Wednesday 18 Dec 2013
Jan Younghusband is Commissioning Editor, BBC Music & Events. She joined the BBC in May 2009 and is responsible for delivering Vision's music and events strategy and ensuring it works in harmony with music and events content across the BBC.
Jan is part of the Knowledge Commissioning team, run by Head of Knowledge Commissioning, Emma Swain. She also reports to Tim Davie in BBC Audio & Music, in his capacity as director of pan-BBC music strategy.
Since joining the BBC her commissions include: The Opera Season; I'm In A Rock And Roll Band; The Stones In Exile; and the BBC's festival coverage.
Prior to joining the BBC, Jan was Head of Arts & Performance at Channel 4 where she started as Commissioning Editor for Music and performance in 1999. In 2005 she added arts and animation to her slate.
During her 10 years at the channel, her commissions won over 300 major awards including four Emmys, two Oscars, three Baftas and a Bafta Film Award for most outstanding debut British feature. Particular achievements included the first arts reality format, Operatunity, turning major opera and dance works into films (Klinghoffer, DV8, The Cost Of Living) and animation, most notably Peter And The Wolf (Oscar winner 2009) and two feature films, Hunger (Steve McQueen's debut feature) and One Day (Penny Woolcock).
Jan also created the British animation website 4Mations.tv; and one of the new commissions for the website was awarded a Bafta in 2010 for best short animated film. Her other credits include: Musicality; Ballet Changed My Life; Howard Goodall's award-winning series: Big Bangs, 20th Century Greats, and How Music Works; Big Art; Balley Boyz; Owen Wingrave (Opera Film); and The Curse Of The Mona Lisa.
Jan trained in opera production at Glyndebourne and moved from there to be a theatre production manager. She joined the National Theatre to be Assistant Producer to Sir Peter Hall, scheduling and line-producing the 18 new productions annually. She later worked with Sir Richard Eyre and David Aukin scheduling and co-ordinating for their first season. From here she moved to the West End as General Manager, setting up the Peter Hall Company.
She then became a freelance producer and writer, working in musical theatre and her television debut came with Orchestra!, a series for Channel 4. This was followed by a further series, Concerto!, which won an Emmy in 2003.
Meanwhile, Jan also invented an animation series to introduce young children to classical music entitled Oscar's Orchestra for BBC One. She also became an author, writing the book of Orchestra! published by Chatto and later hosted the biography of Jacqueline du Pre, A Genius In The Family, which later formed the foundation of the feature film Hilary And Jackie.
Jan spent three years in BBC Classical Music from 1993 as a freelance producer working on live opera relays, Young Musician Of The Year and documentary performance films. After two years in California, Jan returned to the UK recommencing her freelance producing career. Productions included The Voice Of An Angel, a documentary and performance about Charlotte Church's debut.