Early Music DC
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December 2 at 7:30 pm
December 3 at 4:00 pm
December 4 at 4:00 pm
Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC


Gillian Keith, soprano
Marianne Beate Kielland, mezzo-soprano
Rufus Müller, tenor
Nathan Berg, bass

Audiences have been known to burst into song during the Hallelujah chorus and into tears during He Was Despised. Certainly no other masterwork of religious music is as familiar yet still as exciting as the first time you hear it. The Cathedral Choir, a Baroque period orchestra, the Cathedral setting, and the Christmas season all combine to make this an experience you won't want to miss.

Handel's masterpiece in the Cathedral's setting is the essential Christmas music experience. A Baroque-period orchestra and guest soloists join in the Cathedral's combined boy, girl, and men's choirs.

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Saturday, December 3 at 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 4 at 2:00 pm
Friday, December 9 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 10 at 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sunday, December 11 at 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm
Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC

The Christmas Revels
featuring the music of Trio Sephardi & Layali El Andalus
Andalusian Treasures:
Jewish, Arabic & Spanish
Music, Dance & Drama

The legacy of the extraordinary flowering of arts and culture that began in medieval Andalusia, and honor the symbol that it has become (however imperfect and uneven the reality) of the ideal of a greater tolerance and acceptance among different religions and cultures.

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December 4 at 3:00 pm
National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC

Washington Bach Consort
Christmas in Leipzig

Johann Sebastian Bach Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D, BWV 1068
Johann Kuhnau Cantata: Wie schon lecuhtet der Morgenstern
Georg Philipp Telemann Deutsches Magnificat
Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata: Fallt mit Danken, BWV 248, IV

An early version of Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 without trumpets and timpani sets the festive tone after which we move into some gorgeous seasonal choral music by Bach and his contemporaries. Kuhnau was Bach's illustrious predecessor as Cantor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, and Telemann, the most famous and successful of Bach's contemporaries, was actually first offered the very same position that Bach eventually assumed. The program ends with one of the six cantatas that together form Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

For more information, call (202) 429-2121.

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December 4 at 3:00 pm
Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, Washington, DC

The Ron Freeman Chorale
Winter Concert

Featuring Messe de Minuit pour Noël (Midnight Mass for Christmas) by 17th century French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Other selections include Christmas motets such as:

  • Ave Maria (Hail Mary), Magi viderunt stellam (Wise men who saw the star), O magnum mysterium (O great mystery), and O Regem caeli Natus est nobis (O King of heaven, born for us) by Tomás Luis de Victoria;
  • Quem vidistis pastores (Tell us, shepherds) by Richard Dering and Orlande de Lassus; 
  • Hodie nobis coelorum rex (Born today the King of Heaven) by Jacob Handl; and
  • Hodie Christus natus est (Today Christ is born) by Louis de Clérambault. 

For more information, call 703-750-1408.

December 4 at 7:00 pm
December 5 at 8:00 pm
Dumbarton Oaks Friends of Music, Washington, DC

The Boston Camerata
The Sacred Bridge: Music of Three Faiths; Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Europe

Through music, the common roots of the great monotheistic religions are revealed in an evening that includes elements of Jewish liturgy, Gregorian chant, song and texts of Jewish minstrels, Sephardic folksong, medieval Spanish Cantigas, and Judaeo-Arabic music from the ancient Andalusian tradition. The Boston Camerata musicians are joined by members of the Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble.

For more information, call (202) 339-6436.

December 6 at 12:10 pm
The Church of the Epiphany, Washington, DC

Washington Bach Consort
Noontime Cantata

BWV 40: Cantata: Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes
Harpsichord Concerto in D Major, BWV 1054

For more information, call (202) 429-2121.

December 7 at 5:30 pm and 6:45 pm
The Willard InterContinental Hotel, Washington, DC

Carmina & Illuminare
Holiday Lobbying at the Willard

Come celebrate the season with both ensembles in the beautifully decorated lobby of the historic Willard Hotel, where “lobbying” got its name. Hear traditional and lesser-known early works and sing along with us on our encore: Franz Gruber’s original version of Stille Nacht. Seating is limited and will be available only on a first-come, first-served basis. There is ample standing room.

For more information, call (703) 532-9356.

December 9 at 8:00 pm
December 10 at 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm
December 11 at 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm
December 14 at 7:30 pm
December 15 at 7:30 pm
December 16 at 8:00 pm
December 17 at 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm
December 18 at 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm
Elizabethan Theatre, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC

The Folger Consort
O Magnum Mysterium: Christmas Music from Renaissance Spain

The rich treasury of advent and Christmas music from the 16th-century Spanish Golden Age includes beautifully textured compositions by Victoria, Morales, and Guerrero. O Magnum Mysterium, based on a chant from the matin service sung Christmas morning, is performed along with other ethereal motets for voices and instruments, sonorous work for the winds of guest ensemble Piffaro, The Renaissance Band, spirited peasant songs, and brilliant instrument variations – offering a fresh and festive celebration of the season. With soprano Rosa Lamoreaux and baritone William Sharp.

