Russkaya Capella: Russian Choral Music with a Christmas Flavour. A mixed voice chamber choir performing Russian music, Russkaya Capella was founded in Glasgow in 2009 and is one of very few choirs in the UK specialising in Russian choral music. Tonight Russkaya Capella will perform a selection of church music by Russian composers of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Bortnyansky, Rachmaninoff and Kastalsky, some Christmas songs from the 17th century, and traditional carols from Russia and Ukraine. Ditectors: Stuart Campbell and Svetlana Zvereva. 7.30-8.30pm, Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh, Bristo Square. Free, but please register via eventbrite.
Creative Mornings/Edinburgh: Ian Sharman, design professional and Edinburgh College of Art tutor, kicks off the first ever Creative Mornings/Edinburgh event – a free breakfast (by Pep and Fodder) and a 20 minute talk on a monthly theme, plus the chance to mingle with like-minded creatives in your community. Ian will explore the topic of ‘”Education” beyond traditional institutions‘. 8.30-10am, Dissection Room, Summerhall, 1 Summerhall. Free but booking required, online or by calling the box office on 0131 560 1581.
Music Among The Trees: James McNeill plays the church’s fine Wells Kennedy organ to entertain visitors to the Edinburgh Christmas Tree Festival. All welcome, come and go as you please. 2-3pm, The Sanctuary, St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street. Free.
A Very Rammy Christmas: The Murderburgers, Billy Liar, The Uniforms and Maxwell’s Dead. 7pm, Banshee Labyrinth, Niddry Street. £3 on the door.
Do We Need Photography Centres Today? Ben Harman (Director, Stills) and David Grinley (photographer and tutor) will talk about the role of Stills, its position within the local, national and international cultural sector, and the particular challenges faced by organisations dedicated to photography, asking how such organisations can best serve their audiences today. A Q & A session and discussion will follow. 5.30-6.30pm, Stills, Cockburn Street. Free: no booking required.
Erskine Edinburgh Christmas Carol Concert, featuring The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland, Cadenza Choir, Chamber Choir of St George’s School for Girls and Caitlyn Vanbeck. 7pm for 7.30pm, St Cuthbert’s Parish Church, 5 Lothian Road. Suggested donation £5. For more information contact Shona Langlands on 0131 666 9961 or email email@example.com. Erskine has been looking after veterans for almost 100 years and is the leading care organisation for ex-service men and women in Scotland.
National Library of Scotland Christmas Fair: yuletide bargains and festive treats galore! 20% discount on everything in the shop – then relax with tasty refreshments and festive entertainment. 6pm, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge.
Live Music with Guilty As Sin: guitar, vocals, bass and sax. 8.30pm, The Old Chain Pier, 32 Trinity Crescent.
Under 5s Storytime: 10.30-11am, Morningside Library, 184 Morningside Road.
Artist Talk: Julie Roberts. Julie shares her thoughts on the way the human, particularly female, body is subjected to institutional constraints and injuries, and the way she has explored this in her paintings. 6pm, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art ONE, Belford Road. Free and unticketed. Part of GENERATION By Night.
Music Among The Trees: Parkside Primary School, Edinburgh’s new Gaelic primary school, entertains visitors to the Edinburgh Christmas Tree Festival with traditional Gaelic songs. All welcome, come and enjoy! 12 noon-12.30pm, The Sanctuary, St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street. Free.
Gaelic Bookbug: Gaelic songs and rhymes for young children and babies. 10.30am, Leith Library, 28-30 Ferry Road.
Remembering the Great War in Words and Music: an evening of songs and words featuring renowned bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott performing music by Schumann, Finzi and Mahler, with the words of Violet Jacob, Margaret Sackville and Wilfred Owen read by Lorna Irvine and Ken Cockburn. A collaboration with the Scottish Poetry Library. 5.45-6.45pm, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street. Free and unticketed.
Hamjambo – music and verse in Edinburgh’s other languages: ‘understand little but celebrate all as we show off the city’s performers in languages from across the world’. Music in Basque, Arabic and Finnish, words and verse in British Sign Language, Urdu, Gujerati and Latvian, followed by a solo performance by flamenco guitarist Alex Moseley. 7-9.30pm, Area C Coffee House, 239-241 Leith Walk. Organised by The Common Weal Edinburgh North and Leith. Free: please note venue is BYOB (subject to corkage) and cash only.
