At Radio 3 we want to connect audiences with remarkable and adventurous music and culture and to provide nourishment for inquiring minds; from classical at our core to new ambient and experimental music, jazz, sound art, electronica, Slow Radio and our breadth of arts content.Alan Davey
Date: 10.09.2019 Last updated: 10.09.2019 at 09.45
BBC Radio 3 announces its autumn/winter season programming, as well as schedule changes, new programmes and presenter signings.
Alan Davey, Controller of BBC Radio 3 says: “At Radio 3 we want to connect audiences with remarkable and adventurous music and culture and to provide nourishment for inquiring minds; from classical at our core to new ambient and experimental music, jazz, sound art, electronica, Slow Radio and our breadth of arts content.
“We want Radio 3 to be a haven where listeners can come to take time out from today’s often-frenetic world and discover something new and follow it in depth - and with that in mind I’m so excited to be announcing our new-look autumn schedule, featuring three new regular programmes, focussing on musical adventure and reflecting cutting-edge and experimental music being made across the UK and internationally. I am also looking forward to bringing audiences some of our most ambitious seasons and programmes to date; from a year of Beethoven to a partnership with MoMA in New York, an Arctic Sound Walk and the specially-commissioned M1 Symphony.”
Four new regular programmes added to the Radio 3 schedule; Night Tracks, Unclassified, a new jazz programme and Early Music Now
BBC Radio 3 to introduce two new late-night shows, Night Tracks, and a new jazz programme exploring cutting-edge, adventurous jazz
Following three short series, Unclassified, Radio 3’s programme celebrating the increasingly popular ambient and neo-classical music genres to become a regular weekly programme, presented by Elizabeth Alker
A greater focus on early music with the introduction of Early Music Now, a new programme dedicated to exploring the world of contemporary Baroque performance introduced into the schedule alongside the launch of BBC Radio 3 New Generation Baroque Ensemble, a new scheme to support emerging Baroque ensembles in partnership with the National Centre for Early Music and the Royal College of Music
BBC Radio 3 to partner with MoMA for the first time for a landmark series The Way I See It featuring contributions from names including Steve Martin, Roxane Gay, Margaret Cho and Zac Posen.
Slow Radio taken to new heights with the Arctic Sound Walk as writer Horatio Clare travels to Greenland for the station’s most ambitious sound walk yet
Upcoming Slow Radio commissions to include the sound of rain on rooftops from around the world and a sonic journey down the River Thames from central London to the estuary
BBC Radio 3 to mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in a year-long focus, Beethoven Unleashed, in 2020 featuring an unprecedented 25 editions of Composer of the Week dedicated to the composer over the course of the year
M1 Symphony: The 70th anniversary of Britain’s first motorway to be documented in an upcoming commission, combining recorded sounds and voices and a specially-commissioned score by composer Alex Woolf, performed by the BBC Philharmonic
Lily Cole to voice the role of Elizabeth Siddal in an upcoming edition Between The Ears in which the first ‘supermodel’ of the Victorian period presents her own story
Gareth Malone to explore and reflect the phenomenon of people who don’t like music - all music - in an upcoming Sunday Feature documentary
Jennifer Lucy Allan and Hannah Peel (main image) to join existing Radio 3 presenters as hosts of Late Junction and Night Tracks, respectively
Music Planet to move to a new prime Saturday afternoon slot
Radio 3 to dedicate a week to marking 100 years since the formation of the Weimar Republic, Germany’s culturally-rich interwar period
New programmes, schedule changes and schemes
This autumn sees the introduction of two new regular programmes focussing on experimental music; a new jazz programme and Unclassified. Broad in scope and largely unconfined by traditional genre boundaries, these new shows will explore a wide spectrum of musical influences. From cutting-edge contemporary jazz to the increasingly popular world of more ambient and neo-classical composition, the addition of these programmes to the schedule alongside Radio 3’s existing Late Junction and New Music Show will see the station continue to act as a hub for the experimental and cutting-edge music scenes alongside its core classical roots.
Also entering the schedule this autumn is new-late night programme Night Tracks.
Further information on each of these new programmes is detailed below:
Unclassified returns to Radio 3 in a new regular slot, following three successful six part series in 2018-19. Presented by Elizabeth Alker, the show champions genre-defying composers whose music blurs the lines between classical, jazz, pop and electronica. Autumn highlights include Floating Points, with music from his new album, plus first plays from Erland Cooper, Shards and Portico Quartet.
