A century of modern classical music on the BBC in 2013

For some people 20th century classical music can seem daunting. As the leading arts and music channel, BBC Four aims to shed real insight into why music evolved in this way."Richard Klein, Controller, BBC Four
Date: 27.11.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.06
Richard Klein, Controller of BBC Four, today unveiled further plans for the BBC’s partnership with Southbank Centre for The Rest Is Noise Festival of 20th century classical music.

The partnership will see BBC Four and BBC Radio 3 offering a complementary programme of broadcasts, documentaries and screenings to explore this important era in modern music, whilst the BBC Concert Orchestra will give eight performances as part of the festival.

BBC Four will broadcast, and screen at Southbank Centre, a new landmark three-part documentary series The Sound And The Fury: A Century Of Modern Music. The series will trace the turbulent history and music of the last century, uncovering how classical music evolved and also how the way we listen to sound itself changed.

The series also explores why individual composers were compelled to create the music they did and how they were influenced by the moral, philosophical, and social upheavals at the time. The series will be screened in advance at Southbank Centre over the weekend of 19/20 January 2013. It will be broadcast on BBC Four in February 2013.

BBC Four will also show selected archive across the year which reflects and comments on the music, composers and events featured in The Rest Is Noise Festival. A special BBC archive collection relating to the composers featured in The Rest Is Noise will also be made available online along with full-length performances recorded for the documentary series and extended interviews.

Richard Klein, Controller of BBC Four, commented: "For some people 20th century classical music can seem daunting. As the leading arts and music channel, BBC Four aims to shed real insight into why music evolved in this way. The Sound And The Fury; A Century Of Modern Music will capture some of the key voices of men and women who wrote the music and the bigger world history behind so many seminal compositions which will remain part of the BBC's archive for future generations.

"The BBC is committed to partnering with the arts sector and we're proud to bring our viewers a more in-depth experience through our partnership with Southbank Centre which will also feature BBC Four screenings and BBC Concert Orchestra performances broadcast on BBC Radio 3."

BBC Radio 3 will work alongside BBC Four to provide complementary programming of the classical events and performances which will tie in to the television series and other activities across the year. Radio 3 will also broadcast many of the concerts from the festival.

Roger Wright, Controller of BBC Radio 3, added: “BBC Radio 3 will provide the best seat in the house to those around the country who want to hear concerts as part of The Rest Is Noise but who can’t physically be there. As the home of classical music the station will work alongside BBC Four to enhance the broad and distinctive offering from the BBC in partnership with Southbank Centre's festival programming.”

The BBC Concert Orchestra, well-known for its versatility and diverse programming, will perform major works of the 20th century including pastoral works darkened by the experience of the Great War and the music of German composers forced to flee Nazi Germany.

Highlights of BBC content include:

The Sound And The Fury: A Century Of Modern Music, BBC FOUR, February 2013

Benjamin Britten season, BBC TWO and BBC FOUR, September 2013

Composers In Their Own Words, BBC FOUR, November 2013

BBC Concert Orchestra broadcast on BBC Radio 3

Death of Nostalgia, 24 February 2013, tbc

Seven Deadly Sins, 3 March 2013, tbc

Hidden Voices, 24 March 2013, tbc

Kurt Weill: Berlin to Broadway, 12 April 2013, tbc

The Home Front, 7 June 2013, tbc

Sondheim in the 70s, 10 November 2013, tbc

Britain in the 80s, 1 December 2013, tbc

Notes to Editors

The BBC aims to provide the broadest range and depth of music and arts programmes across television and radio

The BBC aims to provide context through original, fresh discussion and perspectives

The BBC creates non-commercial partnerships with the arts sector that go beyond broadcast, from sharing expertise to widening public engagement in UK arts eg, The Royal Opera House, Edinburgh International Festival, Southbank Centre and many more.

As the gold card channel for arts, BBC Four features the most music programming on television and is the home of classical music on television which features in the heart of the schedule.

The BBC Concert Orchestra is one of the country’s most versatile ensembles. Since 1952 they’ve been the house orchestra for BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night and give regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. In 2010 the BBC Concert Orchestra appointed Keith Lockhart as Principal Conductor and Johannes Wildner as Principal Guest Conductor, complementing Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth. A regular at the BBC Proms and Proms in the Park, the orchestra also perform at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Watford Colosseum.

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames.

The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and The Hayward as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

EH