The History of Christmas Concert Music

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth developing into a lecture series I enjoyed the audio-only version of this stand-alone lecture. (And yes, I listened to it during the holidays!) It definitely would have benefited from or been bolstered by visuals, and I would definitely watch it if a series (whether long or short) were developed around the subject. The 2020 holidays were, as many might agree, wanting as we weren't able to go to Christmas concerts in person, but I look forward to watching prof. Greenberg discuss the subject in 2021.
Date published: 2020-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Timely and entertaining chapter I enjoyed this mini lecture and found the insights into familiar Christmas music very interesting. The only problem I had, and it is a problem I have with every one of Dr Greenberg’s lectures, is the theatrical speaker presentation. While knowledgeable and interesting, I find it difficult to follow - especially without video- his sentences because of the phrasing and speed with which he delivers his lectures. Hence, I come away with less information and understanding than I might otherwise have had Dr. Greenberg abandoned the theatrical stage and just spoken clearly and a tad more slowly. That said, I have listened to several of his courses and enjoyed them.
Date published: 2020-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from History of Christmas Conc The perfect solution for getting into the mood of Christmas in a year that has wrought so few pleasures. Thank you for this well done account.
Date published: 2020-12-12
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History of Christmas Concert Music
1: History of Christmas Concert Music

Music historian Robert Greenberg traces the history of holiday songs, carols, compositions, and oratorios. Discover how some of our most beloved Christmas songs got their start, delve into the famous composers associated with holiday music—including Handel, Bach, and Tchaikovsky—and learn the stories behind some of our favorite festive tunes, so that hearing (or singing) them is a deeper and more meaningful experience season after season.

42 min
Robert Greenberg

For thousands of years cultures have celebrated themselves through their music. Let us always be willing and able to join that celebration by listening as carefully as we can to what, through music, we have to say to one another.


University of California, Berkeley


San Francisco Performances

About Robert Greenberg

Dr. Robert Greenberg is Music Historian-in-Residence with San Francisco Performances. A graduate of Princeton University, Professor Greenberg holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California, Berkeley. He has seen his compositions-which include more than 45 works for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles-performed all over the world, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, England, Ireland, Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands. He has served on the faculties of the University of California, Berkeley; California State University, Hayward; and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and has lectured for some of the most prestigious musical and arts organizations in the United States, including the San Francisco Symphony, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Van Cliburn Foundation, and the Chicago Symphony. For The Great Courses, he has recorded more than 500 lectures on a range of composers and classical music genres. Professor Greenberg is a Steinway Artist. His many other honors include three Nicola de Lorenzo Composition Prizes and a Koussevitzky commission from the Library of Congress. He has been profiled in various major publications, including The Wall Street Journal; Inc. magazine; and the London Times.