2017 Holiday Specials

Nov 29, 2017

This holiday season, JPR has a big bag full of special programming for your enjoyment. Here's what we've got planned...

Classics & News
December 25

7am - A Christmas Carol
An updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. From NPR and KCRW.

8am - In Italia
In the sixteenth-century, the splendor of the Renaissance blossomed across Italy as a new Holy Roman Empire stretched its wings from the Urals to the Atlantic. This special holiday edition of Harmonia brings listeners wonderful sixteenth-century Christmas music from the Venetian world of Giovanni Bassano and Gioseffo Zarlino, moving westward to the Milan of Franchinus Gaffurius, and southerly to the Naples of Diego Ortiz.

9am - A Baroque Christmas in the New World
Music from 17th- and 18th-century Mexico, Peru and Bolivia, including a cantata and three free-standing works by Sumaya — most of which comes from the only surviving manuscript in full-score in Sumaya's own hand.

10am - Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Handel's much adored oratorio, Messiah, returns to Heinz Hall! Led by Music Director Manfred Honeck and featuring a cast of guest vocalists and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, this work is a religious story of hope, inspiration and timeless expression.

12pm - Millennium of Music
Host Robery Aubrey Davis takes us on a journey back in time for unique holiday music from the renaissance and medieval periods.

1pm - A Chanticleer Christmas
Hear why this superb 12-man ensemble is known as "an orchestra of voices," as they perform holiday classics and new favorites, with choral commentary by host Brian Newhouse.

2pm - An Operavore Christmas
WQXR's Naomi Lewin presents an hour of Christmas and holiday music from the world of opera and oratorio sung by some of the greatest singers past and present including Marilyn Horne, Leontyne Price, Bryn Terfel, Thomas Hampson, Joan Sutherland and more.

3pm  - Center Stage with the Boston Brass
What could be better than brass music for the holidays? You'll hear sacred favorites, secular favorites, and even a couple of jazzy takes on Christmas songs.

Rhythm & News
December 25

9am - An American Rhythm Christmas
JPR's Craig Faulkner takes a deep dive through his massive collection of gourmet oldies for a program of holiday favorites both familiar and obscure. 

1pm - The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special
Celebrate the season with amazing holiday performances from The Tiny Desk Concert series including Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Steve Martin, Hanson, The Polyphonic Spree and more! Hosted by NPR Music frenemies Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson.

2pm - All Songs Considered For The Holidays
Kacey Musgraves, Conor Oberst and more special guests join All Songs hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton on a steam engine to the north pole.

News & Information
December 25

8am/8pm - Earth Is Our Home
Living on Earth's annual holiday show is back! The program features and stories from three performers about living on Earth, sharing the planet and universal themes of the season. The roster includes storyteller Jay O'Callahan, singer Denny Breau, and green hip-hop artist Tem Blessed. They sing, rap, and talk the need for love, good food, kindness toward all creatures and the value of imagination.

9am/9pm - Marketplace Tech's Holiday of the Future
Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood explores the future of holiday purchases and celebrations. How will the holiday experience change in the next decade? How will we buy things? What machines and bots will join us around the dinner table? What companies will be household names? How will people with less money be utilizing technology? It's an entertaining examination of current tech trends and predictions on tech's lasting effects on our most special occasions.