Today [13/04/2022] BBC Radio 3 reveals highlights of its schedule for Spring 2022, with a celebration of live music from UK Festivals at its heart.
Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3, says: “As we gear up to unveil the return of the Proms as we know them, after two strange and uncertain years for music and the arts, we can now rejoice in the arrival of the Spring and Summer seasons, with a fantastic choice of performances happening on stages in concert halls, outdoor venues and from our studios across the UK. Passion, emotion, drama and space to reflect – food for the heart and soul is the core of Radio 3 this Spring, with a season of exciting and stimulating programmes of music, drama, poetry and ideas. Music and Art for Everyone – that’s the continuing spirit of BBC Radio 3 as we make sense of the world around us. “
- Broadcasts from Festivals across the UK: Hay Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, York Early Music Festival; WOMAD; and Edinburgh International Festival; with performances by (among others): BBC Symphony Orchestra; BBC National Orchestra of Wales; BBC Singers; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Chineke! Chamber Ensemble; Royal Northern Sinfonia; The Sixteen; Takács Quartet; Magdalena Kožená; Golda Schultz; Anne Sofie von Otter; the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists presenting a series of four lunchtime recitals live from Cheltenham Festival; and special This Classical Life events with Jess Gillam at Hay and Latitude festival;
- Drama on 3 marking the centenary of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land with a special radio performance, as part of a varied season of dramatic radio premieres including Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra in a new version with Adjoa Andoh and Tim McInnerny; Sandro Veronesi’s international bestseller The Hummingbird; five short dramas inspired by five stories by Guy de Maupassant; and a special Mayday broadcast of the Young’uns folk drama The Ballad Of Johnny Longstaff recorded live in their home town of Stockton-on-Tees.
- A four-week Composer of the Week focus on Ralph Vaughan Williams as part of Vaughan Williams Today, and a special series of programmes across all schedules throughout May, marking the composer’s 150th anniversary, including: BBC Philharmonic and The Hallé completing the Vaughan Williams’ Symphony Cycle; and Between the Ears presenting a re-imagining of The Lark Ascending with sampled lark birdsong;
- Opera on 3 presenting new productions from UK opera houses, including: Britten’s Peter Grimes and Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila from the Royal Opera House; Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen from English National Opera; and Wagner’s Parsifal from Opera North;
- Radio 3 Breakfast presenting a new week of programmes on the move, with Petroc Trelawny travelling across the Great Glen in Scotland, and exploring how landscape and history intertwine with culture and music;
- The Verb marking BBC100 throughout the season with new commissions from contemporary poets paired with broadcasts of historical readings from the BBC Archives;
- The Essay featuring poet Oksana Maksymchuk who co-edits Words for War, a collection of new poems from Ukraine; and other series including: Marlene Dietrich in 5 Songs and Larkin and Believing marking Philip Larkin’s centenary year with contributions from five contemporary UK poets;
- Clemency Burton-Hill returning to Classical Fix for two special programmes as part of Mental Health Awareness Week; and a station-wide focus on mindfulness and nature including Lucy “Lapwing” Hodson introducing Signs of Spring as part of Sunday Breakfast; The Music & Meditation Podcast series; and a special Slow Radio dedicated to A Day in the Life of a Dog.
BBC RADIO 3 SPRING HIGHLIGHTS IN DETAIL
BBC Radio 3 at Festivals across the UK
As the festival season returns in 2022, after two years of uncertainty and cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BBC Radio 3 celebrates live music with broadcasts from:
Hay Festival: in a series offour BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts ( broadcast from Tuesday 21 to Friday 24 June), New Generation Artists past and present, amongst others, present works including music by Dvořák; Maria Theresia von Paradis; Amanda Maier; Mahler; Shulamit Ran; and Britten. The series features performances by Aleksey Semenenko (violin) with Sam Haywood (piano); Mithras Piano Trio with Gary Pomeroy (viola); and soprano Ruby Hughes with Huw Watkins (piano), who perform four UK broadcast premieres of music by Leokadiya Aleksandrovna Kashperova.
