Friday Night is Music Night celebrates 90 years of the BBC Music Library with Ken Bruce live from the Mermaid Theatre in London.
Since its inception in 1922 the BBC has played an important part in the musical life of the UK. By the late 1920s the Times news paper reported that Auntie Beeb was the biggest purveyor of music in the country. At first musicians were wary of the BBC and thought that this new broadcasting business would kill off live public performance. But far from it. Live performance was what the BBC was all about. Dance bands, orchestras, soloists and other ensembles were invited to broadcast from No 2 Savoy Hill and need for scores and musical arrangements grew. In March 1923 the British Broadcasting Company as it was then appointed its first music librarian - Frank Hook. In 1932 the library moved to the 5th floor of the then new Broadcasting House. An unexploded bomb crashed into library in 1940. Tragically 2 people were killed trying to detonate the device and many scores were lost in the blast.
Despite Hitler's efforts - today it is a huge wealth of material used in radio and television broadcasts along with a Gramophone Library which is the envy of the world. Just a casual flick through the sheet music catalogue reveals works from all the great classical composers as well as film; choral and musicals plus commissions for the Proms and specially arranged music for shows like the Goons; Henry Hall; The Two Ronnies; Morecambe and Wise; Dr Who and Strictly Come Dancing.
Roderick Dunk conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra and our guests tonight feature some of BBC Radio 2's young award winners including Radio 2 Young Choristers Laura Barraclough and Luke McWatters, Young Brass Soloist Josiah Walters and Young Folk Award winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar.
During the interval we take a tour round the vaults with its vast archive of music scores, some which are unique and priceless.
The programme was first broadcast 17th January 2014.