In the spring of 2019 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, BBC Radio 3 will be initiating the next phase of a commitment to making a difference in BAME composition, commissioning and promotion within classical music.
The Change Makers Forum will bring together key composers and decision-makers to share experiences, debate the way forward, and commit to real action. They will set specific challenges to themselves and to organisations across the UK. They will also begin work on a Directory of Opportunities which will be a practical, online resource for all.
Key partners in this ongoing project with BBC Radio 3 are BASCA, PRS for Music, Sound and Music and ABRSM. The Change Makers Forum follows an initial conference devised by BBC Radio 3 in 2016 and picks up on developments that were kick-started as a result.
The Pankhurst Anthem
The Pankhurst Anthem, commissioned by BBC Radio 3 in March to mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the UK is BBC Radio 3’s most performed new commission to date. Today we can announce that the piece will be performed at the official unveiling of the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in central Manchester on the 14 December 2018.
The Pankhurst Anthem is a choral work with music by composer Lucy Pankhurst and text by women’s rights activist and writer Helen Pankhurst (main image), based on words by her great-grandmother Emmeline. Written in two parts, Echoes of Emmeline is followed by Anthem, which features an uplifting melody designed to be easily learnt, sung by a number of voices and especially composed with the view to encouraging music-lovers across the UK to perform the piece themselves to mark the anniversary together.
To mark the 150th anniversary of the death of composer Hector Berlioz, BBC Radio 3 will be dedicating a long weekend to the composer from the 15-17 February 2018. The particular focus of the weekend will be on Berlioz as a master orchestrator, and will feature performances of key works by Berlioz himself, as well as a selection by those composers who greatly influenced him.
The weekend will also feature a live concert from each of the BBC Orchestras and Choirs, as well as specially-recorded rarely heard works by the composer and performances by Radio 3’s New Generation Artists.
Essential Classics is BBC Radio 3’s popular weekday programme presenting specially-curated selections of some of the finest classical music recordings, as well as discussion from daily guests on their musical and cultural influences.
Essential Classics will play a key part in Radio 3’s contribution to the pan-BBC season Our Classical Century, charting 100 of the most significant moments, events and compositions from the last one hundred years.
Upcoming guests set to join Suzy Klein and Ian Skelly on Essential Classics to discuss their cultural influences include actors Stephen Mangan, Graham Fellows and Lenny Henry, as well as novelist Jessie Burton and Sakari Oramo, Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Opera on 3
The resident home of opera at the BBC, Radio 3 broadcasts two operas a week and around 90 complete operas a year. Opera on 3’s autumn season continues this commitment to bringing some of the very best opera to listeners.
Highlights scheduled for broadcast on Opera on 3 this autumn include Verdi’s Falstaff from the Royal Opera House starring Bryn Terfel in the title role and Prokofiev’s War and Peace from Welsh National Opera. Radio 3 will also be broadcasting the entirety of Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle from the Royal Opera House, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano and presented by Tom Service.
As well as established classics, listeners will also have the opportunity to hear some of opera’s more recent works on Radio 3 this autumn, including David Sawer’s new opera The Skating Rink which premiered at Garsington Opera this summer, and William Bolcon’s 2017 work Dinner at Eight from Wexford Festival Opera.
Radio 3 in Concert
Radio 3 in Concert is committed to reflecting the very best of music-making from across the UK.
In September, Andrew McGregor will host extensive coverage of the Leeds International Piano Competition, in a week of Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts and two special editions of Radio 3 in Concert, in which the finalists will be accompanied by the Hallé Orchestra under Edward Gardner.
The station will also be broadcasting additional highlights of the Edinburgh International Festival, beginning with a celebration of young musical talent with concerts by the Youth Orchestra of the Americas as well youth orchestras from Canada and Scotland.
Further highlights this autumn will include Sir Simon Rattle conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in an all-English programme of Britten, Turnage, Holst and Birtwistle. BBC Radio 3 will also be broadcasting the Royal Northern Sinfonia’s 60th Anniversary gala concert from Sage Gateshead, and a performance by rising star saxophonist Jess Gillam with the BBC Philharmonic. Later in the season, listeners will have the opportunity to enjoy the broadcast of a recital by celebrated pianist Mitsuko Uchida in a programme of works by Schubert from the Royal Festival Hall.
Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert
Radio 3’s flagship Lunchtime Concert series from London’s Wigmore Hall recommences on Monday 10 September with a recital by acclaimed young tenor and former Radio 3 New Generation Artist Ilker Arcayürek. Other highlights include pianist Imogen Cooper, the Julliard Quartet, mezzo soprano Katarina Karneus and the young French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, as well as the Wigmore Hall debuts of two current New Generation Artists, guitarist Thibaut Garcia and violinist Aleksey Semenenko.
Further Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert highlights this autumn will include broadcasts from the Glenarm Festival of Voice, a series of concerts from Lammermuir Festival in Scotland, and a series of War Memorial concerts, War’s Embers, from LSO St Luke’s, marking 100 years since the armistice in 1918. In October, some of Radio 3’s current New Generation Artists come together for a Schubert themed Big Chamber Weekend at the Britten Studio, Snape.
Afternoon Concert presents a full concert each afternoon on Radio 3 showcasing, in particular, performances from the dynamic BBC Orchestras and Choirs as well as highlights from European ensembles.
Upcoming autumn highlights include weeks featuring shared content from the European Broadcasting Union from Belgium, Germany and Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival. Listeners will also have the opportunity to enjoy highlights from forthcoming orchestral tours, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Holland, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Spain.
Shortly before Christmas Afternoon Concert will present the Best of the BBC Orchestras and Choirs, including a broadcast of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Paddington Live on Friday 21 December.
This season Music Matters goes in search of the under-sung and under-played musicians who can be argued to have deserved more of the limelight during their lifetimes; composers and performers who created and presented extraordinary work which has been underrepresented on our concert stages and on our headphones.
Some of the lesser-known figures and their work that will be explored in Music Matters will include Danish electronics pioneer Else Marie Pade (1924-2016), African American symphonic composer Ulysses Kay (1915-1995) and Russian modernist composer Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006).
Inside Music allows listeners to explore a selection of music from the perspective of a leading musician who are able to offer an ‘insider’s perspective’ on great repertoire.
Musicians confirmed to be guest presenting an edition of Inside Music this autumn include multi-instrumentalist and composer Jacob Collier, conductors Sofi Jeannin and David Charles Abell, clarinettist Michael Collins, singer Jeanine De Bique and violinist Jennifer Pike.
The Listening Service
The Listening Service, the series in which presenter Tom Service guides curious listeners through the workings of music, from rock to Rachmaninov, metal to Mozart, returns this autumn.
Upcoming highlights include an exploration into the maximal impact of minimalism in music; exploring what it is about the work of composers like Steve Reich that inspires such mixed reactions among audiences, and what is this music actually doing - and how? Tom will also be investigating how space has been the source of inspiration in music, and how science and fantasy combine in music.
This autumn, the Listening Service will also take a step into the world of advanced technology in music and the stirrings of artificial intelligence, exploring how the advance of technology has impacted music in the past, and how it will continue to impact upon music in the future.