Highlights 12/12 to 12/18

Christmas at Concordia: Journey to Bethlehem at 8 p.m. Monday presents a Christmas concert filled with holiday favorites performed by the world-renowned choirs and compositions of artistic director and composer, Rene Clausen.

Chicago’s Music of the Baroque Chorus and Brass ensemble performs Renaissance and Baroque renditions of the season’s most joyful carols in the exquisite Chapel of the Holy Spirit on A Renaissance Christmas at 9 p.m. Monday.

Celebrating its 88th year, the National Christmas Tree Lighting at 10 p.m. Monday will signal the start of the holiday season across the country and include performances by some of the most recognizable names in entertainment.

Nova at 7 p.m. Tuesday and 10 p.m. Saturday presents “Hunting the Hidden Dimension”, the dramatic story of a group of pioneering mathematicians who developed fractals, a revolutionary new branch of math that is touching nearly every branch of understanding from what happened after the Big Bang and the ultimate fate of our universe.

In the midst of recession, Frontline at 8 p.m. Tuesday investigates how the middle class is faring through the eyes and stories of well-to-do bankers, struggling actors and a hair salon owner in New York City.

A look at life in an American town explores the interactions between people and their community on Independent Lens at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The Territory, back-to-back episodes at 10 and 10:30 p.m., showcases new directions in film and video. These films offer a provocative mix of experimental, documentary, narrative, and animated shorts that allows the audience to take TV trips around the world and to major U.S. media festivals.

Natalie Cole and David McCullough join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for the annual Christmas concert from Salt Lake City on Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Individual stories from key figures in the art world’s first international avant-garde depict how living in Paris transformed them and their work on Paris The Luminous Years at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Country singer/songwriter Kenny Chesney delivers classic hits from his latest compilation Greatest Hits: Vol 2 on Austin City Limits at 10 p.m. Wednesday and 9 p.m. Friday.

Former US Senator Bill Bradley discusses his career and political views on Overheard with Evan Smith at 7 p.m. Thursday and 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Opera diva Frederica von Stade narrates The Singing Life at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, a moving look at the phenomenon of singing through the eyes and voices of Chanticleer, the internationally known male choral ensemble, and teenagers in a small town high school choir.

Set during San Francisco’s 1915 Pan-Pacific Exposition, the San Francisco Ballet’s rendition of the Nutcracker presents the charming story, dazzling choreography and magnificent Tchaikovsky score that have made it one of the most popular and enduring ballets in the world on Dance in America: San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Georgia rockers The Black Crowes bring both fan favorites and songs from their new album “Before the Frost” to the picturesque town of Oxford, Mississippi for a special performance on Live From The Artist’s Den at 10 p.m. Friday.

Eclectic singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird dazzles with songs from his album “Noble Beast” on Austin City Limits at 7 p.m. Saturday, followed by the imaginative indie pop of St. Vincent.