Holiday Programming

Tune in to Classical Minnesota Public Radio for these holiday specials which feature Minnesota touches. See our holiday page for a full list of our 2014 holiday programming, and be sure to enjoy our online stream of holiday classics through January 1.
Program Schedule
Holiday Classics Stream

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Performance Today®
Fred Child
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You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Top Score

Top Score

In this podcast, host Emily Reese takes an in-depth listen to video game music and talks with the people who make it.

Latest Episode

Top Score: White Paper Games and NJ Apostol
Indie game developers White Paper Games took on a seemingly impossible project for an untested, six-member team. They wanted to create a free-roaming, first-person puzzle game set in the surreal, disjointed mind of a woman with dementia. This project presented White Paper Games's composer, NJ Apostol, with a tremendous challenge -- and his score rose to the occasion.
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School Spotlight

School Spotlight

Do you -- or does a teacher you know -- have a great recording of a high school ensemble or choir that would sound terrific on Classical MPR? Send us a copy and we'll consider it for broadcast.

Submit Your Recording

Writers Almanac

  • Each day, The Writer's Almanac features Garrison Keillor recounting the highlights of this day in history and reading a short poem or two. The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media.
The Writer’s Almanac for December 18, 2014
The first thing I saw in the morning Was a huge golden bee ploughing His burly right shoulder into the belly Of a sleek yellow pear Low on a bough. Before he could find that sudden black honey That squirms around in there Inside the seed, the tree could not bear any more. The pear... Read more »
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Christmas ornaments

Regional Spotlight: Holiday Cheer

This week's Regional Spotlight features concert performances from around Minnesota over these past few weeks. Noel!

  • The Percussion FamilyClass Notes: The Percussion Family
    In the Class Notes video "Choosing the Right Instrument for You: The Percussion Family," the eccentric, outdated computer named TOMMIS provides an overview of pitched and unpitched percussion instruments.
  • NJ ApostolTop Score: White Paper Games and NJ Apostol
    Indie game developers White Paper Games took on a seemingly impossible project for an untested, six-member team. They wanted to create a free-roaming, first-person puzzle game set in the surreal, disjointed mind of a woman with dementia. This project presented White Paper Games's composer, NJ Apostol, with a tremendous challenge -- and his score rose to the occasion.
  • Composer Mikolai StroinskiComposer Mikolai Stroinski offers a preview of his 'Ethan Carter' score
    Top Score had the opportunity for a written interview with composer Mikolai Stroinski. In this interview, he reveals a release date for his gorgeous score to "The Vanishing of Ethan Carter".
  • edward kelsey mooreI'll Have a Blue Christmas, Thank You Very Much: an essay by Edward Kelsey Moore
    In his latest essay for Classical MPR, cellist and novelist Edward Kelsey Moore describes how a first-grade recital inspired his love of sad holiday songs. "I continue to love sad Christmas songs," he writes. "Glum Christmas music doesn't depress me in the least." Moore shares his story as well as some of his favorite seasonal tunes.
  • Abbie Betinis with The FairlanesWorld Premiere: Abbie Betinis's Christmas Carol for 2014
    Composer Abbie Betinis continues a family tradition begun in 1922 by her great-grandfather by writing a new carol every year. For the 14th consecutive year, Betinis premieres this year's carol on Classical MPR. Her new carol is called 'Peace with Me Now'.
  • Cherished Moments: Songs of the Jewish SpiritNew Classical Tracks: 'Cherished Moments: Songs of the Jewish Spirit'
    Judith Clurman and Essential Voices USA have released a new album that is a stunning collection of music that celebrates Jewish holidays and the cycle of life. "I made this recording because I love this repertoire," Clurman says. Hear about this recording, and enter for a chance to win a copy of the CD.
  • scrooge, film, soundtrack, albumFlicks in Five: 'Scrooge'
    In another holiday edition of Flicks in Five, Lynne Warfel looks at the music and lyrics from the 1971 musical retelling of Charles Dickens' classic, 'A Christmas Carol'.
  • Robert BallMusic with Minnesotans: Robert Ball
    Robert Ball has worked in Emergency Medical Services for more than 30 years. His eclectic playlist includes works by Bach AND Sousa. Ball is Steve Staruch's guest on Music with Minnesotans this week.
  • Candles Burning BrightlyCandles Burning Brightly®
    Join hosts Mindy Ratner and Bill Morelock for a one-hour celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. There's plenty of music from Jewish communities around the world, plus an exploration of holiday traditions, and a special story reading by the incomparable Theodore Bikel.

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Classical Notes - Classical Minnesota Public Radio's Blog

New York Polyphony's 'Sing Thee Nowell' nominated for Grammy Award

Luke Taylor

Posted December 18, by Luke Taylor

The four men who describe themselves as a 'vocal string quartet' have earned a Grammy nomination for their seasonal album, 'Sing Thee Nowell'. It's the second nomination for the group who first came together for a Christmas concert.

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On the Air This Week

Jennifer Allen

Posted December 16, by Jennifer Allen

Highlights from December 16 to 23 Tuesday, 7:15 am: Teacher Feature: Amy Giddings, K-6 Music Specialist from Duluth, Minn. Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: Robert Ball. Tuesday, 7 pm: Concordia Christmas. Tuesday, 8:15 pm: Teacher Feature: Amy Giddings, K-6...

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Click on Classical: What's the best Nutcracker?

Jay Gabler

Posted December 15, by Jay Gabler

Every Monday morning at 9:15, I join John Birge on Classical MPR to discuss stories we're featuring on our website. Here are the stories we'll be talking about today.

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Click on Classical this Weekend: lutefisk, carols and hoops

Composer conversations get at the heart of making music

Cows and 'Jingle Bells'

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2014 Minnesota Varsity

Music for Learning: Classical MPR's education initiatives

As a leading non-profit supporter of the arts, we at Classical MPR want to help educators in Minnesota (and beyond) to enrich the minds and nourish the spirits of their students with tools, resources and programs that have been created collaboratively by Classical MPR staff.

More information on our Education initiatives »

Carol with Classical

Carol with Classical MPR

On Friday, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m., join us for Carol with Classical MPR, a new special featuring beloved carols. It culminates with a special live broadcast at 4 p.m., featuring The Singers vocal ensemble.

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Radio Highlights

Choir of King's College, Cambridge

March 23, 2015
Cathedral of Saint Paul

Classical Music Events

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