The Drawing Room: an informal, artist-led, drawing session. Each session is developed by a contemporary artist, inspired by the GENERATION exhibition and reflecting concerns within the artist’s own work. All materials supplied, no experience necessary. 5.30-6.45pm, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art ONE, Belford Road. Free and unticketed. Part of GENERATION By Night.
Take One Action: Open Bethlehem. A special screening presented by Take One Action, Scotland’s global change cinema project. Armed with her camera and a dilapidated family car, Bethlehem-born Leila Sansour returns to her childhood home to make a deeply personal film about a legendary town in crisis – but just a few months into the project, her life and the film take an unexpected turn when Leila’s cousin Carol persuades her to stay and start a campaign to save the city from irredeemable separation. In English and Hebrew with subtitles. Followed by Q & A with director Leila Sansour. 6pm, Filmhouse, Lothian Road; book online or call box office on 0131 228 2688.
GENERATION By Night: the season of bespoke, after-hours, events at Modern One continues with a special evening including an artist talk by Julie Roberts and music from Glasgow-based duo BDY_PRTS. Pop-up talks, experimental drawing and the chance to explore GENERATION after dark. 5-8pm, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art ONE, Belford Road. The Gallery Bus will run after hours: see website for details. Free tickets for this event can be booked via eventbrite.
An Evening with Alexander McCall Smith: the bestselling author will be in conversation about his work, including A Work of Beauty: Edinburgh, The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe, and his retelling of Emma. 6pm, Waterstones West End, 128 Princes Street. Tickets are available from the shop: £5/£3 (Waterstones’ Loyalty Card holders). Further information on 0131 226 2666.
Easel Sketching in the Gallery: December – led by artist Damian Callan. A different subject every month, sometimes with a model. All materials supplied. 2-4pm, Main Gallery Floor, Scottish National Gallery, The Mound. Free: no booking required. Also at same times on Friday 12th December 2014.
Silent Prayer at St John’s: as an experiment, the church will be open for silent prayer and contemplation as people go home from work. The session will start with a short introduction and end with a brief prayer: come and experience the peace of God in the busy run-up to Christmas. 5.15-6pm, St John the Evangelist Church, Princes Street. All welcome.
Nordic Film Festival: a diverse mixture of fresh and classic features, documentaries and shorts showcasing some of the most celebrated and emerging filmmaking talents of the Nordic region. This year’s theme is Horizons. Today: Ani Simon-Kennedy’s Days of Gray (15) ‘ in a world where nobody speaks, language doesn’t exist. On the dry and arid plains, men are hunters, protectors of a society bound by strict rules. Men hunt outsiders. A young boy meets an outsider and begins to question his world, plagued by the awareness that as he grows up he faces becoming a hunter himself’. 5.45pm, Filmhouse, Lothian Road; book online or call box office on 0131 228 2688. Note: this film has no dialogue. Nordic Film Festival is presented by day for night, and will continue on 17th December 2014.
Festa di Natale: the Italian Cultural Institute invites you to its Christmas party. 5.30-7pm, Italian Cultural Institute, 82 Nicolson Street. Booking essential: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cafe Voices: Midwinter Tales. Join storyteller and author Donald Smith for an evening of seasonal tales, gritty and gracious, with an open-floor section for storytellers to tell their own tales, all in the relaxed surroundings of the Storytelling Court. 7-9pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street. Tickets cost £5 and can be booked online here or by calling the box office on 0131 556 9579.
The Hobbit Double Bill – Plus! An Unexpected Journey (12A) and The Desolation of Smaug (12A) followed by a special midnight screening of The Battle of the Five Armies (tbc). 6pm (An Unexpected Journey + The Desolation of Smaug), then 12 midnight (The Battle of the Five Armies), Cameo, 38 Home Street, Tolcross. Book online here for the first two films and here for The Battle of the Five Armies, or call box office on 0871 902 5723.