Christmas music: You can love it or hate it, binge on it or complain about it, but even the grumpiest Grinch can't resist indulging in it a little. If you're one of those bizarrely merry humans who just can't get enough melodic cheer and wants to cram every last jingle into your ears this month, Dallas' classical music organizations have got you covered.
Amidst all the caroling and Nutcrackering, a handful of non-holiday concerts featuring some interesting and even experimental classical music are also available. Here's a rundown of the best festive and not-so-festive classical concerts in Dallas this month:
December 6: ex mus Presents the wulf at DFW If ignoring capitalization rules makes an event cool, this evening of experimental music will be cool times two. This weekend two lower-cased groups -- the wulf and ex mus -- are collaborating to bring some coastal experimentation to Dallas. Now in its fifth year, Los Angeles based the wulf is described by its founder as both a physical space and a community that provides a place for musicians to have the freedom to experiment and try out the radical and the strange. On December 6, Dallas' experimental music concert series ex mus is hosting the wulf at DFW at CentralTrak Artist Residency and Gallery. By definition, experimentation is open-ended; the only way to find out what it's like is to go see for yourself. For more information and a video chat with the groups' founders, go here.
December 6: Have a Very Baroque Christmas with the Dallas Bach Society To most modern ears, music from the 17th and 18th centuries is about as strange sounding as some modern experimental music. Strange, yes, but also strangely beautiful. Expand your understanding of Christmas music beyond roasting chestnuts and Mommy making out with Santa by checking out the Dallas Bach Society's German Baroque Christmas concert at Church of the Incarnation. You'll hear the music of Bach, Buxtehüde and Schütz among others. For more information, visit the group's website here.
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December 6 and 8: Christopher Adkins with the Meadows Symphony Orchestra Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Christopher Adkins is also a faculty member at SMU and this weekend he joins the school's talented orchestra for a really interesting program. It's rare to see the music of Swiss-born composer Ernest Bloch headline a symphonic program, but this weekend the orchestra and Adkins will present Scholemo, a Hebraic rhapsody for cello and orchestra. The second half of the concert stays within the realm of 20th-century modernism with a performance of Shostakovich's 4th symphony. The performance takes place in the Caruth Auditorium in the Owen Arts Center. For more information call 214-768-ARTS.
December 13: UNT's One O'Clock Lab Band Does Christmas in Fort Worth For a more traditional take on Christmas music by some ridiculously talented young musicians, head to McDavid Studio in downtown Fort Worth to hear one of the area's best jazz bands jingle oh so hard. You should probably take your parents and your kids to this concert because they will love it and, well, then you get to go to this concert. For tickets, visit Bass Hall's website.
December 17: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gets Brassy If you've never heard the Meyerson Symphony Center's Lay Family Concert Organ, this is your chance to get blown away by the sounds of this massive instrument. The organ will be featured alongside the DSO's brass and percussion sections. Sure you've heard all these holiday tunes ad nauseam, but you've probably never experienced them quite like this. Expect big, bold sounds to bounce and blaze in the region's best acoustical space. For tickets, visit the orchestra's website.