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Playing: Excerpts from the ballet Romeo and Juliet (Op.64) by Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev

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  1. Sarah Walker talks to Camila Batmanghelidjh

    Friday 17 October 2014, 16:00

    Sarah Walker Sarah Walker Presenter, Essential Classics

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    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. 

    Camila Batmanghelidjh 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 – but only during the interview did I learn that the children she works with often source the fabrics used to make her amazing outfits, from all sorts of places including skips! They rush back to Camila bearing their gifts, knowing that she can incorporate this treasure (with the help of a seamstress) into one of her stunningly vibrant kaftans; I've seen one close-up now and can attest that they're created with incredible attention to detail, beautifully pleated and draped.

    I was delighted when Camila referred to her love of felt-tipped pens, wondering if she was alone in her obsession. No! The other felt-tip obsessive is me (especially pink and mint green), a shared interest that made us both laugh. Camila is the sort of person who brings joy into a room...

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  2. Terry Riley premiere for Cameron Carpenter and the BBC Concert Orchestra

    Thursday 16 October 2014, 12:27

    Victoria Peet Victoria Peet

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    Cameron Carpenter Cameron Carpenter

    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 soloist, we asked what was on his playlist and why; here’s what he said:

    Charles Ives / Henry Brant: A Concord Symphony - San Francisco Symphony / Michael Tilson Thomas

    Among the many iconoclastic American composers who expanded the possibilities of music in the 20th century, Charles Ives is probably the most important. The orchestration of his 'Concord Sonata', originally for piano, was itself a project of more than three decades' work by another American original, the composer Henry Brant.

    This excellent recording is a one-stop shop not only for a crash course in the American orchestral sound, but also for the idea of appropriation and mixing of influences that is so important in 20th century music.

    It's exactly this sense of having a right to make the music your own...

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  3. We're going behind the beard - The Brahms Experience

    Thursday 2 October 2014, 15:23

    Tom Service Tom Service Presenter Radio 3

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    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, perfected endpoint of a German tradition that goes back to Johann Sebastian Bach Henirich and Schütz? Or a “leviathan maunderer” (George Bernard Shaw's phrase) whose earnestness and self-conscious historicism mean that his music is essentially limited in what it's trying to say?
     
    This week's performances and broadcasts will, I hope, reveal another Brahms: a visionary pusher of expressive boundaries in his chamber music, a symbolist dreamer in his late piano music and choral works, a multi-dimensional virtuoso of time and space in his orchestral works. And above all: we're going behind the beard to the seething passions of the man it so expertly disguised. That intensity of feeling, that pain and joy is all there in the music - we just have to hear it.
     
    And in the hands of performers from the...

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  4. Last bash for BBC SO timpanist John Chimes

    Wednesday 1 October 2014, 16:01

    Phil Hall Phil Hall BBC Symphony Orchestra

    John Chimes John Chimes 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 bass guitar. Then I started to play the drums with my father who was a semi-professional saxophone player. We played in bands in the '60s for weddings and social functions. That was where I received...

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  5. How classical music can seriously enhance your life

    Thursday 25 September 2014, 13:42

    Suzy Klein Suzy Klein Presenter, BBC Radio 3

    Like most people, my love of classical music happened through a series of unrelated fortuitous events. My mother used to blast Cosi fan Tutte out of the cassette player in her old Nissan Sunny in a bid to try and keep her four unruly offspring quiet. I thus have Mozart and da Ponte to thank for avoiding a collision on the school run, as we children inevitably got into a wildly distracting scuffle in the back seats. Lesson no. 1: classical music is like balm for the soul/stops kids punching one another. 
    Then, I remember my head virtually exploding with excitement when the music teacher played us...

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  6. Meeting John Humphrys

    Wednesday 17 September 2014, 08:38

    Sarah Walker Sarah Walker Presenter, Essential Classics

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    John Humphrys and Sarah Walker Sarah's guest this week is the journalist, broadcaster and author, John Humphrys.

     

    When guests arrive in the yellow studio, my first question after greeting them is usually along the lines of “Have you travelled far?” Author Douglas Kennedy wins the prize for having travelled the furthest (he flew in from America), but my latest guest arrived in a state of advanced fatigue, despite having come just a few yards from a nearby studio in Broadcasting House. He’s John Humphrys, and he had a darn good excuse to be tired after getting up at 3.30am to do his regular stint presenting Radio...

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  7. Jazz on 3: Live from the Edinburgh Festivals

    Friday 15 August 2014, 13:03

    Kevin Le Gendre Kevin Le Gendre

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    This Monday, Jazz on 3 makes its first trip to the Edinburgh Festivals and I’m delighted to be presenting a live broadcast from the BBC’s big, blue tent in the heart of the city.

    On the bill are three local bands featuring the cream of the Edinburgh scene, plus a special festival guest who you might not associate with jazz.

    Trio HSK Trio HSK
    Kicking the night off are Trio HSK, one of the most exciting young ensembles to have emerged in the last year. They’ve captured the imagination with their twister-like rhythmic lines and crunchy harmonies, combining unusual versions of familiar tunes with original...

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  8. BBC Introducing at the 2014 Manchester Jazz Festival

    Thursday 24 July 2014, 11:41

    Jez Nelson Jez Nelson Radio 3 Presenter

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    This Monday, Jazz on 3 makes its first trip to the Edinburgh Festivals and I’m delighted to be presenting a live broadcast from the BBC’s big, blue tent in the heart of the city.

    On the bill are three local bands featuring the cream of the Edinburgh scene, plus a special festival guest who you might not associate with jazz.

    Trio HSK Trio HSK

    Kicking the night off are Trio HSK, one of the most exciting young ensembles to have emerged in the last year. They’ve captured the imagination with their twister-like rhythmic lines and crunchy harmonies, combining unusual versions of familiar tunes with original...

    Read more about BBC Introducing at the 2014 Manchester Jazz Festival

  9. CC 2014 #25 India

    Tuesday 22 July 2014, 14:47

    Donald MacInnes Donald MacInnes Commonwealth Connections Producer

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    On a stiflingly hot April morning we made our way through the traffic jammed streets of Mumbai to visit one of India’s most distinguished classical musicians, the violinist and singer Kala Ramnath.

    Mumbai Traffic

    After a warm welcome and some even warmer samosas, we made a start. Kala lives in a small flat and we had two rooms to choose from one at the back of her flat and one at the front. Neither room was ideal as at the front there was incessant traffic noise and at the back there was major building works...

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  10. CC 2014 #22 Seychelles

    Friday 18 July 2014, 17:17

    Lindsay Pell Lindsay Pell Senior Producer, Commonwealth Connections

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    Humid heat, torrential rain and crowds upon crowds of party-goers all hit the one street town of Victoria on the opening day of Seychelles Carnival parade.

    Seychelles CC #22 1 Seychelles Carnival parade

    Like most people the only thing I associated with the Seychelles before researching this programme was luxury holidays and the vision of millionaire yachts moored off perfect beaches. I wasn't quite expecting rain showers on a monsoon scale which hemmed us into our apartment, turning the baking heat outside into a steaming...

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Go behind the scenes at BBC Radio 3, with insights from editors, producers, contributors, performers and Controller Roger Wright.

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