Over 100 Music Nation events mark countdown to London 2012 Festival

This is a typically ambitious BBC broadcasting project and Radio 3 is proud to offer our millions of listeners the chance to enjoy this unique moment in 2012 classical music."Roger Wright, Controller, BBC Radio 3
Date: 26.01.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.13
Category: Radio 3; Orchestras
Music Nation, the first nationwide countdown event for the London 2012 Festival, now has over 100 live music performances and events taking place across the UK on the weekend of 3 & 4 March 2012.

Built around classical and orchestral music, but also featuring jazz, folk and world music, Music Nation will see thousands of musicians and audiences enjoy world-class performances, community projects and workshops in venues and public places up and down the country. For full details on all the events visit bbc.co.uk/musicnation.

Devised and led by the BBC, and including performances by the six BBC performing groups, Music Nation is a partnership with Arts Council England, the Association of British Orchestras (ABO), British Association of Concert Halls (BACH), Orchestras Live, Making Music, Conservatoires UK and Locog to celebrate the richness, diversity and excellence of Britain’s musical life.

BBC Radio 3, Music Nation’s principal media partner, is dedicating its weekend programming to Music Nation. Highlights include live broadcasts of The London Mozart Players from Basingstoke on Friday 2 March and A Sporting Fanfare, with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow on Saturday 3 March.

On Sunday 4 March Radio 3 broadcasts live concerts including the Ulster Orchestra / RTÉ Concert Orchestra performance from Belfast, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales’s Music Nation Celebration from Cardiff and The Choir featuring the BBC Singers and the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s performance with Rufus Wainwright from London.

There will be additional programming across the weekend on Radio 1, 1xtra, BBC Scotland, BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC local radio.

Roger Wright, Controller of BBC Radio 3, commented: "As the home of classical music, Radio 3 is delighted to be the host broadcaster for Music Nation, dedicating our schedule to the broad range of UK-wide performances from this weekend festival. This is a typically ambitious BBC broadcasting project and Radio 3 is proud to offer our millions of listeners the chance to enjoy this unique moment in 2012 classical music."

From Cornwall to the Shetland Isles, Belfast to Birmingham, Music Nation is an unprecedented collaboration of the UK’s orchestral and music-making communities. Orchestras and choirs, large, small, professional and amateur, have formed partnerships with other musical organisations and venues in their area to create and host performances and workshops across the UK under the Music Nation banner.

Highlights across the weekend include:

• BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra will be joined by, among others, Nicola Benedetti, members of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the National Youth Choir of Scotland for a celebration of sporting and musical heroes in Glasgow, including the world premiere of a newly commissioned fanfare from Scottish composer James MacMillan

• “National Flash Mash” – Welsh national performing groups, educational institutions and voluntary music making organisations come together to create flash mob performances of The Marriage of Figaro across Wales

• BBC National Orchestra of Wales will be working with ensembles from across Wales, including a collaboration with more than 250 young singers from Welsh county choirs performing “Songs of Earth”, a new commission for Music Nation by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins

• The Ulster and RTÉ Concert orchestras come together for the first time to perform a new work and Radio 3 commission by Brian Irvine with words by Seamus Heaney

• Mercury Music Prize nominee and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award-winner Seth Lakeman is teaming up with Oscar-winning composer and arranger Anne Dudley, alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra at Plymouth Pavillions, to bring a fresh new take on some of his most popular tracks. The BBC Concert Orchestra also presents a day-long, region-wide day of music-making across Devon and Cornwall in Sound of the South West inviting schools, families, friends and communities to join together to showcase their musical talent

• The Barbican, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Guildhall School, SERIOUS, CREATE and Bigga Fish collaborate to present a weekend of including the return of URBAN CLASSIC with Fazer, Ms Dynamite, Skepta and Devlin in collaboration with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the UK premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s setting of Shakespeare sonnets to a full orchestral score

• Musical innovator Heiner Goebbels returns to Southbank Centre for a landmark performance of his Surrogate Cities, a symphonic epic expressing the joy and hell of the modern metropolis, with young artists from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London Philharmonic Orchestra Future Firsts, and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Goebbels’ experimental theatre is at the heart of a weekend of concerts and events including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Budapest Festival Orchestra

• Orchestras Live, in partnership with eight different promoters, bring the very best of British Chamber Orchestras to audiences across the country, including the Northern Chamber Orchestra in Shrewsbury, the Scottish Ensemble in Cockermouth and Hull and Aurora Orchestra in Bristol

• Making Music, the UK's number one organisation for voluntary music, is spearheading activity involving hundreds of voluntary groups across the UK. Thirteen of its member groups are presenting Music Nation performances, and others will stage the premier performances of the Making Music Overture, a new piece for London 2012 by Orlando Gough, across the UK.

Orchestras, performing groups and organisations taking part in Music Nation include: the BBC’s Performing Groups, Music for Youth, Britten Sinfonia, the Ulster Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, RTE Concert Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the LSO; with venues including The Sage Gateshead, Barbican, Southbank Centre, Roundhouse, Kings Place, Plymouth Pavilions, Clyde Auditorium, LSO St Luke’s, Assembly Rooms Derby, and many more.

Music Nation is part of the BBC's contribution to the London 2012 Festival and the Cultural Olympiad. For all BBC Olympic related programming, news, general information visit bbc.co.uk/2012.