A special episode Free Thinking at Hay: The Sea (Tuesday 31 May) explores the ideas of sea and ocean in a panel discussion hosted by Rana Mitter, with guests Nobel Prize-winning author Abdulrazak Gurnah, whose books have drawn on his birthplace Zanzibar and the refugees arriving at the Kent coast; climate scientist Prof Emily Shuckburgh, who worked at the British Antarctic Survey; and Joan Passey, author of Cornish Gothic, a New Generation Thinker on the scheme run by BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Aldeburgh Festival:six Radio 3 In Concert programmes across ten days on June (Tuesday 14 to Friday 24 June) present highlights of the 73rd edition of the Aldeburgh Festival, at Snape Maltings Concert Hall in Suffolk. These include live broadcasts of performances by: BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Martyn Brabbins joined by cellist Laura van der Heijden for Walton’s Cello Concerto, and by baritone Roderick Williams and mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons for Britten’s A Time There Was; and BBC Symphony Orchestra presenting music by Knussen and Mussorgsky. Further concerts include: City of Birmingham Concert Orchestra with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja in Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.2; and New Generation Artists Timothy Ridout (viola), Alexander Gadjiev (piano), Ema Nikolovska (mezzo-soprano), Kunal Lahiry (piano), and the Quatuor Arod giving three morning concerts at the Britten Studio, recorded for future broadcast on Radio 3.
In Tune Special is live from Aldeburgh (Friday 17 June) and New Music Show broadcasts the premiere of Tom Coult’s new opera Violet (Saturday 18 June) as captured at the Festival.
Cheltenham Festival:introduced by Ian Skelly,a week of live Radio 3 Lunchtime concerts (Tuesday 12 to Friday 15 July) spotlights New Generation Artists, with mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston (mezzo soprano); pianists Kunal Lahiry, Tom Borrow, and Alexander Gadjiev; Johan Dalene (violin); and the Quatuor Arod in repertoire from the Baroque to contemporary, including works by Purcell, Brahms, Britten, Mahler, Messiaen, Weir, Ravel, Copland, Boulanger, and Stravinsky among others.
York Early Music Festival: BBC Radio 3 In Concert presents The Sixteen with Harry Christophers in a special exploration of choral repertoire Choral Pilgrimage 2022: Author of Light (Tuesday 12 July); and a live broadcast of Gabrieli’s A Venetian Coronation by Gabrieli Consort & Players led by Paul McCreesh (Wednesday 13 July).
This Classical Life at UK Festivals
Saxophonist and broadcaster Jess Gillam takes her award-winning Radio 3 programme This Classical Life – where she is joined by other musicians to discuss and suggest their favourite tracks from across the musical spectrum – on the road to UK festivals for the first time. She will be sitting down for a listening party with festival audiences to chat about the music they love most from any era, genre or style.
At a special edition recorded at Hay Festival on 30th May, her guest is acclaimed trumpeter Alison Balsom (broadcast on Saturday 4 June); and at Latitude Festival on 24th July the show will be staged at The Listening Post with a live audience of festival goers (broadcast on Saturday 30 July).
The Spring schedule also includes two This Classical Life: Live events, where Jess Gillam brings her show to life with two concerts featuring a host of musical stars at The Old Woollen in Leeds on 25th May with the BBC Philharmonic and conductor Ellie Slorach (guests include: pianist and composer Belle Chen; and multi-instrumentalist and composer Erland Cooper – broadcast on Radio 3 In Concert, Wednesday 5 July); and at Alexandra Palace Theatre in London on 21st June, with the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Jonathan Bloxham (guests include: trumpeter and former Radio 3 New Generation Artist Simon Höfele; soprano Ella Taylor; and Award-winning composer, arranger and saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi speaking to Gillam on-stage, and the BBC Concert Orchestra performing one of Cassie’s orchestral pieces – broadcast on Radio 3 In Concert, Sunday 10 July).
