Nov 2, 2022
High resolution images of the San Francisco Symphony’s holiday performances and guest artists are available for download from the San Francisco Symphony’s Online Press Kit.
SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Symphony’s 2022 holiday season runs December 4–December 31 at Davies Symphony Hall, offering a festive array of concerts including performances of traditional Christmas classical music, family-friendly events, holiday-themed film presentations, and a star-studded lineup of guest artists. Throughout the month of December, the lobbies of Davies Symphony Hall are transformed into a holiday wonderland, complete with towering trees decorated with handmade ornaments made by children and volunteers from local schools and non-profit community organizations.
Deck the Hall (December 4)
The San Francisco Symphony’s holiday season kicks off on December 4 with two matinee performances of Deck the Hall in its first return to Davies Symphony Hall after three years. Conducted by the San Francisco Symphony’s Resident Conductor of Engagement and Education Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, this festive children’s concert and celebration features a lively array of musical performances from Symphony musicians and special guests, including singer Stephanie Woodford, students from the San Francisco Ballet Trainee Program, the Young Women’s Choral Projects of San Francisco, the San Francisco Boys Chorus, Klezmer ensemble Kugelplex, Punjabi dance ensemble Dohlrhythms, and cast members from Panto in the Presidio’s Sleeping Beauty.
To make the experience even more memorable, guests can purchase a VIP Package that includes premium concert seating, a pre-concert VIP celebration and other perks. Deck the Hall is chaired by Phoebe Schreiber and planned with the help of the San Francisco Symphony Junior Committee League, led by Junior Committee President Maria Hemphill. Proceeds from this event support Deck the Hall Community Day, which takes place this year on December 5 and invites 3,500 children from public programs to this holiday concert free of charge, providing many of them with their first opportunity to visit a concert hall and hear a live orchestral performance. Proceeds provide additional support for the Symphony’s many artistic, education, and community programs.
In-kind support for Deck the Hall is generously provided by GoGo squeeZ, Hangar 1 Vodka, and JuneShine.
The Colors of Christmas (December 6–7)
On December 6–7, the beloved, long-running holiday program The Colors of Christmas returns to Davies Symphony Hall for the first time since 2015. The program features pop hits and holiday favorites performed by vocalists Oleta Adams, Peabo Bryson, Ruben Studdard, and Jody Watley with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. Gail Deadrick conducts the program. The Colors of Christmas was a part of the San Francisco Symphony’s holiday tradition for 22 years between 1993 and 2015 and makes a welcome return this December.
Handel’s Messiah (December 9–10)
On December 9–10, conductor Masaaki Suzuki leads the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus in performances of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, featuring soprano Lauren Snouffer, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, tenor Leif Aruhn-Solén, and baritone Jonathon Adams. Handel’s Messiah was an instant classic after its 1742 premiere and has been a holiday tradition around the world ever since.
SF Symphony Youth Orchestra performs Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with W. Kamau Bell (December 11)
On December 11, the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra presents its annual performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s timeless musical fable Peter and the Wolf, conducted by Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra Daniel Stewart and featuring stand-up comedian, writer, director, producer, and TV host W. Kamau Bell as narrator. The SFSYO’s performance of Peter and the Wolf is an annual holiday favorite and has been a regular part of the Orchestra’s season since 1985. Past narrators have included Richard Dreyfuss, John Lithgow, Bobby McFerrin, Rita Moreno, Kathy Najimy, Linda Ronstadt, Sharon Stone, SF Symphony Music Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas, and the late Leonard Nimoy and Robin Williams, among many other lauded actors, comedians, musicians, and public figures.
Cool Yule Christmas (December 13)
On December 13, Broadway vocalist Capathia Jenkins and acclaimed jazz singer and pianist Tony DeSare join the San Francisco Symphony, led by conductor Steven Reineke, in Cool Yule Christmas, featuring performances of classic holiday hits and jazz standards by the legendary Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.
Holiday Gaiety with Peaches Christ & Edwin Outwater (December 15)
On December 15, the SF Symphony presents Holiday Gaiety—a fabulously festive holiday variety show co-emceed by conductor Edwin Outwater and San Francisco drag sensation Peaches Christ. The adult-themed program features a star-studded lineup including vocalist and America’s Got Talent finalist Jimmie Herrod; drag artist, vocalist, and RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season four winner Monét X Change; comedian Marga Gomez; mezzo-soprano and aerialist Nikola Printz; drag artist Sister Roma of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
Holiday films: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (December 16–17) and Elf (December 21–22)
The holiday season includes screenings of two holiday-inspired films, featuring the San Francisco Symphony performing the score live to picture as the films are projected onto a large screen above the stage. On December 16–17, Joshua Gersen conducts the SF Symphony in Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas with music by James Horner. On December 21–22, conductor John Jesensky and the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus perform John Debney’s score to Elf alongside Jon Favreau’s charming film. Both films have family-friendly matinee performances on December 17 for How the Grinch Stole Christmas and December 22 for Elf.
Holiday Brass (December 20)
On December 20, members of the San Francisco Symphony brass, percussion, and timpani sections, conducted by Edwin Outwater, present a mix of classical and popular holiday favorites in Holiday Brass.
A Merry-Achi Christmas (December 23)
On December 23, Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández returns to Davies Symphony Hall for a festive musical tribute to Mexico’s Christmas traditions, performing Mexican and American holiday favorites in A Merry-Achi Christmas. The San Francisco Symphony does not appear in this performance.
Harry Connick, Jr. – A Holiday Celebration (December 24)
On Saturday, December 24, Harry Connick, Jr. invites San Francisco audiences to Davies Symphony Hall to celebrate the holidays with him and his band as 2022 draws to a close. One of the most beloved artists performing holiday music, Harry has been thrilling audiences around the world for decades with his definitive take on Christmas classics, as well as his own originals and fan favorites like “(It Must've Been Ol') Santa Claus” and “When My Heart Finds Christmas.” The San Francisco Symphony does not appear in this performance.
New Year’s Eve with Seth MacFarlane and the SF Symphony (December 31)
On Saturday, December 31, Grammy-nominated vocalist and Emmy Award-winning writer, director, producer, and actor Seth MacFarlane joins the San Francisco Symphony and conductor Edwin Outwater to ring in the New Year with a festive performance.
CALENDAR EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:
Tickets are available at sfsymphony.org, by phone at 415-864-6000, and at the Davies Symphony Hall Box Office, on Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street in San Francisco.
Patrons have the option of saving up to 25% over full-priced single tickets by selecting three or more holiday concerts. Click here for more information.
Tickets for children under 18 are 50% off for performances of Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Peter and the Wolf.
Davies Symphony Hall is located at 201 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.
Health & Safety Information
Davies Symphony Hall is currently operating at full audience capacity. Based on the advice of the San Francisco Symphony’s Health and Safety Task Force, a face covering and vaccination against COVID-19 are strongly recommended but no longer required for entry into Davies Symphony Hall. These policies are subject to change. Visit sfsymphony.org/safety for the San Francisco Symphony’s complete up-to-date health and safety protocols.