York Christmas festival serves up a feast of festive music – both live and online

Photograph: David Beale / Unsplash
2 Dec 2020 @ 2.27 pm
| Entertainment

Step into Christmas with the National Centre for Early Music as they present a programme of festive concerts – both live and virtual.

Audiences will get the chance to celebrate the festive season either in the atmospheric medieval surroundings of St Margaret’s Church, or from the comfort of their own home with a variety of concerts available to enjoy virtually.

Alongside the annual York Early Music Christmas Festival, there will be an additional celebration this year with York Christmas at Home.

Director Delma Tomlin MBE said: “The York Early Music Christmas Festival was created in 1997 to introduce audiences to the extraordinary wealth of music associated with Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, from the Medieval to the Baroque, intertwined with the sagas, stories and tales of the north.

“This year I’m delighted to be able to carry on the tradition, welcoming audiences to our beautiful home, St Margaret’s Church.

“I’m also thrilled to spice things up, introducing our online festival York Christmas at Home, an array of amazing music, which can be enjoyed well beyond Christmas and into Twelfth Night.”

York Early Music Christmas Festival – 4-12 December

York Early Music Christmas Festival

York Early Music Christmas Festival
Fri, December 4 - Sat, December 12
National Centre for Early Music
St Margaret's Church Walmgate
York, YO1 9TL United Kingdom
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The annual festival returns from Friday 4 to Saturday 12 December. Concerts will take place in St. Margaret’s Church with a carefully social-distanced audience. There will be cabaret style seating and the option to pre-order drinks. Tickets cost £20.

The festival line-up features:

  • Palisander, Mischief & Merriment
  • The Marian Consort, The Great Mystery
  • Illyria Consort, How Brightly Shines the Morning Star
  • Joglaresa, Bring Us Good Ale
  • The York Waits, The Waits’ Wassail, Music for Advent & Christmas
  • Bethany Seymour soprano, Helen Charlston mezzo-soprano Frederick Long baritone, Peter Seymour harpsichord, Bacchus is a pow’r divine 

Additionally, concerts by Joglaresa and The York Waits will be also be live-streamed, with tickets available at £10.

See our event listings for York Early Music Christmas Festival here.

York Christmas at Home – 11-13 December

York Christmas at Home

Fri, December 11 - Sun, December 13
Virtual event - see weblink

York Christmas at Home is an online weekend festival of festive concerts from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 December, and will be available on demand until 6 January 2021.

The festival features a programme that is guaranteed to lift the spirits with a joyful selection of music. With works by Bach, Mozart, Handel and many more to look forward to, there will be much to enjoy over the weekend from your sofa.

Individual concerts are £10. There is a festival pass at £50 which includes all nine concerts. Ticketholders will be able to enjoy the concerts until 6 January 2021.

Gramophone Award-nominated vocal ensemble The Marian Consort will be featured in both festivals.

The festival line-up features:

  • The Marian Consort in a programme of vocal music from Renaissance Italy
  • the Chiaroscuro Quartet performing Mozart’s late Prussian Quartets
  • Palisander with their Mischief and Merriment programme
  • Illyria Consort -seasonal music for the Nativity from across Europe
  • singers Bethany Seymour, Helen Charlston & Frederick Long exploring the theatrical genius of Purcell and John Blow with harpsichordist Peter Seymour 
  • theorboist Matthew Wadsworth & cellist Kate Bennet Wadsworth share an extravaganza of Venetian music
  • Spiritato! presents The Leipzig Legacy with music by Bach and Fasch
  • Steven Devine continues to share Bach’s Preludes & Fugues: Book 3
  • Stile Antico complete the weekend with a return to the Renaissance for their very own Nine Lessons and Carols.

See our event listings for York Christmas at Home here.

To purchase tickets and for more information and full programme details please visit the National Centre for Early Music website.