Tom Service talks to pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard about his first recording of Bach - The Art of Fugue - and his stewardship of the Aldeburgh Festival.
The BBC National Orchestra of Wales celebrate the music of Henri Dutilleux. And a major exhibition of field recordings from India opens at the Horniman Museum in London.
In this programme
Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard is known for his close links with some of the giants of 20th century music including Boulez and Ligeti. But his first release with record label Deutsche Grammophon sees him tackling what may seem to be surprising new territory with Bach's The Art of Fugue. He talks to Tom about playing Bach's challenging polyphony, curating a festival of music at London's Southbank Centre of his friend and mentor Olivier Messiaen, and his recent appointment as the new Artsistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival.
From the Canyons to the Stars: the music of Olivier Messiaen at the Southbank Centre, runs until March 2009
Next weekend The BBC National Orchestra of Wales celebrates the music of French composer Henri Dutilleux who recently celebrated his
92nd birthday. Renowned for his sensuous yet refined music, Dutilleux is loved by some of the world's highest profile musicians, including Krystian Zimerman and Yan Pascal Tortelier who talk to Tom about the man and his music. The famously reserved composer himself joins Tom from his Paris home.
Discovering Dutilleux Festival, Cardiff 15-17 February 2008
For the last couple of months the press has been full of the furore over Arts Council England's redistribution of funding. Many groups from the Birmingham Opera Company to the City of London Sinfonia have faced the withdrawal of much needed funds, but after a fraught appeal process, 17 organisations have been granted a reprieve. Tom speaks to two groups who have not been so lucky, both the London Mozart Players and Contemporary Music-Making for Amateurs are re- evaluating their future in light of Arts Council England's decision. Tom asks Henry Little, Arts Council England's Director of Music Strategy, just what this means for the future of classical music support.
Tom visits the latest exhibition at the Horniman Museum in South London, Utsavam: Music from India, which looks at India's rich musical heritage. Utsavam goes beyond exhibiting an astonishing array of sitars, toombis, and temple chankas, and offers an insight into the ritual and social significance of music from Kerala, to the Punjab, to the mountains of Arunchal Pradesh.
Utsavam: Music from India at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill London. February 9th - November 2nd 2008.