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Christmas Calendar

Johann Sebastian Bach: Christmas Oratorio – Jauchzet, frohlocket!
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Hodie Christus natus est
William Byrd: This Day Christ Was Born
Georg Friedrich Händel: The Messiah – Pifa
Georg Friedrich Händel: The Messiah – Glory To God
Zoltán Kodály: Advent Song – from an 18th-century French mass book (Veni, veni Emmanuel)
Hector Berlioz: The Childhood of Christ – The Flight to Egypt
Hector Berlioz: The Childhood of Christ – The Shepherds' Farewell
Arcangelo Corelli: Christmas Concerto
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sleigh Ride
Anonymous: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (arranged by Howard Williams)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Christmas Carols

Lóránt Najbauer – baritone
Pannon Philharmonic Festival Choir (choirmaster: András Vass)

Conducted by: Howard Williams

A very familiar tune from the concert played well only rarely (Kodály: Advent Song)
Ticket prices: 5990, 3990, 2990 HUF
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Colours are the main drive behind the programme of this year’s Christmas concert. Famous oratorio movements, a cappella choral pieces and symphonic movements will all be present. We can hear deservedly popular Christmas music and Kodály’s famous Advent Song on the composer's birthday. We can also enjoy works that the Hungarian audience is relatively unfamiliar with. Under the British conductor's baton, we can relish several English masterpieces ranging from the Renaissance William Byrd to the 20th-century Ralph Vaughan Williams. Besides the sacred music, we can also take delight in more profane winter music.

The opening movement of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio will be followed by two Renaissance motets, then two movements from Handel’s Messiah. The Hungarian Christmas is represented by Kodály’s Advent Song, originally a hymn from a French mass book, which precedes two movements from the French Berlioz' Christmas oratorio, L'enfance du Christ (The Childhood of Christ). In the final part of the concert, we’ll hear lighter, more profane music, such as Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, Mozart’s Sleigh Ride and the English Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols.

Following his appointment in 1989 as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Pécs Symphony Orchestra in Hungary, Howard Williams devoted a significant amount of his time to working with the leading symphony orchestras in that country. For his services to new Hungarian music he has been the recipient of an Artisjus award, and in 1997 was honoured with the Bartók medal for services to Hungarian music abroad.

On leaving Pécs in 2000 he was appointed Head of Conducting at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. His subsequent six years in Cardiff enabled him to explore and develop his attitude to the teaching of conductors, while at the same time training student orchestras. From 2014 he is Director of the International Bartók Conducting Seminars in Szombathely, Hungary. He collaborates with youth and student orchestras in many parts of the world.

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