A new autumn season of programmes for BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey has unveiled a raft of new commissions and programmes at the station for the autumn season.

New features include the world premiere of a rediscovered Edith Wharton play, a new dedicated Slow Radio slot, the first Radio 3 programme for voice recognition technology, and a focus on young artists across the station’s concert stands.

There’s also a forum to help increase BAME diversity in classical composition, and a survey of the most significant moments, events and compositions from the last one hundred years of classical music tied to an upcoming pan-BBC season.

Alan Davey says: “BBC Radio 3 is more than a radio station – we are a place to get away from the frenzy of everyday life in order to better understand the world in which we live. We are a leader in innovative audio and sonic experiences and are a major player in the cultural world; from our daily broadcasts of performances to unearthing lost masterpieces and forgotten gems. We go beyond the topical to the timeless. We take our impact on the classical canon seriously as a commissioner, a creator and promoter, and are always encouraging audiences to explore the full range of ways to listen to our content, from live to on demand – from real time to anytime. We hope our audiences enjoy our offer this autumn/winter season.”

BBC Radio 3 autumn highlights include:

  • Radio 3 to present the world premiere of the recently re-discovered play by nineteenth-century American writer Edith Wharton.

  • Station to launch the first-ever voice activated edition of a Radio 3 programme.

  • Slow Radio given a permanent reoccurring slot on Radio 3.

  • Radiohead drummer Philip Selway to produce the soundtrack for innovative new Radio 3 drama, Sea Longing.

  • Sounds of Silence: Radio 3 will present a series of specially-commissioned ‘sonic memorials’, contemporary sounds from notable battlefields from around the world to mark the centenary of the 1918 armistice.

  • Radio 3 to initiate the next phase of Change Makers Forum, a commitment to making a difference in BAME composition, commissioning and promotion within classical music.

  • An all-star line-up this autumn includes everyone from conductors Marin Alsop to Karina Canellakis, composer and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier to mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, actors Sir Lenny Henry to Fiona Shaw, Stephen Mangan to Meera Syal, dance legend Carlos Acosta to playwright Tanika Gupta, writers Dolly Alderton to Horatio Clare, Professor Brian Cox to Radiohead drummer and composer Philip Selway.

  • Essential Classics to identify 100 of the most significant moments, events and compositions from the last one hundred years of classical music as part of pan-BBC Season Our Classical Century.

  • Radio 3 to embark on epic Slow Radio walk through the forest with writer Horatio Clare.

  • Radio 3’s adventurous music programme Late Junction to host new London-based festival.

  • Radio 3 commission, The Pankhurst Anthem, set to be performed at the unveiling of Emmeline Pankhurst statue in Manchester.

  • W1A star and writer Jessica Hynes to write and perform her own short drama for Radio 3 as part of Contains Strong Language spoken-word festival in Hull.

  • Poem by Dame Carol Ann Duffy to be used as text for Radio 3 Breakfast Carol Competition.

  • Radio 3 to track the BBC Singers as they entertain passengers on the Euston to Birmingham train, collaborate with workplace choirs and sing at Birmingham New Street station as part of BBC Music Day.

  • Noisettes singer Shingai Shoniwa and writers Dolly Alderton and Elizabeth Day named as the first guests for the upcoming series of the popular Radio 3 podcast, Classical Fix.

  • Professor Brian Cox to join forces with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a centenary anniversary performance of Holst’s The Planets, broadcast on the station.

  • Fiona Shaw to star as Angela Carter in a special evening dedicated to the writer.

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