The Christmas season is an ideal time for getting acquainted with music from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque periods. This season, period music returns to Athens courtesy of the Christmas Early Music Festival. The festival will be hosted by the B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music with concerts and recitals taking place in the foundation’s amphitheater from Tuesday, December 9, to Sunday, December 14. The arrival of ensembles and musicians from abroad is not the only source of pride for the festival’s organizers. Besides the series of concerts, the event boasts the creation of an ensemble in residence comprised of Greek and foreign artists. Constantly enriched, depending on its needs, the ensemble will be made permanent and will give later concerts around the country. Meanwhile, at the Theocharakis Foundation, the festival’s program kicks off with Spain’s Zapico brothers embarking on a journey from the Renaissance to the Baroque, and featuring a rather unusual composition of instruments on December 9, while on December 11, cembalist Gerasimos Choidas interprets works by Heinrich Scheidemann, Dieterich Buxtehude, Georg Bohm and Johann Sebastian Bach. The following day, Belgium’s quintet Zefiro Torna acts as a reminder that Christmas is just around the corner with a selection Western European carols from the Renaissance to the Baroque. The festival will come to an end with ensemble in residence, Inegales, making its way through the best Italian music of the 18th century. B&M Theocharakis Foundation, 9 Vassilissis Sofias, tel 210.361.1206. For more information, visit www.christmasearlymusic.com.