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Christmas Tales

BBC Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

BBC Symphony Chorus on the Barbican stage, with BBC SO branding around the edges

Celebration and contemplation as the BBC Symphony Chorus performs music inspired by frozen landscapes and Christmas heroes.

Before the red-cloaked, bushy-bearded St Nicholas squeezes himself down your chimney, discover the legends behind the 3rd-century bishop who would go on to inspire the Santa Claus myth. The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus reunite for Benjamin Britten’s captivating cantata, recounting Nicholas’s life from birth to death.

As a child one Christmas Eve, Gerald Finzi climbed a local hill and heard the church bells ring out over his beloved Gloucestershire. This inspired his Christmas Scene, imagining Christ’s nativity in an idyllically frozen, picture-postcard English countryside setting. It is performed here in its 1956 chamber orchestra arrangement. From frozen Finland, Jean Sibelius’s Rakastava (The Lover) opens this wintry concert, based on folk stories from Karelia – borderlands between modern Russia and Finland.

This performance will end at approximately 9.30pm, including a 20 minute interval.

Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra

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Subject to availability


20% off for groups of 10 or more. Please email [email protected] to book group tickets.

Wheelchair spaces and free companion seats may now be booked online. 

Please select the relevant preferences on the access registration page during your booking so we can provide you with the correct information and discounts.

Booking a wheelchair space: Select a seat displaying the wheelchair user icon and then select wheelchair user ticket type. The ticket will be priced at the lowest price for that event. If you need an essential companion, please select the click the E icon next to the wheelchair space you have selected. 

Booking essential companion tickets: Please select at least two tickets and one of them will be automatically discounted to zero in the basket. 

Booking British Sign Language or Captioned Seats: Select seats in the area appropriate to your needs.

*Excludes £3 booking fee

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