Even more live music in new schedule for Radio 3
Performance On 3 to include more live concerts in extended new format
30 live broadcasts from the BBC performing groups
Special partnerships with seven leading British orchestras
Choral Evensong to be broadcast twice-weekly
The Essay to extend to five regular weekly episodes
New-look jazz weekends
BBC Radio 3 extends its flagship evening concert slot, Performance On 3 (7pm, weekdays) to two-and-a-quarter hours from 15 September 2008, emphasising its distinctive position as the leading broadcaster of live classical music.
The extra half-hour will allow more space for more live performance, as well as interviews and context around its broadcasts of concerts, giving listeners added information about the artists and repertoire.
Thirty concerts by the BBC's performing groups – BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers – are to be broadcast live in the new extended Performance On 3 between September and June.
Radio 3 presenters will present the concerts from the stage, adding to the concert audience's insight into the music and enhancing the experience on air.
In addition to the work of the BBC's performing groups, Performance On 3 also broadcasts many of the best concerts by leading orchestras from around the UK.
New for 2008 are special partnerships with seven of these orchestras – the Bournemouth Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Hallé, London Symphony, Philharmonia and Scottish Chamber orchestras, and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – that will allow listeners to enjoy a significant number of concerts from each of their current seasons.
Other highlights in the longer Performance On 3 are concerts recently recorded at the Edinburgh International Festival, including the acclaimed performances by William Christie and Les Arts Florissants with Anne-Sofie von Otter; two concerts from the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer, and Tippett's A Child Of Our Time from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Among the many other concerts each weekday evening are Vasily Petrenko and Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Stéphane Denève conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; pianist Mitsuko Uchida with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for a Mozart and Stravinsky programme, and two from the opening weekend of concerts of London's newest venue, Kings Place.
Chamber recitals also feature regularly in Performance On 3: Joyce DiDonato, Victoria Mullova, the Takács and Emerson quartets are among the names for the Autumn season.
Opera On 3 returns on 20 September and begins at the slightly earlier time of 6pm, except for the live relay of Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov from English National Opera on 15 November which goes out at 6.15pm.
Some forthcoming operas for Saturday nights are Weill's The Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny and Szymanowski's King Roger from the Edinburgh International Festival; a Radio 3, co-commission Peter Eotvos's Love And Other Demons from Glyndebourne; Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress and Cavalli's La Calisto from the Royal Opera House; and, Handel's Partenope from English National Opera.
Roger Wright, Controller, Radio 3, says: "BBC Radio 3 is the only station to provide so many broadcasts of recitals, concerts and operas, making up over half of our music output.
"With our unique coverage of live music from around the UK, enhanced by the new 'Live at 7' concerts from the BBC's performing groups, Radio 3 continues to offer listeners 'the best seat in the house'."
Choral Evensong, the BBC's longest-running outside broadcast programme, will be aired twice weekly from 17 September.
After an interval of 12 months, it returns to its live Wednesday afternoon slot at 4pm, with a repeat in its current Sunday afternoon slot at 4pm.
The Sunday broadcasts have brought new listeners to Choral Evensong, though others have missed it on Wednesday afternoons, so offering this ever-popular part of the Radio 3 schedule twice will give listeners a choice.
Building on the success of The Essay, Radio 3 adds one episode a week to offer a regular five-night-a-week pattern.
The Essay (11.00-11.15pm), introduced less than two years ago, has gained considerable critical acclaim and a substantial audience for its engaging and wide-ranging cultural talks.
Highlights this Autumn include art critic Richard Cork recounting his meetings with iconic artists, a new perspective on the Arts and Crafts movement, and writers who are fond of walking, exploring how this simple activity is dramatically transformed at night time.
Night Waves (9.15-10.00pm), which kicks off the new season with a rare interview with American novelist Philip Roth on 16 September, begins earlier each evening while Composer Of The Week (10.00-11.00pm) moves to a slightly later time.
Composer Of The Week will continue to go out at noon on weekdays, and the rich new series with Donald Macleod includes explorations of the life and work of such diverse composers as Brahms, Copland, Monteverdi, the English eccentric Lord Berners and the jazz legend Charles Mingus.
Jazz On 3 (11.15pm) – Jez Nelson's pick of international jazz concerts, with interviews, reviews of new CDs and in-depth features – moves to Mondays at 11.15pm from 15 September.
World On 3 (11.15pm) – in which Charlie Gillett, Lopa Kothari and Mary Ann Kennedy take turns in presenting an eclectic mix of sessions, concerts and interviews from leading musicians from around the world – swaps into the Friday position at 11.15pm.
The Saturday afternoon jazz zone on Radio 3 will now include Jazz Library (4.00-5.00pm), followed by the popular Jazz Record Requests with Geoffrey Smith in its former 5.00pm slot.
Jazz Line-up – focussing on well-established artists and mainstream jazz, as well as the new generation of young British players – moves to a new Sunday evening position mirroring Jazz On 3 on Monday evenings.
The new-style jazz weekends on Radio 3 begin on 20 and 21 September, alongside an eight-week series of repeats of Jazz Library on Saturday nights at midnight.
Radio 3 continues to partner the London Jazz Festival in 2008 and extensive coverage begins in November in all of the jazz strands.
Radio 3 Publicity