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Joy to the World: a guide to CBC Radio 2's Christmas special

By
Editorial Staff

Joy to the World, CBC Radio 2’s annual Euroradio holiday special, takes place Sunday, Dec. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. NT.)

One of the most popular events of the year on CBC Radio 2, this full day of holiday music programming comes from the countries of the European Broadcasting Union. It’s a tradition that’s been going strong for 24 years, uniting the globe through traditional music for the holiday season.

This year’s broadcast, hosted by Ben Heppner, will include performances from Denmark, Austria, Germany, Finland and other locales. Below, you'll find a detailed schedule, with information on each country's contribution. All times are set for your time zone, 30 minutes later in Newfoundland.


10 a.m. to noon: Copenhagen, Denmark

From Danish Radio Concert Hall, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Vocal Ensemble perform the first three parts of Bach's Christmas Oratorio along with a selection of Scandinavian Christmas songs. Marcus Creed is the conductor; the soloists are Sibylla Rubens (soprano), Wiebke Lehmkuhl (contralto), Benjamin Hulett (tenor) and André Morsch (baritone).

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1925 and today it is one of the leading symphony orchestras in Europe.

Noon to 1 p.m.: Vienna, Austria

In their first joint Advent concert, the Youth Choir Academy and Vienna Chamber Choir present a quiet and contemplative program that taps into the spirit and beauty of the season. Conductor Michael Grohotolsky directs motets by Johann Hermann Schein, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig Böhme, Herwig Reiter and others at Saint Ulrich's Church.


1 to 2 p.m.: Nuremberg, Germany

Ensemble 1700 performs works by Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel and Bach. Featured soloists are Dorothee Oberlinger (recorder and founder of Ensemble 1700), Dmitry Sinkovsky (violin, voice) and Emiliano Rodolfi (recorder, oboe). The concert comes from the German National Museum.

Recorder player Dorothee Oberlinger is the founder of Ensemble 1700.

2 to 3 p.m.: Helsinki, Finland

From Kallio Church, the Zagros Ensemble treats us to a set of songs for soprano and organ by Jean Sibelius, some traditional Finnish Christmas tunes, as well as music by Stravinsky.

Finland's Zagros Ensemble was founded in 1993 and specializes in contemporary music.

3 to 4 p.m.: Tallinn, Estonia

The Academic Male Choir of Tallinn University of Technology comprises close to 100 members — students and faculty of the university — and more than 1,200 alumni, making it Estonia's largest male-voice choir. We'll hear them sing at Saint John's Church.


4 to 5 p.m.: Umeå, Sweden

From Norrlandsoperan, we'll hear a concert titled Classic Christmas Gems featuring brass and percussion of the Norrlandsoperan Symphony Orchestra.

Umeå is the largest urban community in northern Sweden.

5 to 6 p.m.: Montreal, Que.

A chorus of 1,500 voices sings along with the Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, a brass and percussion ensemble, organist Jonathan Oldengarm and conductor Jean-Sébastien Vallée at the 38th annual CBC Christmas Sing-In. A popular Montreal CBC tradition since 1980!

Montrealers add their voices to the 2016 CBC Christmas Sing-In.

More to explore:

Your guide to CBC Music's holiday schedule

The first-ever oral history of Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas

First Noëls: the origin stories of The Nutcracker and the Christmas Oratorio