Christmas at Cadogan returns in 2021 for another programme of concerts perfect for the festive season, featuring world class orchestras, choirs, soloists and family events. This year’s highlights include:
- West End legend Dame Maureen Lipman hosts the hugely popular West End Does: Christmas with stars from the West End stage
- Family film screening with live orchestra of The Snowman, The Gruffalo and Paddington Bear’s First Concert
- A concert of carols and festive classics staged in full 18th-century costume in a candle-lit style setting
- New Year’s Eve singalong with Rainer Hersch and his Orkestra
Choral at Cadogan Series
As part of the year-round Choral at Cadogan series, The Sixteen return to Cadogan Hall for a festive programme centred around Bob Chilcott’s evocative and atmospheric double-choir ‘O’ antiphons. Anticipating the coming of Christmas, they were traditionally sung before and after the Magnificat on the seven days preceding Christmas Eve. Alongside this are two stunning settings of the Conditor – the hymn for advent – by Victoria and Guerrero, and The Sixteen’s usual mix of traditional carols and festive favourites (Wednesday 15 December 2021, 19:30 & Thursday 16 December 2021, 19:30)
Other Choral Events
The English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Kraemer returns to Cadogan Hall to perform Handel’s oratorio Messiah. The orchestra is joined by the Choir of Royal Holloway and internationally acclaimed soloists Carolyn Sampson, Tim Mead, Stuart Jackson and Matthew Brooks (Sunday 5 December 2021, 18:00).
Barts choir return for their first full concert in two years, featuring Bach’s Magnificat, originally written for performance in Leipzig at Christmas 1723. It contains some of Bach’s most virtuosic and exuberant music, including several seasonal chorale settings. Also performed will be Vaughan Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Corelli’s Christmas Concerto and carols for choir and audience (Wednesday 8 December 2021, 19:30 & Thursday 9 December 2021, 19:30)
Each year, the Bach Choir treats Cadogan audiences to a selection of carols both traditional and new – including the winning entry in the annual Sir David Willcocks Carol Competition which supports and encourages composers of all ages. This year, the Bach Choir and special guests London City Brass will be conducted by David Hill (Sunday 12 December 2021, 15:00 & Sunday 12 December 2021, 19:00).
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Resident at Cadogan Hall, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton lead a classical Christmas celebration A Choral Christmas. Joined by the City of London Choir, and acclaimed baritone Njabulo Madlala. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will perform seasonal gems from Prokofiev, Handel and Coleridge-Taylor, much-loved carols by Rutter and Gardner, as well as traditional favourites Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Good King Wenceslas, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and more (Tuesday 7 December 2021, 19:30).
The Orchestra then returns for its annual and much-loved Christmas Cracker concertwith a programme of Christmas classics and audience carols. Conductor Stephen Bell is joined by two special West End guest vocalists: Emma Hatton and Alex Gaumond (11 December 2021, 15:00 & Saturday 11 December 2021, 19:30).
Touring their ever-popular festive programme, London Concertante presents a Viennese Spectacular with a programme of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus Overture and The Blue Danube Waltz, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite and the Waltz from The Sleeping Beauty and more (Tuesday 28 December 2021, 19:30).
The Down for the Count Concert Orchestra presents a festive celebration featuring the music of Nat ‘King’ Cole, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and more in a 28-piece orchestral setting evoking the sounds of the great Capitol Studios recordings. Expect to hear faithful recreations of the best music of the swing era including I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Let’s Face The Music and Dance and ‘S Wonderful, alongside original arrangements of jazz and festive standards written by the Orchestra’s principal conductor Mike Paul-Smith, including Lush Life and I’ll Be Home For Christmas (Wednesday 29 December 2021, 19:30).
Finally, Rainer Hersch and his Orkestra promises a jamboree of singalong rock and pop hits in their Stonking New Year’s Eve Rock & Pop Singalong. Feel-good entertainment including music by ABBA, The Beatles, Dolly Parton and Tom Jones, will be performed by award-winning vocalists Jessica Daley, Graham Foote and special guests Earl Okin (Friday 31 December 2021, 19:00).