WOMAD:BBC Radio 3 celebrates WOMAD at 40 with a weekend of special broadcasts, including performances by some of the headline acts, introduced by Lopa Kothari (Saturday 30 & Sunday 31 July). Details will be announced in due course.
Edinburgh International Festival: live weekday broadcasts (Monday 8 to Friday 26 August) in a special EIF slot, feature performances by some of the best-known names on the classical music scene, such as mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter; Chineke! Chamber Ensemble; Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble with Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Takács Quartet; Golda Schultz; and mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená; amongst others.
OTHER MUSIC HIGHLIGHTS
- BBC Radio 3’s special month of programming Vaughan Williams Today celebrates the composer at 150 with a twenty-hour Composer of the Week series (Monday 2 – Friday 27 May)
Throughout May, BBC Radio 3 continues its focus on Ralph Vaughan Williams with Vaughan Williams Today – a series of special programmes which started in March 2022, marking 150 years since the composer’s birth on 12 October 1872. At the heart of the celebration, Donald Macleod presents an in-depth survey of Vaughan Williams’ life and music in a four-week Composer of the Week edition. With contributions from guests including pianist and academic Ceri Owen, conductor Martyn Brabbins, and musicologist Eric Saylor, the episodes reassess the composer’s impact on British musical life, with discussions illustrated by playlists including much-loved pieces such as The Lark Ascending, as well as lesser-known works such as Vaughan Williams’ early Fantasia for Piano and Orchestra.
In April and May, Vaughan Williams Today also includes BBC Radio 3 In Concert broadcasts of performances by BBC Philharmonic and the Hallé, as they join forces at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall to complete the cycle of Vaughan Williams’ symphonies – which started in March 2022. BBC Philharmonic, with conductor John Wilson, is joined by soprano Sarah Fox and the Ladies of the Manchester Choir for Sinfonia antartica and A London Symphony (Tuesday 12 April); Wilson returns to the podium for Symphony No. 9 with the Hallé (Thursday 21 April), and Manchester’s ensemble is led by Sir Mark Elder in the last two performances of the cycle: Symphony No. 6 and A Sea Symphony with soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha and baritone Roderick Williams (Tuesday 3 May); and Symphony No. 8 closing the cycle on Thursday 12 May.
Also part of Vaughan Williams Today in May are: Petroc Trelawny on Breakfast delving into the composer’s passion for collecting English folksongs (from Monday 2 May for two weeks); Martin Handley on Sunday Breakfast focusing on the Vaughan Williams-edited version of The English Hymnal (Sunday 1 to Sunday 29 May); Between The Ears: The Lark Descending featuring Hinako Omori’s new electronic re-imagining of Vaughan Williams’ beloved piece, where the lark’s own song is sampled to perform the renowned violin solo, and narrator and contributor Lucy ‘Lapwing’ Hodson leading violinist Jennifer Pike out onto the heathland at Leith Hill Place to hear the larks nesting there (Sunday 29 May); In Tune Mixtape presenting special Vaughan Williams-inspired playlists using works by the composer, or inspired by him (Monday 9 to Friday 13 May); Record Review’s Building a Library focusing on Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 4 (Saturday 14 May); Essential Classics devoting five Essential Moments to Vaughan Williams (Monday 23 to Friday 27 May); and Opera on 3presenting an archive performance of the opera Sir John in Love first broadcast from English National Opera in 2006 (Saturday 14 May).
- Opera on 3 broadcasts new productions from some of the UK’s most prestigious opera houses
Giving listeners a place in the front row at some of the country’s most prestigious opera houses for their much-anticipated new productions, Opera on 3 presents: from London’s Royal Opera House, Britten’s Peter Grimes featuring Allan Clayton in the title role, Bryn Terfel as Captain Balstrode, Maria Bengtsson as Ellen Orford, and Sir John Tomlinson as Swallow (Saturday 23 April); and Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila with conductor Antonio Pappano leading Elīna Garanča as Dalila and SeokJong Baek as Samson (Saturday 25 June); from London’s English National Opera, Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen with Sally Matthews as the Vixen and Pumeza Matshikiza as the Fox, as part of a cast led by Martyn Brabbins (Saturday 18 June); and from Leeds’ Opera North, a concert performance of Wagner’s Parsifal with conductor Richard Farnes and a cast including Toby Spence in the title role and Katarina Karnéus as Kundry (Saturday 2 July).
