BSO Christmas Concert

Christmas and New Year with the BSO

There’s never a Silent Night with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra during Christmas as they’re always out and about bringing festive cheer to thousands with their special series of yuletide concerts. So, step into Christmas at Lighthouse, Poole on Wednesday 13 December as, hallelujah, they perform Handel’s Messiah.

This traditional curtain raiser to a whole host of concerts around the South will also feature Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and soloists Mhairi Lawson, James Hall, Nicholas Scott and Edward Grint all under the baton of Laurence Cummings, who is one of Britain’s most exciting and versatile exponents of historical performance. The Sunday Times said of his new recording of Handel’s Water Music, “what a joy”.

The BSO’s Last Night of the Christmas Proms is not to be missed. Popular conductor Pete Harrison will bring plenty of festive cheer to audiences in Poole, Exeter and Portsmouth.

West End stars Annie Skates and James Spilling will also be joining the Orchestra as soloists. Annie is probably best known for her role as Vocal coach for Simon Cowell’s team on ITV’s ’The X Factor’ and as a singer she appears regularly on TV and in concert. James has starred in a number of West End Musicals and National Tours including Sweeny Todd, The Phantom of the Opera and Chess as well as singing on many broadcasts for BBC Radio 2.

Both singers make a welcome return to the BSO as they join Pete Harrison and the full Orchestra for a selection of show-stopping hits from Broadway and the West End, as well as seasonal classics old and new including I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Santa Baby and many more- all wrapped up with a sprinkling of BSO magic and sparkle!

On Sunday 17 December, Southampton’s celebrated Inspiration Choir joined by the full BSO and led by Pete Harrison, will present O Come, O Come Emmanuel. It promises to be an afternoon of festive fun for all to enjoy with a mixture of sacred works and Christmas Classics such as The First Noel, Gaudete and On Christmas Night All Christians Sing, accompanied by a number of lighter songs such as A Spaceman Came Travelling and We Need a Little Christmas.

The three winning soloists, Oliver Gill, Constance Conway and Oliver Payne, from our search for talented singers will be ‘Walking in the Air’ in Poole and Portsmouth, when there will be live screenings of The Snowman accompanied by the BSO. The concerts also feature Cbeebies presenter Pui Fan Lee narrating the tale of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker in Poole and Paddington Bear’s First Concert in Portsmouth.

With Christmas just a matter of days away it’s time to really get in the Christmas spirit with a Celebration of Christmas Carols at Poole Lighthouse on Saturday 23 December. Victor Aviat, BSO Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association, will be at the helm of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Youth Chorus as well as the BSO, in a selection of your favourite carols; Hark the Herald Angels Sing, The First Nowell, O Come All Ye Faithfull and many more will be given the full symphonic treatment.

The New Year’s Day concert from Vienna is beamed to living rooms around the world but why not experience Johann Strauss’ music in the flesh and celebrate the start of 2018 with our very own New Year Johann Strauss Gala.

Victor Aviat will conduct the BSO in an exhilarating array of waltzes, polkas and marches in six venues from Poole to Torquay. ‘The Waltz King’ wrote hundreds of memorable melodies and you can be sure that two of his most famous ones, The Blue Danube and Thunder and Lightning Polka will be on the menu.

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Christmas & New Year with the BSO

Handel’s Messiah
Wed 13 Dec  Lighthouse, Poole 7.30pm

Last Night of the Christmas Proms
Sat 16 Dec  Lighthouse, Poole  7.30pm
Wed 20 Dec  Great Hall, Exeter  7.30pm
Thu 22 Dec  Guildhall, Portsmouth  7.30pm

Inspiration Choir: O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Sun 17 Dec  Guildhall, Southampton  3pm

The Snowman/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
Tues 19 Dec  Lighthouse, Poole 3pm & 7pm

The Snowman/Paddington Bear’s First Concert
Fri 22 Dec Portsmouth, Guildhall 4pm

Celebration of Christmas Carols
Sat 23 Dec  Lighthouse, Poole  7.30pm

New Year Johann Strauss Gala
Sat 30 Dec Colston Hall, Bristol  7.30pm
Mon 1 Jan  Lighthouse, Poole  3pm
Tue 2 Jan  Great Hall, Exeter  3pm
Thu 4 Jan  Brewhouse, Taunton  7.30pm
Sat 6 Jan  Pavilion, Weymouth  7.30pm
Sun 7 Jan  Riviera Centre, Torquay  3pm


Philip R Buttall

Philip Buttall

Philip Buttall

Philip R Buttall was the Classical Music Writer at Plymouth Herald from 1997-2017. He is a sought-after piano teacher, composer and arranger, and online concert and CD reviewer. Further information and contact details are available at
Philip Buttall