Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite opens the BSO’s festive season in a concert featuring Latin Grammy-winning pianist Gabriela Montero

Join the singalong in a Celebration of Christmas Carols at Lighthouse, Poole

• Chief Conductor Kirill Karabits conducts festive favourite Handel’s Messiah

• Dance in the aisles as West-End star Michael D. Xavier performs Christmas hits from Sleigh Ride to Beauty and the Beast

• An afternoon of family fun with hits from Frozen to Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer

• Swirl into the New Year with the sparkle of the Viennese Dance Hall as Marta Gardolińska conducts New Year’s Johann Strauss Gala concerts


From traditional Christmas carols and Handel’s Messiah to a family-friendly sparkling matinee, there is something for all ages from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra this festive season.

Tchaikovsky Magic (Poole – 4 Dec, Exeter – 5 Dec) features Gabriela Montero — the Venezuelan pianist who sets the globe alight with her visionary improvisations — performing Mozart’s stormy Piano Concerto No.24. Kirill Karabits conducts Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular Nutcracker Suite, which will delight all with its famous melodies Waltz of the Flowers and the witty Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Herald the start of the festive season with Christmas Starts Here (Poole – 14 Dec), in an afternoon of music for all ages. The concert of Christmas favourites includes Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, The 12 Days of Christmas and Winter Wonderland, as well as an exciting selection of Disney songs from Beauty and the Beast and Frozen, and music from Home Alone by John Williams. BSO Voices appear alongside the Orchestra under the baton of Pete Harrison.

The BSO are joined by a stellar line-up, including Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, to perform firm festive favourite Handel’s Messiah (Poole – 18 Dec) under the baton of Kirill Karabits. Featuring the famous Hallelujah Chorus, it’ll be a first for the Orchestra’s Ukrainian Chief Conductor.

He says, “In my 11th season with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra I think it’s time for me to conduct Messiah. This will be my personal dedication and Christmas present to the loyal audiences and supporters of the BSO without whom this world-class orchestra wouldn’t be able to exist!”

West-End star Michael D. Xavier returns to thrill audiences in Last Night of the Christmas Proms (Exeter- 20 Dec, Poole- 21 Dec, Portsmouth- 22 Dec). Michael, who has starred in many West End hit musicals including Sunset Boulevard, Phantom of the Opera and Oklahoma! will be singing a variety of hit songs and Christmas classics, including Soliloquy from Carousel, The Music of the Night, All I Want for Christmas is You and another riotous rendition of The 12 Days of Christmas. With plenty of opportunities to join in with the fun and frolics, this concert will once again have audiences raising the roof and dancing in the aisles.

Join the BSO and Bournemouth Symphony Chorus for a traditional festive singalong, Celebration of Christmas Carols (Poole- 23 Dec). The concert will feature favourite Christmas hymns and songs, including O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark the Herald and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Immerse the Christmas spirit with this evening of festive music, hearing favourite carols as never before, with full symphonic sounds from the BSO and spectacular choral richness from the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus

Celebrate the start of 2020 with New Year Johann Strauss Gala (Poole- 1 Jan, Exeter- 2 Jan, Cheltenham- 4 Jan, Taunton- 9 Jan, Torquay- 10 Jan, Weymouth- 11 Jan), featuring an uplifting selection of waltzes, marches, polkas and arias by the King of Waltz, Johann Strauss and his contemporaries. The full symphonic forces of the BSO will be joined by outstanding soprano Soraya Mafi, under the baton of Marta Gardolińska, in an afternoon of swirling melodies into the glamour and sparkle of Viennese Dance Halls. Works include the Fledermaus Overture, waltzes from Der Rosenkavalier, Tritsch-Tratsch Polka, Emperor Waltz and, of course, The Blue Danube!

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra perform: Tchaikovsky Magic (Poole — 4 Dec, Exeter — 5 Dec); Christmas Starts Here (Poole — 14 Dec); Handel’s Messiah (Poole — 18 Dec); Last Night of the Christmas Proms (Exeter — 20 Dec, Poole — 21 Dec, Portsmouth — 22 Dec); Celebration of Christmas Carols (Poole — 23 Dec); New Year Johann Strauss Gala (Poole — 1 Jan, Exeter — 2 Jan, Cheltenham — 4 Jan, Guildford—8 Jan, Taunton — 9 Jan, Torquay — 10 Jan, Weymouth — 11 Jan).

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