A Choral Pilgrimage with Chief Conductor Sofi Jeannin, including music by Joby Talbot and a brand new collaboration between Joanna Marsh and electronics artist Glenn Scott (BBC Radio 3 In Concert, Friday 20 May);
BBC Symphony Orchestra
The ensemble is live from London’s Barbican Centre with conductor Ryan Wigglesworth, presenting a programme including the UK premiere of Tristan Murail’s BBC co-commission Piano Concerto, L’œil du cyclone with pianist François-Frédéric Guy; and with conductor Alpesh Chauhan for the closing concert in the orchestra’s 2021-22 Barbican season, presenting the world premiere of Richard Baker’s BBC commission The Price of Curiosity; Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Stephen Hough; and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 (Radio 3 In Concert, Friday 27 May).
The Spring season also includes a performance recorded at London’s Barbican Centre, led by Nathalie Stutzmann, including Brahms’s Nänie, with the BBC Symphony Chorus; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique (Radio 3 In Concert, Tuesday 31 May).
The ensemble is live from King’s College, Cambridge on Good Friday, led by conductor Daniel Hyde, in a programme featuring Haydn’s Symphony no. 26 in D minor, Hob. I:26 Lamentatione and Mozart’s Mass in C minor, K427 with sopranos Carolyn Sampson and Ruby Hughes; tenor Daniel Norman; bass David Shipley; and the Philharmonia Chorus (Radio 3 In Concert, Friday 15 April) .
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
The ensemble’s annual festival devoted to new and experimental music Tectonics –
co-curated by the orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor Ilan Volkov with Alasdair Campbell (Counterflows) – returns to a live format after two editions on-line only due to the COVID pandemic. Events take place in Glasgow’s City Halls and Old Fruitmarket on Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May, including a focus on Glasgow-based electronic music pioneer Janet Beat; five world premieres including BBC commissions from Pascale Criton, Joanna Ward and Amber Preistley, and new works by Cassandra Miller and Silvia Tarozzi and James Weeks; collaborations between sound artist and producer Russell Haswell and viola player Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh, and bassist Joëlle Léandre with artist and musician Douglas R Ewart; and Japan-based sound artist FUJI||||||||||TA aka Yosuke Fujita in residence in the City Halls’ Recital Room all weekend (highlights of the festival are broadcast on New Music Show on Saturday 7 May).
Radio 3 in Concert presents a live broadcast of the culmination of the ensemble’s Nielsen Symphony Cycle, with Chief Conductor Thomas Dausgaard leading the First and Fourth Symphonies with the orchestra’s Artist in Association Jörg Widmann playing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (Thursday 19 May).
- Mingus at 100
On Easter weekend, BBC Radio 3 marks the 100th anniversary of trailblazing double bassist, composer, bandleader, and all-round musical icon Charles Mingus, who was born on 22nd April 1922.
In J to Z, Julian Joseph pays tribute Mingus’ remarkable talent and examines his lasting impact on the jazz world, playing recordings from across his career, including some recently unearthed live material. He’s joined by one of the musicians who knew Mingus best: altoist Charles McPherson. A long-standing friend and close collaborator during the 1960s and 70s, McPherson shares stories from their time together and insights into Mingus’ genius (Saturday 16 April). And on Easter Sunday, 17 April, on Freeness Corey Mwamba shares the most adventurous records from across Mingus’ decades-long career, such as Mingus Ah Um, The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady and Mingus Plays Piano, and is joined by Mingus’ son, Eric to pay tribute to his enduring legacy of inventiveness and creativity; and Jazz Record Requests has a programme packed with requests from listeners and some big jazz names for their favourite Mingus tracks.
