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Radio 3 and Southbank Centre announce arts partnership


BBC Radio 3 is the home of classical music and plays a big role in supporting the UK’s arts and culture through innovative partnerships like this.

From 15-31 March 2014, the home of classical music, BBC Radio 3, will be resident at Southbank Centre as part of a groundbreaking new arts partnership during the Pull Out All The Stops Organ Festival.

The partnership will see 15 live concerts and three world premieres all broadcast on Radio 3. These broadcasts will include major repertoire from the organ festival broadcast live, such as the Organ Gala Launch featuring the world premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’ new work for organ brass and choir on 18 March.

In the biggest initiative of its type, the partnership will also feature broadcasts of many of Radio 3’s regular live shows from a pop-up radio studio including, drive time show, In Tune, Essential Classics, CD Review, Free Thinking and Afternoon On 3. Radio 3 Live In Concert will broadcast each night from one of the three concert halls: Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall or Purcell Room.

The temporary studio will be built in the Royal Festival Hall riverside cafe where Radio 3’s daily live broadcasts will be witnessed by the public giving them unprecedented access to live broadcasting. This will be accompanied by learning and education initiatives about making live radio, details of which will be announced in due course.

Radio 3’s Controller, Roger Wright, commented: “BBC Radio 3 is the home of classical music and plays a big role in supporting the UK’s arts and culture through innovative partnerships like this. We’re delighted to work with Southbank to bring an immersive experience of the organ festival to audiences in three dimensions through being on the ground at the festival with live events; bringing live concerts and the atmosphere of the festival to our millions of listeners via the radio; and through additional online learning and resource. There will be a multitude of ways for audiences of all ages to get involved and we can’t wait to take them behind the scenes to show what goes into making a Radio 3 programme.”

Jude Kelly, Creative Director of Southbank Centre, added: “We are delighted to work with BBC Radio 3 in this partnership, helping us fulfil Southbank Centre’s passionate belief that art should be available to all. The full restoration of the Royal Festival Hall organ is a historic moment and this collaboration means that audiences across the UK can be part of what we do at Southbank Centre.”

Highlights of the live classical music concerts to be broadcast on Radio 3 as part of the partnership are listed below.

Notes to Editors

BBC Radio 3

Radio 3 broadcasts classical music, jazz, world music, arts and over 25 new drama programmes a year. As the home of classical music, Radio 3 features more live classical music programming than any other and is the home of the BBC Proms, broadcasting every Prom live and over 600 complete concerts a year. The station is the most significant commissioner of new musical works in the country and is committed to supporting new talent, from composers to writers and new young performers, through schemes such as New Generation Artists and New Generation Thinkers.

About BBC Arts

The BBC is the biggest investor in original arts and music programmes and events.

The BBC aims to provide the broadest range and depth of music and arts programmes across television, radio and online.

The BBC creates non-commercial partnerships with the arts sector that go beyond broadcast, from sharing expertise to widening public engagement in UK arts eg, Southbank Centre, The Royal Opera House, Sage Gateshead, Edinburgh International Festival, and many more.

About Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21-acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the south bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and the Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection.

Pull Out All The Stops Organ Festival: March-June 2014

Following the complete restoration and reinstallation of the iconic Royal Festival Hall’s organ, Southbank Centre presents the Pull Out All The Stops Festival – An Organ Celebration, which also marks the instrument’s 60th anniversary since it first resounded in 1954.

Eight new works have been commissioned by Southbank Centre to celebrate the return of the organ including works by John Tavener, Peter Maxwell Davies, Neil Hannon, Martin Creed, Kaija Saariaho, Simon Holt, Terry Riley and visual artist Lynette Wallworth.

The opening Gala Concert on 18 March features organists John Scott, Isabelle Demers, Jane Parker Smith and David Goode with trumpeter Alison Balsom and the brass sections from Southbank Centre’s Resident Orchestras the Philharmonia Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Celebrity recitals during the festival include performances by John Scott, Olivier Latry and Thomas Trotter – including the London premiere of Judith Weir’s The Wild Reeds performed by Trotter on 24 April.

