Buxton International Festival’s Musical Hot Picks for Christmas

 ‘Tis the season to be jolly, so here are some hot musical picks from Buxton International Festival to get you in the mood for mulled wine and mince pies.


  1. Buxton 2023’s superstar violinist, Nicola Benedetti, joined Rod Stewart at Sterling Castle in Scotland a few years ago for a very special rendition of A White Christmas. It’s a cracker and can still be seen and heard on The Strad’s website here.



  1. Saxophonist Jess Gillam, who appeared at Buxton in 2022 and The King’s Singers who gave a sell-out concert at the festival in 2023, joined forces last year for This Classical Life’s “Christmas Party with The King’s Singers” on BBC Radio 3. It’s so much fun – the group chooses their favourite Christmas tunes from around the world. Have a listen on BBC Sounds here.



  1. Manchester Camerata celebrated its 50th Birthday at the festival in 2022, the same year that the AMC Gospel Choir brought the house down at The Palace Hotel. These two sensational groups join forces on Sunday 10 December at The Royal Albert Hall in London for an unmissable concert, “A Festive Happening” – carols with some serious funk. Don’t worry if you can’t make it in person, you can hear them on You Tube here.



  1. Buxton favourite, Roderick Williams, is not only a wonderful baritone but he is also a composer and he’s released a whole album of Christmas songs on the Hyperion Record Label. You can listen to extracts and buy the album here.


  1. We will never forget hearing Wynton Marsalis at Buxton! – Here’s a bit more fun on YouTube with the festive ‘We Three Kings’ with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York.



  1. We’re super excited to welcome Cuban heart throb Carlos Acosta to BIF 2024. A few years ago he did a short interview with The Guardian about his childhood Christmas. You can read it here.


Carlos Acosta


  1. Two Fun Facts: there aren’t many Christmas operas but Puccini’s La Boheme is set at Christmas time and the final Act in Benjamin Britten’s operetta, Paul Bunyan, is a real shin dig entitled ‘The Christmas Party’.



  1. For the first time next year, the festival will be staging concerts in Buxton’s famous limestone caves, Poole’s Cavern. There’s no better time to visit the caves than at Christmas and they have a great selection of events with Santas Grotto and a Christmas Light Walk. Click here to find out more.



  1. Join Clara at a Christmas Eve party that becomes the ultimate magical adventure – Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is live at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden from 17 December and will be screened at cinemas all around the UK. Find out more here.



  1. For the ultimate Christmas Carols, tune into BBC TWO on Christmas Eve for Carols from King’s, a service of carols and readings live from King’s College, Cambridge.



Happy Christmas from everyone at BIF 🎄