- Anoushka Shankar’s Guide to Indian Classical Music (Sunday 8, 15, and 22 May)
Celebrated sitar player, composer, and producer Anoushka Shankar takes listeners on a journey to tell the story of Indian classical music and what makes it ‘classical’. With roots thousands of years ago in the Vedic traditions of Hinduism and the dynasties and kingdoms that covered what is now modern day South Asia, Anoushka explores these ancient Hindu and Sanskrit roots, presenting the distinct traditions of Northern ‘Hindustani’ music, with its emphasis on improvisation, and its more composed Southern ‘Carnatic’ counterpart. She also shines a light on ragas and talas and the instruments, and through her own family’s deep involvement, brings a personal perspective on how these traditions have developed over the centuries, influencing other musical genres in the world along the way.
- Composed with Emeli Sandé (until Sunday 24 June)
A brand-new weekly music mix show for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds fronted by Emeli Sandé, with the BRIT and MOBO award-winning musician exploring the music that brings her strength and inspiration. Delving into her own private record collection, this intimate show highlights the classical music Emeli connected with during lockdown alongside her favourite pop and electronic music.
- New Music Show – New Music Biennial (Saturday 30 April to Saturday 2 July)
All the works featured in this year’s New Music Biennial (PRS Foundation and Southbank Centre’s free festival comprising 20 pieces of music: ten brand new works selected from an open call and ten pre-existing New Music Biennial works from across the last 10 years to mark its launch back in 2012) will be broadcast across BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show at 10pm every Saturday evening from April to July. Programmes will include new works recorded in Coventry (where the festival will be from 22 to 24 April) and previously commissioned works – ahead of the festival’s culmination at London’s Southbank Centre 1-3 July.
Broadcast as part of the new works, the BBC Concert Orchestra presents the world premiere of Philip Herbert’s BBC CO commission Towards Renewal, reflecting on what it would be like to move towards building a world without Covid as well as accepting the nature of our present reality. The ensemble is also featured amongst the broadcasts of previously-commissioned works with Gazelle Twin’s The Power and the Glory, commissioned by the BBC CO for New Music Biennial 2019 and a collaboration between composer, producer and musician Gazelle Twin and composer Max de Wardener, bringing a blend of traditional musical concepts and futuristic pop from her album Pastoral to the full forces of the BBC Concert Orchestra.
MINDFULNESS AND NATURE
- Clemency Burton-Hill returns to BBC Radio 3 to present two special editions of Classical Fix tied in with Mental Health Awareness Week (Sunday 1 and Sunday 8 May)
Celebrated broadcaster Clemency Burton-Hill makes a welcome return to BBC Radio 3 to host two special editions of the award-winning podcast Classical Fix, talking to her guests about the playlists she’s made for them and exploring the effects of music on mental health (broadcast on Sunday 1 and Sunday 8 May).
The two programmes are part of a station-wide focus on the 2022 Mental Health Awareness Week (Monday 9 to Sunday 15 May). Other BBC Radio 3 programmes marking the Week are Music Matters which will be discussing musicians’ mental health and Free Thinking looking at ASMR.
BBC Radio 3 this Spring also presents programming inspired by mindfulness and nature, including: Sunday Breakfast’s Signs of Spring with naturalist and conservationist Lucy “Lapwing” Hodson exploring woodlands and gardens, and highlighting the sounds of birds and sights of flowers and plants which signal the arrival of the Spring season (until Sunday 8 May); a special Slow Radio moment following 15-year-old Labrador Honey’s day (A Day in the Life of a Dog, Sunday 3 July); and The Music & Meditation Podcast with Mercury-nominated singer and songwriter Nao presenting the ultimate therapeutic podcast series, combining music and meditation to help listeners deal with the stresses and strains of every-day life. Episodes range from FOMO to body positivity, through to dealing with loneliness and trusting your instincts, with a carefully curated classical soundtrack featuring some of the UK’s most talented up-and-coming composers, and new music performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and commissioned especially for the podcast (weekly from Sunday 15 May and on BBC Sounds from w/c 9 May). Essential Classics on BBC Radio 3 presents five Slow Moments featuring five of the pieces specially-commissioned for the podcast – by composers Belle Chen; Lucy Walker, Sam Rapley, Kristina Arakelyan and Lloyd Coleman (Monday 9 – Friday 13 May).