The new series will also include music from Unclassified Live, a new concert series curated by BBC Radio 3 and BBC Concert Orchestra in partnership with the Southbank Centre and Southbank Sinfonia. Conducted by André de Ridder and presented by Elizabeth Alker, the first concert will feature music by Anna Meredith, Darkstar, Daniel Avery, Caroline Shaw, Tim Hecker and Rafiq Bhatia.
A revamped evening weekday schedule will showcase a new late-night show for Radio 3, Night Tracks.
A show with classical music at its heart, Night Tracks will take listeners on an immersive sonic journey, with innovative sound design tailored for late-night listening.
Night Tracks will be fronted by BBC Radio 3 presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch, with regular episodes hosted by the award-winning composer and performer Hannah Peel, making her Radio 3 presenting debut.
New jazz programme
November sees the introduction of a new programme focussing on the very best new adventurous jazz. The new show will champion both UK and international artists pushing the bounds and exploring the cutting-edge of what jazz can be.
A programme title and presenter announcement will be made in due course.
Late Junction begins its prime two hour Friday night slot this autumn, fronted by Verity Sharp. Jennifer Lucy Allan will also regularly present editions of the show, completing the presenting line-up.
Early Music Now
A new permanent strand, Early Music Now, will be added to Monday’s afternoon schedules dedicated to the very best in Baroque music recordings from across Europe.
BBC Radio 3 New Generation Baroque Ensemble
Radio 3’s commitment to nurturing the very best in early music will also be reflected in a brand new scheme launching this October, the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Baroque Ensemble. Working with partners The National Centre for Early Music and the Royal College of Music, this new initiative designed to nurture a young, UK-based Baroque ensemble. The chosen group will be given opportunities to record studio sessions for BBC Radio 3; concerts and professional development with the National Centre for Early Music, and coaching, research and performance opportunities with the Royal College of Music. The ensemble’s journey will be followed on Radio 3’s Early Music Show.
Autumn 2019 into the beginning of 2020 will be punctuated by landmark programming on BBC Radio 3.
The Way I See It - Radio 3 and MoMA’s journey through modern art
This autumn, a star-studded cast of innovative creators from the cultural world will take part in the first collaboration of its kind - between arts and culture radio station, BBC Radio 3, and New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The unique collaboration will see an epic 30 part series of programmes aired about creativity, the look of art and the art of looking on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds.
The new series will appear in Radio 3’s The Essay slot and launches on 14 October, running from Monday to Friday at 10.45-11pm until 1 November, and then again from 18 November until 6 December, and will feature some of the world’s most creative, disruptive minds, with more names to be announced in September, including:
Sarah Sze and Siddhartha Mukherjee
Since the days of the Third Programme, BBC Radio 3 has always undertaken to broadcast ambitious, pioneering arts programming with creative organisations the world over, but this is the first time the broadcaster has worked with MoMA. As part of BBC Arts and BBC Radio 3’s wider commitment to visual arts, The Way I See It will feature deeply personal responses to modern art from globally admired stars and emerging vanguards, as they transport listeners through a radiophonic art exhibition of their choices of the most inspiring and provocative works from the MoMA collection.
Leading cultural figures in the series include Grammy and Emmy award-winning Hollywood actor and comedian Steve Martin, the author of the New York Times best-selling essay collection Roxane Gay, one of the founders of minimalism - composer Steve Reich and stand-up comedian Margaret Cho.
These 30 programmes, presented by art critic Alastair Sooke, are playful, curious and inspirational. In the company of some of the leading creatives of our age, we take a deep dive into the stunning works in MoMA’s Collection, whilst exploring what it means 'to see'. How does an astrophysicist see Van Gogh’s Starry Night? How does a jazz pianist see Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie? How does one of the first black women to write for Marvel comics see the difficult truths Kara Walker’s sweeping image of African-American history? What does a top fashion designer see in the curving forms of a Brancusi sculpture? This series celebrates our hunt for ourselves and our lived experience in art. The result is a series that tries to provoke, inspire and startle us into new ways of seeing art and our world.
