Christmas story.
Dec 107 p.m.Christmas with the Colorado Children’s Chorale: The best of the group’s 2018 and 2019 holiday concerts at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 119 a.m.A Classical Christmas with the Colorado Symphony: An encore broadcast of the symphony’s 2018 holiday concert, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 1111 a.m.The Met Opera: Puccini’s “Tosca” -- The tempestuous opera singer Tosca fights to save her lover Cavaradossi from the vengeful police chief Scarpia.
Dec 11 3 p.m.Carol Countdown: Three hours of Colorado’s favorite Christmas carols selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Date Time Program
Dec 126 a.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas Two hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.
Dec 123 p.m.“Ceremony of Carols" -- A short masterpiece of simple beauty and innocence composed by outspoken pacifist Benjamin Britten during the horrors of World War II.
Dec 137 a.m.Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” -- Quintessential holiday music from the fairy tale ballet and classic Christmas story.
Dec 131 p.m.Comfort and Joy! CPR Classical’s exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio’s Performance Studio.
Dec 134 p.m.Carol Countdown: Three hours of Colorado’s favorite Christmas carols selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Dec 148 p.m.“Ballad of the Brown King” -- A cantata by Margaret Bonds set to text by Langston Hughes, who felt inspired to “reinforce the image of African participation in the Nativity story.”
Dec 15 10 a.m.Carol Countdown: Three hours of Colorado’s favorite Christmas carols selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Dec 156 p.m."Messiah" -- A classic recording of Handel’s enduring masterwork.
Dec 1611 a.m., 7 p.m. Beethoven Birthday Party: An all-day celebration of Beethoven, featuring “The Life of Beethoven” with Marilyn Cooley.
Dec 161 p.m.Carol Countdown: Three hours of Colorado’s favorite Christmas carols selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Dec 171 p.m.Holiday Pops! Join Karla Walker for an hour of sparkly renditions of holiday favorites from the great pops orchestras.
Dec 172 p.m.Christmas with the Colorado Children’s Chorale: The best of the group’s 2018 and 2019 holiday concerts at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 177 p.m.St. Olaf Christmas Festival: A century-old tradition from Northfield, Minnesota.
Dec 189 a.m. Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” -- Quintessential holiday music from the fairy tale ballet and classic Christmas story.
Dec 1811 a.m.The Met Opera: Mozart’s “Magic Flute" -- Mozart's timeless comedy about the search for love and enlightenment. Follow the adventures of Prince Tamino and the bird-catcher Papageno on their quest to rescue Pamina.
Dec 185 p.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas Two hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.
Dec 187 p.m.Holiday Pops! Join Karla Walker for an hour of the great pops orchestras playing the great holiday hits.
Dec 188 p.m.December Solstice: An hour of midwinter reflection and music to celebrate the Winter Solstice, with host Marilyn Cooley.
Date Time. Program
Dec 196 a.m.Sing for the Holidays! David Ginder presents America’s greatest holiday choral performances.
Dec 1910 a.m.Holiday Baroque: A celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah through the beauty of Baroque music, hosted by Jean Inaba.
Dec 191 p.m., 6 p.m. December Solstice: An hour of midwinter reflection and music to celebrate the Winter Solstice, with host Marilyn Cooley.
Dec 193 p.m.Comfort and Joy! CPR Classical’s exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio’s Performance Studio.
Dec 194 p.m.Holiday Pops! Join Karla Walker for an hour of the great pops orchestras playing the great holiday hits.
Dec 197 p.m.Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” -- Quintessential holiday music from the fairy tale ballet and classic Christmas story.
Dec 208 a.m.December Solstice: An hour of midwinter reflection and music to celebrate the Winter Solstice, with host Marilyn Cooley.
Dec 209 a.m.Carol Countdown: Three hours of Colorado’s favorite Christmas carols selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Dec 2012 p.m.A Classical Christmas with the Colorado Symphony: An encore broadcast of the symphony’s 2018 holiday concert, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 202 p.m.Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” -- Quintessential holiday music from the fairy tale ballet and classic Christmas story.
Dec 207 p.m.A Colorado Christmas: An hour of Colorado’s finest magical performances for the holidays, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 2110 a.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas Two hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.
Dec 215 p.m.December Solstice: An hour of midwinter reflection and music to celebrate the Winter Solstice, with host Marilyn Cooley.
Dec 217 p.m.“Kontakion on the Nativity of Christ” -- Colorado composer and former CU music professor Richard Toensing’s liturgical hymn for the Christmas season.
Dec 229 a.m.A Colorado Christmas: An hour of Colorado’s finest magical performances for the holidays, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 223 p.m.“Ballad of the Brown King” -- A cantata by Margaret Bonds set to text by Langston Hughes, who felt inspired to “reinforce the image of African participation in the Nativity story.”
Dec 224 p.m.St. Olaf Christmas Festival" A century-old tradition from Northfield, Minnesota.
Dec 226 p.m.The Historic 1808 Beethoven Concert: Symphonies 5 & 6, Piano Concerto 4, Choral Fantasy and more!
Dec 239 a.m.A Colorado Christmas: An hour of Colorado’s finest magical performances for the holidays, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 233 p.m.At Home with Sphere: Highlights from the new holiday collection from Denver’s Sphere Ensemble.
Dec 237 p.m.Shout for Joy! African American Spirituals and Music for Christmas Two hours of spirituals and music from Black composers & musicians for the holidays, hosted by Monika Vischer with guest, M. Roger Holland II.

Date Time Program
Dec 248 a.m., 8 a.m.LIVE: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols: A live, worldwide, Christmas Eve broadcast from King’s College in Cambridge, England.
Dec 2410 a.m.Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” -- Quintessential holiday music from the fairy tale ballet and classic Christmas story.
Dec 2412 p.m.A Colorado Christmas: An hour of Colorado’s finest magical performances for the holidays, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 241 p.m.Holiday Pops! Join Karla Walker for an hour of the great pops orchestras playing the great holiday hits.
Dec 243 p.m.Carol Countdown: Three hours of Colorado’s favorite Christmas carols selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Dec 246 p.m.A Candlelight Christmas: Listen all evening for the quieter, more sacred side of Christmas.
Dec 258 a.m.Carol Countdown: Three hours of Colorado’s favorite Christmas carols selected by CPR Classical listeners, hosted by Matt Weesner.
Dec 2511 a.m.The Met Opera: Verdi’s “Aida”-- celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Met's radio broadcasts and 150th anniversary of Aida’s premiere.
Dec 253 p.m.Christmas with the Colorado Children’s Chorale: The best of the group’s 2018 and 2019 holiday concerts at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, hosted by David Ginder.
Dec 255 p.m.New for 2021! The 12 Days of Carols: twelve favorite carols and the fascinating stories behind them.
Dec 256 p.m.Comfort and Joy! CPR Classical’s exclusive holiday collection recorded in Colorado Public Radio’s Performance Studio.
Date Time Program
Dec 26 - Jan 1Kwanzaa: CPR Classical celebrates African American music and culture...a celebration of community and family.
Dec 316 p.m.Beethoven Bash: All nine of Beethoven’s symphonies! A CPR Classical tradition. Ring in the new year with all nine Beethoven symphonies, including the “Ode to Joy” from Symphony No. 9 at midnight!
Jan 19 a.m.New Year’s Day: Ring in the new year with the Vienna Philharmonic, an annual tradition reaching millions around the world, conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

Keep CPR Classical close this holiday season!

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