- Radio 3 Breakfast follows the Great Glen (Monday 6 – Friday 10 June)
Petroc Trelawny presents the latest instalment of his weeks of Radio 3 Breakfast on the road, travelling the Great Glen in Scotland as it cuts through the Highlands from north east to south west. Beginning at Cromarty, looking out to the Moray Firth towards Scandinavia, and ending in Fionnphort on the Isle of Mull looking out into Iona and across the Atlantic Ocean, Petroc travels along the ‘Great Fault’ – a geological fault line pulling the top of the country north eastwards. Along the way travelling by Loch Ness, the Caledonian Canal and through Oban, he meets locals who help tell the story of how landscape and history intertwine to make culture and music.
- Drama on 3 marks the centenary of T.S Eliot The Waste Land with a new radio performance (Sunday 10 July)
Marking the centenary of T.S Eliot’s The Waste Land, which was published in December 1922, Drama on 3 presents He Do The Waste Land in Different Voices, a new radio performance of the 20th century poetic masterpiece. In this, thetext has been studied as a piece of drama, with no narrative imposed on the poem, just a representation of the collection of voices within it. Featuring award-winning sound designer David Thomas, this is a faithful but creative response to T. S. Eliot’s monumental poem. Sound is carefully selected to create a sense of a fractured time, with whispers of catastrophes across the twentieth and twenty first century, capturing a real sense of the unease of the post-WW1 period (when Eliot wrote the poem), and of our times. It is recorded on location in binaural sound.
The programme is preceded by a feature about the poem, with contributions by leading Eliot scholars Dr Lyndall Gordon, Professor Seamus Perry, Professor Mark Ford and Professor Steven Connor, and taking listeners into the Eliot archive.
- Other premieres of radio adaptations on Drama on 3
This Spring, Drama on 3 also premieres special new radio adaptations of masterpieces of British and international theatre and literature. Amongst them: Shakespeare’s classic war drama Antony and Cleopatra, adapted and directed by Neil Bartlett, with stellar performances from Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury in Bridgerton) as Cleopatra, and Tim McInnerny as Antony (Sunday 24 April); a new radio dramatisation of the bestselling novel The Hummingbird by Sandro Veronesi, produced by The Story of Books and adapted and directed by John Retallack with sound design by Jon Nicholls, featuring Paul Ansdell as The Author, Simon Lenagan as Marco, Caroline Faber as Luisa, and Dan Krikler as Dr Carradori (Sunday 22 May); and Tales From The 17th Arrondissement [W/T] presentingfive beguiling dramas by Simon Scardifield inspired by the stories of French writer and bon-viveur, Guy de Maupassant, and focusing on the autobiographically tinged stories A Strange Night in Paris, Mouche, Laid To Rest, Cockcrow and Le Horla (Monday 13 – Friday 17 June).
Marking May Day, award-winning North East folk band The Young’uns present their production of The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff, recorded in front of a live audience in their hometown of Stockton-on-Tees. This is the true story of one man’s journey from unemployment, through the Hunger Marches of the 1930s, the mass trespass movement and the Battle of Cable Street, to fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War (Sunday 1 May).
- Something Old, Something New – The Verb’s Centenary Poetry Series
Marking the BBC’s relationship with poets and poetry in the corporation’s centenary year, which through the decades has seen on air contributions from the voices of T.S. Eliot, Stevie Smith, Dylan Thomas, Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath, and Kamau Brathwaite amongst others, Radio 3’s poetry and language programme The Verb, presented by Ian McMillan, broadcasts new commissions by thirty-eight contemporary poets (Glyn Maxwell, Moniza Alvi, Luke Wright, Daljit Nagra and Liz Berry amongst them). This new collection of poetry taking snapshots of the present is accompanied by poems from the archive in every episode over the next year.
