Classical Christmas concerts in Amsterdam this festive season

Classical Christmas concerts in Amsterdam this festive season

This Christmas season, you can enjoy plenty of high-calibre classical music concerts.

It strikes me as slightly ironic that Handel’s Messiah was written with light speed and barely rehearsed before it saw its premiere in Dublin in 1741. Handel wrote the piece in 24 days and rehearsed it with ‘inadequate singers’ before its first performance was given in aid of charity. The oratorio’s fortunes have reversed rather dramatically. Every Christmas season this is confirmed with painstaking regularity. In Amsterdam, the performance of the Messiah this year is tipped to be one of the choral highlights of the year. The Nederlandse Händelvereniging is in charge of it on December 23rd and the venue is  the Royal Concertgebouw, right in the centre of Amsterdam. 

In case you need a music concert on Christmas Day, you can visit the Christmas Day Matinee. This event is a long established Christmas concert in Amsterdam and will feature works by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss directed by Andris Nelsons in the Royal Concertgebouw on Christmas Day at 15:00. 

The Paradiso Orchestra too will surprise this Christmas, with a more informal event entitled Jesus is Coming. This pop performance features a few seasonal classics and provides sing-along moments, entertainment and comedy. It takes place on Boxing Day at 16:00.  

The baroque ensemble Musica Temprana performs the world-famous Creole Mass Christmas cantata Navidad Nuestra as well as a selection of 18th-century Bolivian carols. This Misa Criolla Christmas Concert, it might be obvious, brings a Latin American twist to an Amsterdam Christmas. Performed in De Nieuwe Liefde, on Friday 20 and Sunday, December 22nd.

A concert with a distinct Christmas angle but otherwise totally unique is the Hanelle Cypriot Christmas concert, performed by ensemble graindelavoix. It blends excerpts from Greek manuscripts with rich vocal traditions from Mediaeval Cyprus. This event takes place at Royal Concertgebouw on Thursday, December 19th.

Equally off the beaten track is the concert in De Duif – a venue described by one reviewer as one of Amsterdam’s cosiest churches – by an all-male choir which takes its cues from barbershop harmonies and famous hits of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Performances on Saturday afternoon and evening, December 21st. 

Whatever you end up doing during your stay in an Amsterdam Apartment, enjoy!