Alan Davey, Controller of BBC Radio 3, says: “This autumn BBC Radio 3 will be taking listeners into the heart of one of New York’s most vital cultural institutions. The series spotlights the importance of fresh, new perspectives and a chance to hear more about how art really makes us feel and why. On BBC Radio 3 we are committed to innovative, intelligent programming that highlights the role of culture globally to give audiences new insights, from our Arts & Ideas: Free Thinking programme to our showcasing of new and innovative work. Only BBC Radio 3 could collaborate with the world’s largest repository of modern art to bring our listeners a new and deconstructed way of looking and listening.”
Leah Dickerman, Director of Editorial & Content Strategy at MOMA, says: "It’s been brilliant working with the BBC on this unique collaboration. We have musicians, actors, writers, philosophers and scientists, each someone truly extraordinary in their field. We're eager to share their thoughts about a work in the collection with audiences. The conversations help us see the many different ways that art feeds creativity, offering both inspiration and provocation."
Matthew Dodd, head of speech at BBC Radio 3, says: “BBC Radio 3 and MoMA working together has felt like a natural collaboration of sound and vision. Both institutions have at their core a dedication to bringing great modern art and culture to broad audiences; a belief that shining a light on new and innovative artists is essential; and an understanding that pioneering art works are always in exciting dialogue with today’s listeners and viewers. These creative leaders personally explain why art has helped stimulate their own creative juices. We hope that together BBC Radio 3 and MOMA will allow more people to discover that talking about modern art on your own terms is a natural and eye-opening way of enjoying its power.”
The Way I See It will be available on BBC Sounds and available to download internationally from other podcast outlets.
Beethoven Unleashed will be a year-long focus on Radio 3 in 2020, marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.
Launching in January 2020, the narrative of the composer’s extraordinary life and works will be explored in a comprehensive series of Composer of the Week, which will dedicate an unprecedented 25 weeks of the programme to Beethoven over the course of the year. These programmes will see Donald Macleod survey the course of Beethoven’s life and music with a series of contributions from musicians and experts, including Dr Erica Buurman from the Centre for Beethoven Studies at San José University, California.
Alongside year-round coverage in Composer Of The Week, Beethoven Unleashed will consist of five stand-out moments of in-depth programming throughout the year, with involvement and live concerts from all the BBC Orchestras and Choirs.
Themes covered in concerts and further programming throughout the year will include Beethoven’s early life, the emotional turmoil he experienced with his lack of success in love and the onset of his hearing loss and eventual deafness. The concept of Beethoven as a ‘hero’ will be considered, as well as Beethoven’s lasting legacy today.
Over the course of a week in November 2019, Radio 3 will mark 100 years since the start of Germany’s culturally rich inter-war period - home of cabaret. Radio 3’s after-dark zone celebrates its music and ideas, and will feature special editions of The Essay and Free Thinking.
Further detail will be announced in due course.
Further programming highlights
Arctic Sound Walk
This December Radio 3 will present its most ambitious Sound Walk to date, which will see writer Horatio Clare travel and walk through Greenland, one of the most sparsely-populated regions on the planet.
Following extreme temperatures this summer on the island, as winter draws and snows are awaited, listeners will hear Horatio describing his experience of tracing the Arctic Circle Trail from the ice free west coast of Greenland, inland.
Over the course of three hour-long episodes, exploring the culture, history and future of the island, listeners will be able to tune into Horatio’s experience as he moves through a series of different landscapes, observing the lights, shapes and colours, the skies and waters of this remote part of the world.
In the lead up to Horatio Clare’s ambitious Sound Walk this autumn will see a number of unique Slow Radio experiences broadcast in Radio 3’s monthly dedicated slot.
Subject matter this autumn will range from the sounds of Downtown Nashville to a journey along the River Thames from Central London to the estuary. Listeners will also tune into sounds taken from a day of worship at multi-faith temple at Skanda Vale in Wales, which combines Hindu, Buddhist and Catholic worship.
This regular programme is in addition to regular Slow Radio moments on the station such as Sunday Breakfast’s Sound Of The Earth, which aims to give listeners the unique opportunity to take time out of today’s often-frenetic world.
Slow Radio from Radio 3 is also available to download as part of the BBC Radio 3 Slow Radio podcast on BBC Sounds.
Following on from 2018’s successful NHS Symphony, Radio 3 has commissioned a soundscape documentary which will pay homage to, and tell the story of Britain’s first motorway.
A unique soundscape will be created combining recorded sounds and voices and a specially-commissioned composition from former BBC Proms Inspire Composer Alex Woolf, performed by the BBC Philharmonic.