A flurry of musical events begin soon

If they block the road, while you’re trying to get by, don’t worry, the 
Vienna Boys Choir just wants to sing for you.

Vienna Boys Choir
Dec. 4, 3 p.m.
Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough St., Boston
$47-$57, 617-482-2595
www.celebrityseries.org
Begun in 1498, the Vienna Boys Choir, like most bands that last more than a decade, doesn’t contain a single one of the original members. Then again, the unique beauty of their prepubescent polyphony remains unmatched anywhere 513 years later. They’ll be performing a Christmas concert. You’d better get your tickets ASAP, though — there aren’t many left!

December

Handel’s ‘Messiah’
Dec. 2-4
Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$25-$90, 617-266-3605
www.handelandhaydn.org
Harry Christophers conducts the Handel and Haydn Society for this Christmas favorite, the penultimate part of which, the “Hallelujah Chorus,” is one of classical music’s most recognizable pieces. The orchestra’s use of period instruments makes this as close as you can get to hearing it as it was intended- and without any fear of catching bubonic plague!  
 
‘A Christmas Celtic Sojourn’
Dec. 16-18
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont St., Boston
$25-$75, 617-824-8000
www.aestages.org
A popular annual festival of Celtic music hosted by WGBH’s Brian O’Donavan. This year’s performers include Ruth Moody of the Waylin’ Jennys, Hanneke Cassel and his group Halali, Simon Chrisman (playing hammer dulcimer), Kieran O’Hare (playing uilleann pipes), and Seamus Egan of Solas, plus some surprises. This one tends to sell out, so act accordingly!

The Christmas Revels
Dec. 16-29
Sanders Theatre
45 Quincy St., Cambridge
$15-$52, 617-496-2222
www.revels.org
A unique annual holiday performance experience integrating music, dance, co-medy and carols from England, France, Spain, and the Middle East. Lots of singing along is encouraged. Expect Revels favorites like “The Shortest Day,” “The Sussex Mummers Carol,” “Dona Nobis Pacem” and centerpiece “The Lord of the Dance,” which, we promise, has little to do with Michael Flatly.

January

Vivaldi: ‘The Four Seasons’
Jan. 20-22
Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$25-$90, 617-266-3605
www.handelandhaydn.org
Violinist Aisslinn Nosky will make her solo debut with the Handel and Haydn Society at this performance of Vivaldi’s popular series of violin concertos. Also on the set list are selections from Handel, Corelli and Bach. Nosky, with her short, dyed fuchsia hair, cuts quite an unorthodox figure on stage. Maybe baroque is the new punk?

Roby Lakatos Ensemble
Jan. 27, 8 p.m.
Sanders Theatre
45 Quincy St., Cambridge
$47-$54, 617-482-6661
www.celebrityseries.org
This group fuses Hungarian Gypsy music with classical music. Lakatos’ stunning chops and charismatic presence have earned him the nickname “The Devil’s Fiddler,” and with good reason — nobody plays like this guy. His sudden shifts from white-hot Gypsy shredding to long-drawn classical melodies are delightful. It’s more proof that genres are just Berlin walls waiting to be torn down.

Lise de la Salle
Jan. 28, 8 p.m.
Jordan Hall
30 Gainsborough St., Boston
$47-$60, 617-482-6661
www.celebrityseries.org
This French pianist, 23, has been lauded since her debut at age 9 for her combination of technical skill and poetic grace. Far from being a mere child prodigy automaton, she puts keen emotional insight into the works she performs. She’ll be playing pieces by Ravel (”Miroirs”), Debussy (”Preludes”) and Beethoven (“Moonlight Sonata”).

‘Exiled to Hollywood: Outcast Artists in Southern California’
Jan. 21, 4 p.m.
Kresge Auditorium, MIT
48 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
Free-$35, 617-349-0086
www.bostonchambermusic.org
All of the works at this Boston Chamber Music Society concert are by composers who fled Western Europe at the outset of World War II and settled in Hollywood, finding work in film composition and influencing its development. Some, like Gruenberg, found great inspiration in American music; others, like Eisler, expressed homesickness in their works.

February

Soweto Gospel Choir
Feb. 12, 3 p.m.
Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$47-$60, 617-482-6661
www.celebrityseries.org
This powerhouse group from South Africa employs beautiful harmonies, complex rhythms, colorful costumes and a four-piece band and percussion section. Bono sang with them once, but don’t hold that against them. (Wocka wocka!) If you don’t feel even a little uplifted by their joyous combination of African and American gospel, spirituals, reggae and pop, you need to check your pulse.

‘The Lighthouse’
Feb. 8-12
John F. Kennedy Presidential
Library & Museum
Columbia Point, Boston
$33-$86, 617-542-6772
www.blo.org
This 1980 English language opera by Peter Maxwell Davies mixes the classic ghost story with the psychological thriller. Inspired by the true story of a remote Scottish lighthouse whose three keepers mysteriously disappeared in 1900, it takes the audience into a dark, isolated world where the border between imagination and reality is all too porous.

‘The Midsummer Marriage’
Feb. 24-28
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont St., Boston, $29-$165,
617-824-8000
www.aestages.org
Another English language opera! This one, by Michael Tippett, takes inspiration from “The Magic Flute,” “The Waste Land” and Jungian psychology to create a variation on the first with characters and themes from the second, all wrapped up in the complex symbolic universe of the third. It’s a strange, surreal work, plumbing depths of the human mind unmoved by modernity.

‘Pierrot Lunaire’ at 100
Feb. 2, 7 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner
Museum, 280 Fenway, Boston
$12-$27, 617-278-5156
www.gardnermuseum.org
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum hosts a centennial performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s classic work alongside pieces by Webern and Berd. For those unfamiliar with “Lunaire,” it’s a series of poems, recited in a “sprechstimme,” or speak-singing style, set to atonal music from a chamber ensemble whose members often take simultaneous, clashing solos — perfect music for your next mad tea party.



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