Shoshana Bean’s holiday concert celebration, Sing Your Hallelujah, captures the spirit of connection, reflection and joy. With fresh interpretations of holiday classics and appearances by very special guests, Britten Newbill, Richard Fleeshman, Celinde Schoenmaker and Rob Houchen, this year’s concert honours the nostalgia and comfort of tradition while embracing new reasons to sing (Saturday 4 December 2021, 19:30)
Following 2019’s sell-out Christmas tour, keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman embarks on a new tour with a stop at Cadogan Hall. Audiences can expect an evening featuring tracks from last year’s release Christmas Portraits – Rick’s instrumental arrangements of traditional festive tunes – as well as music from YES, his own solo epics and early Bowie hits, plus arrangements of Beatles’ tunes, and more, interspersed with knockabout (and sometimes bawdy!) humour (Friday 10 December 2021, 19:30).
Special guest singers Kerry Ellis and Louise Dearman are joined by Musical Director Craig Adams at the piano and his four-piece band for a night of classic solos and duets from the stage and screen including music from Wicked, The Greatest Showman, Moulin Rouge and Waitress alongside Christmas favourites to celebrat the festive season (Friday 17 December 2021, 19:30).
For A Dickensian Christmas, The City of London Choir and London Concert Brass are conducted by Hilary Davan Wetton in a toast to Charles Dickens and the best of Victorian carols including Ding Dong Merrily on High, Silent Night and The Holly and the Ivy. There will also be a selection of readings from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol by special guest reader Kevin Whately (Sunday 12 December 2021, 15:00 & Sunday 12 December 2021, 19:00)
Now a regular highlight of Christmas in Chelsea, the Mozart Symphony Orchestra returns to Cadogan Hall for its annual performance of the timeless classic, The Snowman, for which the film is shown on the big screen with a live symphony orchestra providing the soundtrack. 12-year-old Alice Mackenzie sings the aria Walking in the Air. The Snowman is preceded by Paddington Bear’s First Concert, and a reworking of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s magical book, The Gruffalo, for narrator and orchestra, by Philip Mackenzie (Tuesday 21 December 2021, 13:30 & Tuesday 21 December 2021, 16:30).
The Mozart Festival Orchestra and Chorus are joined by soprano Gemma Summerfield for a concert of carols and seasonal classics staged in full 18th-century costume in a candle-lit style setting, with readings by special guest Peter Davison. There will also be carols for all to join in with including Good King Wenceslas, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and O Come All Ye Faithful Thursday (23 December 2021 – Friday 24 December 2021).
More Christmas Events
Further Christmas events include the John Lewis Partnership Music Society Christmas Concert
including A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson, ukelele and jazz festive music, choral excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and carols for choir and audience (Monday 6 December 2021, 19:30).Renowned folk singer Maddy Prior joins Cadogan Hall once again with the Carnival Band for their unique celebratory show Carols & Capers, mixing renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with a refreshing cavalier attitude and plenty of humour, putting their inimitable stamp on a range of familiar and not-so-familiar festive pieces (Tuesday 14 December 2021, 19:30).
Back once again, The Definitive Rat Pack will bring an evening festive classics, including White Christmas, Baby It’s Cold Outside, The Christmas Song and Let It Snow, plus all-time favourites including Mack the Knife, That’s Amore, Mr Bojangles and New York, New York. Featuring Dean Martin’s Golddiggers and the Manhattan Swing Orchestra (Saturday 18 December 2021, 14:30 & Saturday 18 December 2021, 19:30).
The annual West End Does: Christmas will include a fantastic mix of traditional and contemporary Christmas carols and songs sung by the best in the West End. Hosted by West End legend Dame Maureen Lipman and featuring West End stars John Owen, Julian Ovenden, Gina Beck Liam Tamne, Aisha Jawando, Grace Mouat, Rob Houchen and Ray Shell. The West End stars will be joined by choirs from Stagebox, Guildford School of Acting and Urdang Academy Dancers (Sunday 19 December 2021, 14:30 & Sunday 19 December 2021, 18:30).