Photo: Matthew Barley, © Nick White

Our guide to the best classical concerts this month

1/ Tavener’s The Protecting Veil
Matthew Barley and the City of London Sinfonia present John Tavener’s shimmering masterpiece for cello, depicting the cosmic beauty of the Virgin Mary. The concert begins with an exploration of the music through ‘living programme notes’.
1 December, Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden.
2 December, St John’s Smith Square, London.

2/ Walton’s The Bear
Based on the play by Anton Chekhov, Walton’s comic opera was commissioned by the Koussevitzsky Foundation and received its premiere fifty years ago at the Aldeburgh Festival. Mid Wales Opera’s tour culminates this December with performances in Cwmbran and Presteigne.
1 December, The Congress Theatre, Cwmbran.
3 December, The Assembly Rooms, Presteigne.

3/ Graham Fitkin album launch concert
Launching the Sacconi Quartet’s new recording of Graham Fitkin’s complete String Quartets, the composer takes to the piano to perform his own works for piano and strings with the ensemble.
7 December, Kings Place, London.

4/ Vaughan Williams & Parry in Oxford
Oxford Bach Choir and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra join forces to perform Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony and Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens under conductor Benjamin Nicholas.
2 December, The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford.

5/ Albion: Raphael Wallfisch with the Orchestra of the Swan
As part of Kings Place’s Cello Unwrapped series, Raphael Wallfisch and the Orchestra of the Swan perform a beautiful selection of British string music including Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, Rubbra’s cello Soliloquy, Imogen Holst’s The Fall of the Leaf and Ireland’s Cello Sonata in G minor.
3 December, Kings Place, London.