Main content

Jonathan Bate

As part of Radio 3's weekend of Shakespeare commemorations, Michael Berkeley is joined by scholar Jonathan Bate, who talks about his passion for music inspired by Shakespeare.

Sir Jonathan Bate is one of the leading Shakespeare scholars of our time. He's also a biographer, broadcaster and critic, and a passionate advocate of the importance of the humanities in education. Provost of Worcester College and Professor of English Literature at Oxford University, he is the author of many influential books on Shakespeare and the joint editor of the RSC Shakespeare: Complete Works. And he's turned playwright himself, with the one-man play Being Shakespeare, written for Simon Callow. He's also written extensively about English literature in the 400 years since Shakespeare's death, and last year, in a blaze of publicity, he published a controversial biography of Ted Hughes.

Jonathan takes us on a journey through 300 years of music inspired by Shakespeare, including works by Linley, Mozart, Berlioz, Wagner, Strauss - and Taylor Swift.
And we hear Shakespeare performed by Alex Jennings, Simon Russell Beale, and Claire Danes.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 3.

Available now

36 minutes

Last on

Sun 24 Apr 2016 12:00

Music Played

  • John Sheppard

    Libera nos

    Choir: The Sixteen. Conductor: Harry Christophers.
  • Thomas Linley

    Overture: A Lyric Ode

    Orchestra: Parley of Instruments Baroque Orchestra. Conductor: Paul Nicholson.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Soave sia il vento (Cosi fan tutte)

    Orchestra: Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Conductor: Yannick Nézet‐Séguin. Singer: Miah Persson. Singer: Angela Brower. Singer: Alessandro Corbelli.
  • Hector Berlioz

    Fantaisie sur la Tempete de Shakespeare (Lelio)

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Pierre Boulez. Choir: London Symphony Chorus.
  • Richard Wagner

    Das Liebesverbot (So spat und noch kein Brief von Isabella...)

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Edward Downes. Singer: Raimund Herincx.
  • Richard Strauss

    Wie erkenn ich mein Treulieb (Ophelia), Op.67 no.1

    Performer: Glenn Gould. Singer: Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.
  • Taylor Swift

    Love Story

    Singer: Taylor Swift.


11 things we learned from Harry Enfield’s Private Passions

11 things we learned from Harry Enfield’s Private Passions

Harry doesn't usually give interviews – but he couldn't say no to Michael Berkeley.

Six mind-expanding music podcasts to download in 2019

Six mind-expanding music podcasts to download in 2019

Love music? Looking for new ear-fodder for your commute? We've got you covered.

Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Archive Unlocked: Two Decades of Private Passions

Michael Berkeley introduces memorable interviews from Private Passions' archives.