WQXR and The Greene Space Announce Holiday Season Programming On Air, Online, and On Stage
WQXR kicks off the season with Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party and Chanukah Music and Memories with actress TOVAH FELDSHUH and ERIC JACOBSON of The Knights Orchestra
The Elves and the Cello Maker, a holiday audio play by cellist ZLATOMIR FUNG, starring Drag Queen THORGY THOR, WQXR’s JEFF SPURGEON, mezzo-soprano BRIANA HUNTER, On the Media’s BROOKE GLADSTONE, Radiolab’s LULU MILLER, and NYPR President and CEO LAFONTAINE E. OLIVER, debuts December 21
The Greene Space presents a roster of live, in-person holiday events including VERONICA SWIFT performing selections from the American holiday songbook and THORGY THOR’S campy holiday extravaganza
WQXR.org’s 24/7 Holiday Channel and New Standards Holiday Channel offer all-classical and swinging renditions of seasonal favorites through January
(New York, NY – December 5, 2023) – Today, WQXR and The Greene Space announced exciting highlights from their line-up of holiday programming – on-air, online, and onstage at The Greene Space – featuring Grammy and Oscar Award-winning artists, rising classical stars, listener favorites, and more!
The season kicks off with rich offerings for Chanukah, including an all ages pop-up bookstore at The Greene Space that will include children’s book author Adam Gidwtiz reading Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblin (12/6) and a broadcast on WQXR of Chanukah Memories and Melodies with actress and Broadway star Tovah Feldshuh, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and Knights Orchestra Artistic Director Eric Jacobsen, among others (12/6). On Thursday, December 7 at 8pm, WQXR broadcasts Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party, featuring the renowned violinist weaving the story of the Jewish festival of lights with evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino, classical music, and Chanukah gems by American folk singers.
On Thursday, December 21, WQXR debuts a new holiday audio play The Elves and the Cello Maker written and scored by cellist Zlatomir Fung. Based on the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale, the play tells the story of a child cellist (mezzo-soprano Briana Hunter) and her instrument-maker father (WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon), and mischievous elves (violinist Thorgy Thor and cellist Nick Canellakis) who save Christmas for both of them through the power of music. The cast includes On the Media host Brooke Gladstone, Radiolab host Lulu Miller, and New York Public Radio President and CEO LaFontaine E. Oliver. The Elves and the Cello Maker will be available on WQXR’s Artist Propulsion Lab podcast feed or wherever you get your podcasts.
The Greene Space, WNYC and WQXR’s street level performance space, will host a roster of events to bring audiences together for live holiday experiences. Renowned vocalist Veronica Swift will perform selections from the American holiday songbook for the New Standards Holiday Show hosted by Paul Cavalconte on Tuesday, December 19 at 7pm. Fan favorite drag performance artist and violinist Thorgy Thor returns for second year to host a campy holiday show with special guests cellist Joshua Roman, mezzo-soprano Briana Hunter, and comedian Zach Zimmerman on Wednesday, December 20 at 7pm. Beer tastings from Copper Son Brewing will be available.
On air, WQXR will broadcast perennial favorites Handel’s Messiah (12/17 with Trinity Wall Street and 12/21 with the New York Philharmonic) and The New Yorker’s Christmas with Nimet Habachy (12/20 and 12/24), as well as the entire Nutcracker ballet performed by Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic (12/25). Other highlights include Christmas: A Spiritual Celebration with Terrance McKnight (12/18) exploring the beauty and variety of traditional spirituals that celebrate the Christmas story and a live broadcast of the 30-voice King’s College Choir performing the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (12/24).
HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE
(all programming airs on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York, wqxr.org, or on the WQXR app, unless noted as The Greene Space)
WQXR HOLIDAY CHANNEL & NEW STANDARDS HOLIDAY CHANNEL
Through early January on WQXR.org and on the WQXR app
These 24/7 music streams offer two ways to plug into the holiday spirit any time of the day. The WQXR Holiday Channel offers an all-classical selection of seasonal favorites and heartwarming carols. The New Standards Holiday Channel streams continuous swinging holiday classics, performed by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Wynton Marsalis and many more.
HERSCHEL AND THE HANUKKAH GOBLIN
Wednesday, December 6, 4-6pm – Live Event in The Greene Space
TGS Artist in Residence The Mash-Up Americans host a bookstore popup featuring storytelling with Adam Gidwitz, an interactive reading with Vashti Harrison, and a discussion with Eric Kim. RSVP to this free event here.
CHANUKAH MEMORIES AND MELODIES
Wednesday, December 6, 8-9pm and Saturday, December 9, 7-8pm
Humorous and poignant reminiscences of family, food, and music by artists and other personalities. Elliott Forrest hosts.
ITZHAK PERLMAN’S CHANUKAH RADIO PARTY
Thursday, December 7, the first day of Chanukah, 8-9pm
Encore broadcast Saturday, December 9, 7-9pm
The superstar violinist shares his favorite recordings for the holiday.
SOUNDCHECK LIVE: NEFESH MOUNTAIN HOLIDAY CELEBRATION!