Pre-concert discussion
Friday, December 9, 7pm

For more information, call (202) 675-0379.

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December 10 at 8:00 pm at St. Mary Mother of God, Washington, DC
December 17 at 7:30 pm at St. Bernadette, Silver Spring, Maryland

O Magnum Mysterium: Victoria and Byrd

Settings of O magnum mysterium by Victoria and Byrd, Victoria's Missa O magnum mysterium, and Byrd's complete Gradualia Propers for the Feast of the Nativity

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December 11 at 3:00 PM
St. Mark's Epscopal Church, Washington, DC

Cantate Chamber Singers
Holiday in Venice

For more information, call 301-986-1799.

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December 11 at 4:00 PM
Mount Cavalry Catholic Church, Forestville, Maryland

Maryland Choral Society
with Eya Ensemble for Medieval Music
Gloria! Festive Music for the Season

Guest artists:
Allison Mondel, soprano
Kristen Dubenion-Smith, mezzo-soprano
The MCS Chamber Orchestra

The Maryland Choral Society celebrates the holiday season with Vivaldi's Gloria, a true high point in Vivaldi's prolific output which conveys the unprecedented joy and drama of that magical moment in the Christmas story when the angels bring their greetings to the shepherds. The second part of the program will feature selections from the Bach Christmas Oratorio and Handel's Judas Maccabaeus. The selected movements from each of these great works focus upon images of light, joy and peace common to both Christmas and Hanukkah.

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December 11 at 6:30 PM
Concerts at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

The Rose Ensemble

Arab, Sephardic, and Christian music from the Middle Ages
Preceded by a lecture on Sephardic music by Jerome Barry at 6:00

For more information, call (202) 842-6941.

December 16 at 8:00 pm at An Die Musik, Baltimore, Maryland
December 18 at 4:00 pm at The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

Arceci - McKean & Friends
Adriane Post, baroque violin; Ben Shute, baroque violin; John Armato, theorbo; Daniel Swenberg, baroque lute & guitar; Andrew Arceci, viola da gamba; & John McKean, harpsichord

An evening of Baroque instrumental music, with works by Le Sieur de Machy, Marais, Rosenmüller, Bertali, Buxtehude, Froberger, Corelli, and Handel

December 17 at 7:00 pm
University Park Church of the Brethren, University Park, Maryland

The Maryland Cantabile
Fall Concert

Settings of "Ave Maria"
Josquin des Prez 4 part "Ave Maria"
Ludwig Senfl 6 part "Ave Maria" (parody motet of Josquin)
Tomas de la Victoria "Ave Regina Caelorum" with Renaissance brass quartet
Brass Renaissance Quartet selections

Reception to follow

For more information, email mdcantabile@gmail.com.

December 17 at 8:00 pm
Kentlands Mansion, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Carmina & Illuminare
Psallite! Joyous Early Music for the Season

Carmina and Illuminare offer jubilant holiday fare in the music room of the historic Kentlands mansion, gorgeously decorated for the holiday. Hear enchanting traditional tunes as well as less familiar gems, ranging from intimate carols and Bach chorales to a vigorous American fuging tune, astonishing organum from the Middle Ages, and magnificent choral counterpoint. Tickets are available by phone in advance or at the door if space remains. Seating is limited, so reserve your places early.

For information, call 301-258-6425.
For tickets, call 301-258-6394.

December 18 at 4:00 PM
Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes, Washington, DC

The Choir and Baroque Ensemble of the Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes
Handel's Messiah

Amid the wealth of Messiah performances this season, the musicians of Ascension and Saint Agnes strive to present Handel's great work in its most vivid and authentic form. A professional chamber choir and orchestra of period instruments convey not only the monumental sweep but the intricacy and subtlety of Handel's masterpiece – as well as its considerable spiritual power – all within a glorious acoustic that reveals every nuance.

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Coming This Month
Arceci - McKean & Friends

The Boston Camerata

Cantate Chamber Singers



The Choir and Baroque Ensemble of the Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes

The Christmas Revels

Eya Ensemble for Medieval Music

The Folger Consort

Joseph Gascho


Rosa Lamoreaux

Maryland Cantabile

Maryland Choral Society

The Ron Freeman Chorale

The Rose Ensemble

William Sharp

The Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble

The Washington Bach Consort