BBC Radio 3
Assistant Producer, R3 Multiplatform
Screenshot of the Best of British playlist
I’ve recently moved jobs. Instead of the usual packing all your notepads, assorted pens, stapler and hundreds of paperclips (which, by the way, were never to be found when you actually needed them) into a bag and bumping into people on your tube journey home, I carried my modest stationary collection up two floors in Broadcasting House to Radio 3 Multiplatform. After over four years working in production, the last two spent on Radio 3’s Breakfast show and overseeing the majority of this year’s major project – Breakfast’s Best of British, I’m now on the other side; working on all of Radio 3’s and the Performing Groups’ web pages, social media and developing their online content.
When we first started Breakfast’s Best of British at the beginning of the year, after slightly too much pudding and cheese at Christmas-time, we didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into… After the popularity of the Musical Map of Great Britain in 2013 (I pinned all those markers on that map,…
Writer, Broadcaster, Jazz Historian
When I wrote on this blog about my excitement at taking over this programme from Geoffrey Smith two and a half years ago, I knew that it was coming up to its half century. This makes it, as far as I can tell, the longest running jazz radio programme anywhere in the world. Its actual 50th birthday is on 12 December, so we’re celebrating on the preceding Saturday, 6 December 2014.
I grew up listening to this programme. Saturday lunchtimes, and then teatimes after it moved from midday, meant it was time to tune to the Third Programme for the weekly installment of jazz, just as Sunday lunchtimes were usually the chance to retune to the Light Programme and listen to the Clitheroe Kid or the Navy Lark (though the latter was on one if its 6 monthly breaks when Jazz Record Requests began).
There was a decent collection of jazz records (mainly 78s) in the house when I was a boy, with the likes of Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Earl Hines and Muggsy Spanier. But it was listening to Humphrey Lyttelton and later Steve Race and Peter Clayton on JRR that broadened my awareness far beyond those sounds, to include everything from Billie Holiday to Stan Kenton, and from Meade Lux Lewis to…
Producer, R3 Multiplatform
Tomorrow night (Tuesday 18 November), the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Clark Rundell are appearing at the EFG London Jazz Festival with two new BBC commissions. The BBC CO's Associate Composer Guy Barker has used a scenario by Robert Ryan to paint a portrait in music of London's Soho, and BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Trish Clowes appears with her own quintet with tracks from her new album and 'The Fox, the Parakeet and the Chestnut', also written specially for this concert.
You can hear the concert at 7.30pm live on BBC Radio 3, introduced by Sara Mohr-Pietsch. Guy Barker’s collaborator, Robert Ryan, says: ‘Earlier this year, I received a phone call from Guy Barker, saying he had a hankering to write a new orchestral piece for the BBC CO; however, he was staring at a blank page and needed a framework. We have done this before, with dZf, a re-working of The Magic Flute, and last year That Obscure Hurt, a Henry James/Britten-inspired piece. I give Guy a…
Resident Composer BBC NOW
Mark Bowden and Owen Sheers at CERN
In the first of a series of blogs, Mark Bowden, resident composer at the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, writes about the journey from initial idea to world premiere – as he prepares to write a new work for the crchestra and chorus
Everything came from nothing. Time, space and matter. Life. Ideas, even. This simple yet devastating scientific concept, put forward by the…
Radio 3 Presenter
I love the EFG London Jazz Festival. I honestly think it’s the best jazz festival in the world. It might not have the sun of Nice or the wine of Monterey but what it boasts is an extraordinary range of music across a huge number of performances. Londoners are spoilt anyway because there’s always a handful of excellent jazz gigs happening most nights of the year. But somehow the festival takes things to another level, bringing together as it does the biggest stars and the hottest new names from the UK, Europe and beyond.
BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Symphony Orchestra sub-principal viola Phil Hall reports from Spain
The tour did not begin well ‒ I left home with my wife's car keys in my pocket and no passport. Fortunately I realised these blunders just before boarding the train to Heathrow. The orchestra has been split into two groups for travelling to Alicante and my second group arrives at the hotel at midnight after 2 flights and a G&T stop in Madrid airport in between.
After the cool of London, Alicante is deliciously warm in the balmy night air and we check-in to the luminously-named Eurostars Lucentum hotel, opposite…
Presenter, Essential Classics
I confess that, before interviewing Camila Batmanghelidjh, I was not aware of her strong background in the performing arts. As it turns out, this leading charity worker and businesswoman is one of the most creative people I've ever met.
This week's guest Camila Batmanghelidjh
Her love of colour is pretty apparent - anyone who's seen Camila talking about her work on TV cannot have failed to notice her amazing dress sense –…
Marketing Officer, BBC London Performing Groups
This Saturday the BBC Concert Orchestra will give the UK premiere of Terry Riley’s organ concerto At the Royal Majestic with virtuoso Cameron Carpenter in a concert dedicated to visionary American composers.
A true maverick, Cameron Carpenter smashes the stereotypes of organists and organ music – all the while generating worldwide acclaim and controversy. To find out more about our…
Presenter Radio 3
Poor old Brahms...It's weird to feel sorry for a composer as celebrated and performed as any of the greats, whose works - and whose preternaturally effulgent beard - are as familiar as anything in classical music.
But I do. That familiarity is precisely the problem. What do we hear when we hear Brahms' music? The acme of solid - even rather stolid - 19th century classicism? The comforting,…
BBC Symphony Orchestra
The BBC SO’s indefatigable timpanist John Chimes is retiring from the orchestra. Sub principal viola Phil Hall leaves his desk and climbs the risers at Maida Vale to talk to his noisy colleague at the back …
PH Tell us a little about your background; did you play any other instruments before learning the timpani?
JC I played the piano up to Grade 7 but I also played the guitar and the…