Wednesday, December 13 at 7pm – Live event in The Greene Space
Americana band Nefesh Mountain will perform their boundary pushing brand of bluegrass and folk music mixed with jazz and blues, including covers that celebrate the holiday season. Hosted by John Schaefer. Get tickets here.
MOZART’S THE MAGIC FLUTE
Saturday, December 16, 1-3pm
The Metropolitan Opera’s abridged family-friendly version for the holidays, sung in English and starring Janai Brugger, Kathryn Lewek, Piotr Buszewski, and Rolando Villazón.
Sunday, December 17, 6-9pm
Jeff Spurgeon hosts Andrew Megill and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, which has been performing Handel’s beloved masterpiece since 1770, and the Trinity Baroque Orchestra from last year’s live performance.
CHRISTMAS: A SPIRITUAL CELEBRATION WITH TERRANCE MCKNIGHT
Monday, December 18, 8-9pm and Saturday, December 23, 7-8pm
Terrance McKnight explores the beauty and variety of traditional spirituals that celebrate the Christmas story.
THE NEW STANDARDS HOLIDAY SHOW: VERONICA SWIFT
Tuesday, December 19, 7-8:15pm – Live event in The Greene Space
Paul Cavalconte welcomes renowned vocalist Veronica Swift for some of the very best of the American holiday songbook. Get tickets here.
AN OLD SCHOOL CHRISTMAS
Wednesday, December 20, 8-9pm and Sunday, December 24, 9-10pm
Hear an hour of beautiful music for the Christmas season from the Baroque, Renaissance and Medieval eras, with host Jeff Spurgeon.
THE NEW YORKER’S CHRISTMAS WITH NIMET HABACHY
Wednesday, December 20, 10-11pm and Sunday, December 24, 8-9pm
One of the great WQXR traditions: Nimet Habachy’s reflections on Christmas in New York.
THORGY THOR’S HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA
Wednesday, December 20 at 7pm – Live event in The Greene Space
Drag performance artist and violinist Thorgy Thor hosts an evening of music and laughter. Get tickets here.
THE ELVES AND THE CELLO MAKER
Thursday, December 21 – available on-demand ONLY on the Artist Propulsion Lab podcast feed
A new holiday audio play by cellist Zlatomir Fung based on the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale The Elves and the Shoemaker, features music and a cast that includes many WQXR and WNYC personalities.
Thursday, December 21, 6-9pm – Live event in The Greene Space
‘Tis the time of year when families get together and share the joy of cooking! WNYC Reporter Arun Venugopal hosts this event in The Greene Space to spread the warmth of family recipes that celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of NYC’s communities. Get tickets here.
CHANTICLEER AT CHRISTMAS
Thursday, December 21, 8-9pm and Sunday, December 24, 7-8pm
The world-renowned vocal ensemble Chanticleer performs at WQXR studios. Hosted by Jeff Spurgeon.
THE NEW YORK PHILHARMONIC THIS WEEK
Thursday, December 21, 9-11pm
The New York Philharmonic’s annual presentation of Handel’s Messiah. Masaaki Suzuki is joined by soprano Sherezade Panthaki, countertenor Reginald Mobley, tenor Leif Auruhn Solén, baritone Jonathon Adams, and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society Chorus.
DATE NIGHT 1892: YEAR OF THE NUTCRACKER
Friday, December 21, 8-9pm
WQXR’s Terrance McKnight looks back to the year an iconic Christmas favorite was composed, plus sounds of the season by Mahler and more.
CHRISTMAS EVE: Sunday, December 24
A FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS, 10-11:30am
Live broadcast of the 30-voice King’s College Choir from Cambridge, England. Hosted by Michael Barone.
BACH’S CHRISTMAS ORATORIO, 2:30-4pm
The cantatas Bach wrote for the first three days of Christmas in Leipzig, 1734. Philippe Herreweghe conducts the Collegium Vocale Gent.
CHRISTMAS DAY: Monday, December 25
THE NUTCRACKER, 9-11am
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in a sparkling performance of Tchaikovsky’s complete Nutcracker ballet.
Wednesday, December 27 through Sunday, December 31, 9am-midnight
WQXR closes out every year by counting down our listeners’ most-requested pieces. Five days of competitive classical countdown action!
NEW YEAR’S DAY LIVE FROM VIENNA
Monday, January 1, 11am-1pm
WQXR will broadcast Christian Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic live from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria.
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WQXR is New York City’s only all-classical music station, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life on-air at 105.9FM, online at WQXR.org, and in the community through live events and performances. An essential partner to the city’s musical and cultural organizations, WQXR presents new and archival classical recordings and performances from New York City’s esteemed performance venues. Signature programs include Carnegie Hall Live, Metropolitan Opera Saturday Matinee Broadcasts, New York Philharmonic This Week, New York in Concert, and the Young Artists Showcase. WQXR also produces podcasts that showcase compelling storytelling and powerful music: The Open Ears Project, Made in New York: the NY Philharmonic Story, Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, Helga, and Aria Code, a joint project with the Metropolitan Opera. As a public media station, WQXR is supported through the generosity of its members, donors, and sponsors, making classical music relevant, accessible and inspiring for all.