San Francisco Symphony announces holiday concert season, running December 5-31, 2021


Special guest performers include Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández in A Merry-Achi Christmas; Yolanda Adams and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir in Holiday Soul; John Mauceri and Alan Cumming in The Nutcracker & The Mouse King; Capathia Jenkins and Tony DeSare in A Cool Yule Christmas—Holiday Favorites of Frank & Ella; and Peaches Christ, Coco Peru, Thorgy Thor, Jamie Barton, Alex Newell, Jimmie Herrod, and Fou Fou Ha! in Holiday Gaiety

The SF Symphony performs live accompaniment to iconic holiday films Love Actually and Home Alone

Traditional Christmas music performed by the SF Symphony and Chorus includes Handel’s Messiah and Holiday Brass

The SF Symphony Youth Orchestra performs Peter and the Wolf

Darren Criss joins the San Francisco Symphony for a special New Year’s Eve Event

Tickets for holiday concerts available now at

SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Symphony’s 2021 holiday season runs December 5–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 featured 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.

On December 8, Grammy award-winning vocalist Yolanda Adams and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir join forces withthe San Francisco Symphony for an exuberant performance of soul, jazz, and Christmas classics in Holiday Soul, with Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser conducting.

On December 10­–11, conductor Grant Gershon leads the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus in performances of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, featuring soprano Rachele Gilmore and bass-baritone Christian Pursell in their SF Symphony debuts, as well as returning soloists mezzo-soprano Leah Wool and tenor Nicholas Phan.

On December 12 at 2pm, 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 a guest narrator (to be announced). Later that day, December 12 at 8pm, Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernándezreturns to Davies Symphony Hall for a festive musical tribute to Mexico’s Christmas traditions, performing Mexican and American holiday favorites in a A Merry-Achi ChristmasThe San Francisco Symphony does not appear in these performances.

The holiday season includes screenings of 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 14–15, Thiago Tiberio conducts the SF Symphony in Richard Curtis’ Love Actually with music by Craig Armstrong, followed by performances of Chris Columbus’ Home Alone featuring a score by John Williams, conducted by Joshua Gersen, December 16 & 18.

On December 17, the SF Symphony presents Holiday Gaiety—a fabulously festive holiday variety show co-emceed by conductor Edwin Outwater and San Francisco’s premiere drag sensation Peaches Christ, featuring a star-studded lineup of iconic guests including drag performers Coco Peru and Thorgy Thor, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, vocalists Alex Newell and Jimmie Herrod, and dance troupe Fou Fou Ha!, with a special appearance by Sister Roma from The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. 

On December 21, conductor John Mauceri leads the San Francisco Symphony in The Nutcracker & The Mouse King, starring Tony award-winning actor Alan Cumming as narrator. The production pairs E.T.A. Hoffmann’s original story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King with music from Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s tone poems, orchestral suites, and, of course, The Nutcracker.

On December 22, Broadway vocalist Capathia Jenkins and acclaimed jazz singer and pianist Tony DeSare join the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, led by conductor Steven Reineke, in A Cool Yule Christmas—Holiday Favorites of Frank & Ella, featuring performances of classic holiday hits and jazz standards by the legendary Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

On December 23,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.

The San Francisco Symphony’s annual New Year’s Event on December 31 features award-winning actor, singer, and songwriter Darren Criss—a San Francisco native famed for his roles on television’s Glee and American Crime Story—in a performance of hits and festive favorites, conducted by Bruce Anthony Kiesling.

All concerts take place at Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA.


Tickets are available at, 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. Visit for a complete list of eligible Holiday concerts.

Tickets for children under 12 are 50% off for performances of Home Alone and Peter and the Wolf.

Health & Safety

The San Francisco Symphony requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 for everyone ages 12 and up entering Davies Symphony Hall. Audience members under age 12 must show proof of a negative COVID-19 (PCR test taken within 72 hours of the event or antigen [rapid] test taken within 24 hours of the event).


Holiday Soul 
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 7:30pm
Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser conductorYolanda Adams vocalistOakland Interfaith Gospel ChoirTerrance Kelly directorSan Francisco Symphony
Friday, December 10, 2021 at 7:30pmSaturday, December 11, 2021 at 7:30pm
Grant Gershon conductor*Rachele Gilmore soprano [Orchestral Series Debut]Leah Wool mezzo-sopranoNicholas Phan tenorChristian Pursell bass-baritone [Orchestral Series Debut]San Francisco SymphonySan Francisco Symphony Chorus
*Please note that the conductor for these performances has changed since what was previously announced. 
YOUTH ORCHESTRASan Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra: Peter and the Wolf
Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 2pm
Daniel Stewart conductorSan Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra
SERGEI PROKOFIEV Peter and the Wolf
HOLIDAYA Merry-Achi Christmas with Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández 
Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 8pm
Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández
The San Francisco Symphony does not appear in this performance.
FILM SERIESLove Actually—Film with Live Orchestra
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 7:30pmWednesday, December 15, 2021 at 7:30pm
Thiago Tiberio conductorSan Francisco Symphony
Love Actually is a copyright of WT Venture LLC. Licensed by Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
FILM SERIESHome Alone—Film with Live Orchestra
Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 7:30pmSaturday, December 18, 2021 at 2pm
Joshua Gersen conductorSan Francisco Symphony
© 1990 Twentieth Century Fox
HOLIDAYHoliday Gaiety 
Friday, December 17, 2021 at 7:30pm
Edwin Outwater conductor and co-emceePeaches Christ co-emceeAlex Newell vocalistCoco Peru drag performerThorgy Thor drag performerJamie Barton mezzo-sopranoJimmie Herrod vocalistFou Fou Ha! dance troupeSister Roma from The Sisters of Perpetual IndulgenceSan Francisco Symphony
HOLIDAYThe Nutcracker & The Mouse King 
Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 7:30pm
John Mauceri conductorAlan Cumming narratorSan Francisco Symphony 
HOLIDAYA Cool Yule Christmas—Holiday Favorites of Frank & Ella
Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at 7:30pm
Steven Reineke conductorCapathia Jenkins vocalistTony DeSare vocalistSan Francisco Symphony ChorusRagnar Bohlin directorSan Francisco Symphony 
HOLIDAYHoliday Brass 
Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 7:30pm
Edwin Outwater conductorMembers of the San Francisco Symphony 
HOLIDAYNew Year’s Eve with Darren Criss 
Friday, December 31, 2021 at 7:30pm
Bruce Anthony Kiesling conductorDarren Criss vocalistSan Francisco Symphony

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