Christmas concert highlights in Oslo – Christmas 2018

Christmas concert in Oslo?

Our guide to great holiday music in Oslo during the advent of 2018. 

Advent time is concert time in Oslo. Both professional ensembles such as the Oslo Philharmonic, the Norwegian Soloists' Choir and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and amateur choirs and groups greet the Christmas season with special performances.

Based on our comprehensive Christmas concert calendar, we present some of the musical highlights of advent 2018, with different kinds of styles and artists represented.


Classical church concerts

Oslo Domkor
Oslo Domkor
Photo: Oslo Domkor

Those who enjoy classical holiday music can choose between dozens of concerts, many of which are held in Oslo’s beautiful churches.

In Oslo Cathedral, you can hear the Oslo Cathedral Choir and musicians from the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces perform christmassy music from 17th century Venice on 2 December. All choirs affiliated with the Cathedral will sing together here on 8 and 9 December, accompanied by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.  The renowned boys’ choir Sølvguttene holds its traditional Christmas concerts in the cathedral on 15 and 16 December

If you'd like to hear the Messiah, we recommend the Norwegian Wind Ensemble and BBC Singers' rendition in Uranienborg Chucrh on 7 December. Cæciliaforeningen Oratorio Choir performs another classical Christmas favourite, J.S. Bach' Christmas Oratorio, in Frogner Church 15 and 16 December.

Kvindelige Studenters Sangforening, which figures among Europe's best female choirs, hold their traditional Christmas concert with both Christmas music, folk songs and classical gems in Uranienborg Church on 18 December. Another award-winning vocal ensemble, Nordic Voices, holds their annual Christmas concert in Paulus Church on 10 December. 


Christmas in Oslo Rock City

Ila Autos julebanjoshow
Ila Autos julebanjoshow
Photo: Ila Auto

Pre-Christmas Oslo offers several alternatives if you prefer el-guitars to violins (or want both).

Proud, and arguably rather peculiar, Oslo Rock City Christmas traditions include Sunturn's Christmas concertPenthouse Playboys and Young Neils' Christmas show.

Perhaps you'd rather like some banjo for Christmas? On December 22 at John DEE, bluegrass/ country band Ila Auto holds its popular Christmas Banjo Show for the ninth year in a row. If you like to dance, don't miss the electronica duos Ost & Kjex and Mungolian Jet Set's joint Christmas celebration on 15 december. 

Jazz and American big band Christmas

Hilde Louise Asbjørnsen
Hilde Louise Asbjørnsen
Photo: Hilde Louise Asbjørnsen

Jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft's 1997 release It's snowing on my piano became an instant classic. True to tradition, Wesseltoft performs his toned-down, instrumental interpretations of well-known Christmas songs at a concert in Oslo Concert Hall on 12 December. The experienced trio Slettahjell/Gustavsen/Miljeteig will be filling Jacob Church with advent jazz of the very best kind on 17 December.

Music For A While
, a group comprised of prominent Norwegian jazz musicians, praised, among other things, presents a concert on 13 December focused around their album Canticles of Winter. Expect an interesting take on music by Dowland, Purcell, Händel, Carbonelli and Bach, with lyrics that mainly focuses on winter and Christmas.

Glenn Miller Orchestra
visits Oslo Konserthus with their big band Christmas classics on 3 December.  Vocalist Frikk Heide-Steen and his Evening Band, celebrate Christmas in the spirit of the old "crooners" on 4 December.

If you are looking for more Irving Berlin and other American greats, we also recommend singer Hilde Louise Asbjørnens’s groovy and slightly mischievous Christmas concert at Victoria – Nasjonal Jazzscene on 17 December.

A musical family Christmas

Oslo's Christmas concert programme also includes many nice music experiences for the young ones. Miniøya Children's Festival repeats last year's success and invites the whole family to celebrate with a Christmas edition of the festival on 1 and 2 December.

Oslo Philharmonic hosts a children's Christmas concert  on 1 December, where you can see the classic Christmas film The Snowman while the orchestra plays the score. At Barratt Due Music Institute's Christmas concerts in Oslo Cathedral, talented children and teenagers are performing the Christmas classics themselves.

St. Hallvard Boys’ Choir
also holds a special family concert in Old Aker Church, where the children are invited to the front to observe the interaction between conductor and choir up-close and learn more about our most popular Christmas songs.

Julekonsert med St. Hallvard-guttene
Julekonsert med St. Hallvard-guttene
Photo: St. Hallvard-guttene