Press Office

Friday 11 Jul 2014

Press Release

BBC Radio 3 announces biggest ever commitment to live performance

In an unprecedented announcement, BBC Radio 3's rich schedule of concerts, operas and recitals will be further enhanced from 3 May 3 2011 when listeners will be able to hear LIVE broadcasts direct from venues across the UK every weekday evening in Performance On 3.

This evolution of the Radio 3 schedule is without parallel and will provide listeners with prime access to a huge variety of performance from across the UK as well as highlighting further the distinctive nature of Radio 3's contribution to British culture: a celebration of music and the arts to a depth that sets it apart from other UK radio stations.

The first season of LIVE evening broadcasts will begin on 3 May and will continue every weekday evening in Performance On 3 up to the Proms, already a highlight of Radio 3's live music calendar.

Across the year there will be at least 46 weeks of LIVE concerts in the evening schedule. This change to Radio 3's music schedule, alongside the station's continuing schedule of ambitious speech and drama programming, demonstrates the ongoing commitment to Britain's artistic and cultural life and allows millions of people the opportunity to experience the variety and excitement of the live performance that takes place UK-wide every evening.

The first season of live concerts will feature a huge range of performing groups including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé, London Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC Singers, BBC Concert Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia; plus a variety of solo recitals and chamber music concerts.

Roger Wright, Controller BBC Radio 3 and Director BBC Proms, said: "BBC Radio 3 has always championed live music as a unique part of its programming, but increasing our commitment to live broadcasting to this degree is an unprecedented move. As a public service broadcaster it is exciting to expand our work, bringing free-to-air publicly funded performances to millions of listeners and celebrate on a nightly basis the excitement of UK-wide music-making as it happens."

Edward Blakeman, Editor Performance On 3, said: "This is an exciting development – we'll follow the best classical music concerts and be there bringing them to audiences live, directly from the venue. Intervals will include a mix of specially recorded features, live conversation and additional musical context that we know listeners find of great interest."

The announcement of live evening concerts in Performance On 3 is in addition to the live or specially recorded music-making already found throughout the Radio 3 schedule, from guest appearances on the drivetime show In Tune, to Lunchtime Concerts and Afternoon On 3 and much else besides.

Notes to Editors

There will be certain weeks during the year when specially recorded performance will take the place of LIVE in the Radio 3 schedule (eg catching up with Edinburgh festival after the Proms season has finished, and over Christmas and Easter when there are fewer concerts in the calendar).

  • Radio 3 broadcasts classical music, jazz, world music, arts programmes and drama
  • Radio 3 is the home of 'live' concerts
  • Radio 3 broadcasts over 600 complete concerts a year
  • Radio 3 is the home of the Proms and exclusively broadcasts every Prom programme live
  • Radio 3 supports composers, writers and new young performers
  • Radio 3 broadcasts over 40 new drama productions a year
  • Radio 3 is the biggest commissioner of classical music in the UK

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