A Bevy of Holiday Classical Music Events to Catch Before the Calendar Turns to 2016

click to enlarge A Bevy of Holiday Classical Music Events to Catch Before the Calendar Turns to 2016
Apollo's Fire
Holiday concerts rule the classical music scene for the next week or so, then events taper off until after the New Year. Here are some festive concerts to catch during the next three weeks.

Handel’s Messiah
is an almost obligatory Christmas event in America. You can sing it for yourself — in the company of a few hundred other voices — at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland on Wednesday, December 16 at 12:10 Noon, when music director Todd Wilson and professional soloists and orchestra present their annual Messiah Sing. It takes just over an hour to perform the Christmas portion (plus a few extras), and you’re welcome to sing or just listen — no auditions, and nobody will kick you out for warbling off-key. Bring your own score, or the Trinity folks will have some to lend out. A freewill offering covers the costs of the event. Hallelujah!

Apollo’s Fire’s second Christmas show of the season features the music of 16th century composer Michael Praetorius, who made elaborate arrangements of popular German Christmas tunes for multiple choirs and instruments. Jeannette Sorrell leads soloists (Molly Quinn, Nell Snaidas & Amanda Powell, sopranos, Oliver Mercer & Karim Sulayman, tenors, and Paul Shipper, bass), children’s and adult voices and a Renaissance band in four performances of this snazzy music: on Friday, December 17 at 7:30 pm at The Bath Church, on Friday & Saturday, December 18 & 19 at First Baptist in Shaker Heights, and on Sunday, December 19 at 4:00 pm in St. Christopher’s in Rocky River. Tickets available online.

Burning River Brass brings holiday music for brass and percussion to your neck of the woods in five concerts between December 14 and 21. Heather and Feza Zweifel’s first-class musicians play at Painesville Methodist on December 15 at 7:30 pm, the Church of the Resurrection in Solon on December 16 at 7:00 pm, Wooster Methodist on Saturday, December 19 at 1:30 pm, and twice at Pilgrim Church in Tremont on Sunday and Monday, December 20 and 21 at 7:00 pm (courtesy of Arts Renaissance Tremont). Freewill offerings may be made at each event.

The Almeda Trio’s Annual Winter Solstice Concerts celebrate the darkest days of the year with bright piano trio music and starry projections in the Shafran Planetarium at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Robert Cassidy, piano, Cara Tweed, violin & Ida Mercer, cello will give four shows featuring works by Leonard Bernstein, Johannes Brahms, Astor Piazzolla, Jennifer Higdon, Maurice Ravel & Paul Schoenfield — on Monday and Tuesday, December 21 & 22 at 6:00 pm and 7:15 pm. Seating is limited. Order tickets here.

Cleveland POPS offers you a classy way to celebrate the New Year with its 20th annual New Year’s Eve celebration at Severance Hall. Carl Topilow will conduct and play his color-coded clarinet, and vocalist Connor Bogart O’Brien will be featured in “My Favorite Broadway.” The playlist includes songs from the best of contemporary musical theater & orchestral selections from the Star Wars movies & PBS’s Downton Abbey. The concert begins at 9:00 pm, then from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am there’ll be dancing in the Grand Foyer (music by Pops Orchestra Members) & in the Smith Lobby (Rock & Roll with the No-Name Band). Book tickets online here.

Check out a complete two-week calendar of classical music events here.

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