The BBC is working with the Poetry Archive and the University of East Anglia to create a new centenary archive: 100 years of BBC & Poetry.
- Sunday Feature and Between the Ears
In Primitivism of Primitivism art critic Alastair Sooke surveys the history and relevance of the movement known as primitivism, in the light of the debate on the re-appraisal of museum and gallery collections (Sunday 8 May); in NOISE comedian and broadcaster Jon Holmes goes on a sonic trip through our on-hold, automated world, with contributions from members of the public venting their tales of automated woe, and ‘content creators’ voicing their side of the story (for example Emma Clarke, the voice of Mind The Gap), with the programme culminating in a transformation of these sounds into a musical composition that sublimates the everyday into art (Tuesday 10 May); In the Footsteps of Beryl the Boot is a tribute to foley artist Beryl Mortimer piecing together sonic fragments, soundtrack and biography to evoke her figure, with audio cameos from a range of women who’ve followed audibly in her footsteps (Sunday 22 May); in Thomas La Rue Jones, The Black Cantor, Maria Margaronis leads listeners through the life and music of the African-American tenor famous as the Black Cantor, in the synagogues and Yiddish theatres of 1920s Newark and Harlem, with award-winning music producer and author Henry Sapoznik, who rediscovered his forgotten story (Sunday 3 July).
- The Essay
Poet Oksana Maksymchuk co-edits Words for War, a collection of essays and poems from Ukraine (from Monday 18 April); on the 30th anniversary of her death, Marlene Dietrich in 5 Songs explores the life and myth of the celebrated film icon in five musical moments (from Monday 9 May); in Poetic Provocations, award-winning poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist and designer Inua Ellams shares his personal journey into creating work using a selection of poems from his latest collection, The Actual – exploring themes such as Rudyard Kipling’s legacy, rapper Tupac Shakur, basketball, and Kenyan barbershops (from Monday 16 May); Adrian Edmondson- Signs of Life sees a second series from the comedian, actor and writer Edmondson reflecting on personal and career highs, and lows (from Monday 23 May); and Larkin and Believing marks Philip Larkin’s centenary year with five contemporary UK poets (Raymond Antrobus; Jean Sprackland; Helen Mort; Vidyan Ravinthiran; and Sinéad Morrissey) taking a short poem by the English poet as their starting point for a series of radio essays on faith, belief and the spiritual (from Monday 11 July).
- Composer of the Week
Composer of the Week focuses on “one hit wonders” of classical music (from Monday 18 April) and a Tour de France-linked series of fifteen programmes spanning three weeks explores French composers Rameau, Hélène de Montergoult and Ravel (from Monday 4 July for three weeks). Other composes featured this Spring include: Handel; Dvořák; Victoria; Beethoven; Monteverdi; with a week dedicated to 19th century French ballet music.
- Free Thinking
This Spring, Free Thinking explores a range of topics including the works of Shakespeare (Wednesday 20 April); May Day rituals (Thursday 28 April); the Tudors (Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26 May); Modernism; Bastille Day; and Rana Mitter in discussion with the authors shortlisted for The Wolfson History Prize 2022 (Tuesday 7 June).
- Inside Music
This Spring, Radio 3’s weekly series where guests from a variety of musical backgrounds explore a selection of music, features: pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (Saturday 23 April); Julian Lloyd-Webber (Saturday 21 May); accordionist Ksenija Sidorova (Saturday 28 May); and soprano Mary Bevan (Saturday 25 June) amongst others.
- Private Passions
Michael Berkeley’s guests sharing their musical passions and revealing which pieces bring them joy and sustain them through hard times include: ornithologist Tim Birkhead (17 April); fashion designer Osman Yousefzada (1 May); doctor Waheed Arian (15 May); musician and broadcaster Jarvis Cocker (29 May); former lady-in-waiting Anne Glenconner (5 June); author Francesca Simon (12 June); and psychotherapist Gwen Adshead (3 July) among others.