Skip to Main Content

Make merry with KET

Join us this holiday season for a sleigh full of musical specials — including the Kingston Trio, the Boston Pops, Jordan Smith, and more — plus entertaining holiday specials from Last Tango in Halifax and Call the Midwife. Consult our list below and don’t miss any of your favorites!

George Grove, Bill Zorn, and Rick Dougherty playing holiday music in front of Christmas trees

Kingston Trio Holiday Cheers

KET2 Wednesday, Dec. 6 • 10/9 pm
George Grove, Bill Zorn, and Rick Dougherty perform a unique collection of seasonal tunes including several of the inspirational songs from their 1960s album The Last Month of the Year.

Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood eating holiday desserts

The Great British Baking Show: Christmas Masterclass

KET Friday, Dec. 8 • 9/8 pm
Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood detail how to make perfect mince pies, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, and more.

Ballerinas performing the Nutcracker

Making a New American Nutcracker

KET Friday, Dec. 8 • 10/9 pm
Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet gives The Nutcracker an ingenious makeover and a new setting: the fairgrounds of Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.

First Silent Night

KET Sunday, Dec. 10 • 10/9 pm
KET2 Tuesday, Dec. 19 • 10/9 pm
Actor Simon Callow journeys to Austria to uncover the moving origins of the Christmas carol “Silent Night.”

Happy Holidays with the Boston Pops

KET2 Monday, Dec. 11 • 10/9 pm
Celebrate the New England holiday season with the Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus at historic Symphony Hall. Includes performances by bass-baritone Justin Hopkins, country star Sara Evans, and Broadway star Robert Morse.

Children performing choral music

Handel’s Messiah and the Foundling Hospital

KET Sunday, Dec. 10 • 9/8 pm
KET2 Wednesday, Dec. 13 • 10/9 pm
Handel’s Messiah is one of the most recognizable pieces in Western music, but the fascinating story of how this beloved piece came to public attention and helped to save thousands of children is largely unknown. Return to 1750 London in this drama/documentary that offers rich insight into 18th century charity, Handel’s music, and their unexpected intersections — and how a new era of philanthropic giving turned Messiah into an icon.

Picture Shows:  Caroline (SARAH LANCASHIRE), Celia (ANNE REID), Gillian (NICOLA WALKER), Alan (DEREK JACOBI)
Picture Shows: Caroline (SARAH LANCASHIRE), Celia (ANNE REID), Gillian (NICOLA WALKER), Alan (DEREK JACOBI)

Last Tango in Halifax Holiday Special

KET Sundays, Dec. 17 & 24 • 8/7 pm
KET2 Monday, Dec. 18 & 25 • 10/9 pm
Caroline’s new headship involves moving the family to a ramshackle farmhouse in time for Christmas. Alan has a difficult conversation with Gillian, who’s consumed by thoughts of the afterlife, convinced she’s being haunted by Eddie.

Rick Steves Special: European Christmas

KET Saturday, Dec. 23 • 1 pm/noon
KET2 Monday, Dec. 25 • 4/3 pm
From manger scenes and mistletoe to wintry wonderlands, Rick celebrates Christmas in England, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy to see their customs and practices of the holiday season.

Christmas at Belmont

KET Friday, Dec. 22 • 9/8 pm
This annual Belmont University tradition celebrates the holiday season along with the musical diversity and rich talent of the university’s school of music.

Holiday Inn photo: © Joan Marcus
Holiday Inn photo: © Joan Marcus

Great Performances
Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – The Broadway Musical

KET Saturday, Dec. 23 • 9/8 pm
Enjoy the hit Broadway adaptation of the classic 1942 movie musical, showcasing an Irving Berlin score including the Oscar-winning “White Christmas” with big dance numbers, comedy, and a hit parade of the great songwriter’s famous tunes.

Christmastime in New Orleans

KET Saturday, Dec. 23 • 11:30/10:30 pm
KET2 Monday, December 25 • 8:30/7:30 am
Capture the festive spirit and traditions of New Orleans with great artists such as Louis Armstrong, Dr. John, and Harry Connick Jr.

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Rolando Villazon

KET2 Sunday, Dec. 24 • 9/8 pm
Spend Christmas Eve with the renowned choir and one of the music world’s most critically acclaimed and beloved stars, and a leading tenor of our day.

Jordan Smith singing songs from his Christmas album

Jordan Smith ’tis the Season

KET2 Sunday, Dec. 24 • 10/9 pm
KET2 Monday, Dec. 25 • 1 pm/noon
Kentuckian Jordan Smith, season nine winner of NBC’s The Voice (and biggest selling Voice artist to date), stars in his first concert program. He performs songs from his Christmas album, ’Tis the Season. The concert features legendary composer, songwriter, and producer David Foster.

Christmas in Norway with the St. Olaf Choir

KET Sunday, Dec. 24 • 11/10 pm
KET2 Monday, Dec. 25 • 3/2 pm
From Norway’s magnificent Nidaros Dom cathedral, this concert showcases the rich choral music traditions of two countries, presenting traditional Christmas hymns and carols in both Norwegian and English.

Murray State University Concert Choir singing holiday songs

Holidays at Murray State 2017

KET2 Monday, Dec. 25 • 9/8 am
The Murray State University Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, and featured soloists highlight this annual holiday special.

Listen – A Musical Celebration of Christmas at Berea College

KET2 Monday, Dec. 25 • 10/9 am
KET Monday, Dec. 25 • 8/7 pm
Pay a visit to Berea for a diverse mix of Christmas and holiday music performed by the students and music faculty of Berea College. The program also features a Nativity reading from Berea’s newly acquired copy of the St. John’s Bible, the first handwritten and illuminated Bible published since the end of the 15th century and the invention of the modern printing press.

Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Linda Bassett as Nurse Phyllis
Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne, Linda Bassett as Nurse Phyllis

Call the Midwife Holiday Special

KET Monday, Dec. 25 • 9/8 pm
The midwives battle snow, ice, power cuts, and frozen pipes to provide patient care during the coldest winter in 300 years. Valerie helps a young couple who experience a traumatic birth, and Sister Julienne tries to reunite a family.

Artists performing at the Lincoln Center

Celebrate New Year’s Eve!
Live from Lincoln Center & ACL Hall of Fame New Year’s Eve

KET Sunday, Dec. 31 • Begins at 9/8 pm
Ring in the new year with KET! The celebration kicks off with Leonard Bernstein’s best-loved works for Broadway, including West Side Story, at Lincoln Center. It features the New York Philharmonic and special guests.

Then, Austin City Limits takes us into 2018 with its annual New Year’s Eve Hall of Fame program featuring the induction of Roy Orbison, Rosanne Cash, and the Neville Brothers. Hosted by Chris Isaak, performers include Neko Case, Brandi Carlile, Trombone Shorty, Raul Malo, and Ry Cooder.