On 24 March, the James Taylor Quartet presents a concert, From the Cat to the Moon, that also features big band, orchestral percussion and singers from Rochester Cathedral Choir.

The Festival will offer the chance to hear major works for the organ performed by Southbank Centre’s Resident Orchestras in the Royal Festival Hall for the first time in almost a decade such as: Poulenc’s Organ Concerto; Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony; Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra and Alpine Symphony; and Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass.

Highlights of BBC Radio 3 / Southbank Centre broadcast concert listings for March

San Francisco Symphony: Michael Tilson Thomas

Saturday 15 March 2014, 7:30pm

Charles Ives: The Alcotts (3rd movement) from Piano Sonata No.2 `Concord’ arr. Henry Brant for orchestra

John Adams: Absolute Jest

Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique

Featuring; San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conductor and St Lawrence String Quartet

Broadcast live on Radio 3, Michael Tilson Thomas, one of the biggest personalities in American music today, conducts two concerts with the orchestra of which he is Music Director. The concert opens with an atmospheric piece of Americana, complete with nostalgic hymn tunes and spiced with experimental rhythms and harmonies. ’The Alcotts’, an orchestration of a movement from Charles Ives’ ’Concord Sonata’, was written in tribute to the 19th-century transcendentalist philosophers who lived in the picturesque town of Concord, Massachusetts. Contemporary master John Adams’ high-energy concerto for string quartet and orchestra was written especially for the San Francisco Symphony. Berlioz’s epic romantic symphony depicts a man’s opium-inspired visions, including an idealised beloved, demonic dances and a terrifying march to the scaffold.

San Francisco Symphony: Michael Tilson Thomas, Sasha Cooke

Sunday 16 March 2014, 3pm

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No.3

Featuring: San Francisco Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conductor, Sasha Cooke mezzo-soprano, Ladies of the London Symphony Chorus, Choristers of St. Paul’s Cathedral

Broadcast live on Radio 3, this symphony is a contemplation of the wonder and glory of nature, from primeval life stirring after the depths of winter to a grand finale with its vision of divine love in which, as Mahler explained, ’Nature in its totality may ring and resound’. Mahler responded to the world around him, and in this piece we hear the dream-like sounds of meadow flowers, bells and voices, as well as the cuckoo and the nightingale singing. The orchestra is renowned for its performances of Mahler, winning seven Grammy Awards for its Mahler cycle conducted by its musical director Tilson Thomas.

John Lill: 70th Birthday Concert

Monday 17 March 2014, 7:30pm

Johannes Brahms: Tragic Overture

Sergey Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.3


Antonin Dvorák: Symphony No.8

Featuring: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard conductor, John Lill piano

Broadcast live on Radio 3, this concert marks the 70th birthday celebration of acclaimed British pianist John Lill, performing Rachmaninov’s passionate Piano Concerto No.3. The Tragic Overture by Brahms was written when the composer was on holiday, expressing what he described as his ’melancholy nature’. The result is a work full of tempestuous drama and wistful lyricism. Dvorák’s Eighth Symphony is one of his most exuberant works, drawing on Bohemian folk music for inspiration.

Organ Gala Concert

Tuesday 18 March 2014, 7:30pm

Eugène Gigout: Grand choeur dialogué arr. Michael Allen for brass & organ

Johann Sebastian Bach: Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV.582

Felix Mendelssohn: Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Felix Mendelssohn: Nocturne from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto in D for keyboard, BWV.972 arr. Alison Balsom for trumpet & organ

Peter Maxwell Davies: New work for organ, brass & choir (World premiere)


Sir John Tavener: Monument for Beethoven for chorus & organ

César Franck: Fantaisie in A (No.1 of 3 Pièces pour grand orgue)

Franz Liszt: Mephisto Waltz No.1 arr. Jane Parker-Smith for organ

Marcel Dupré: Prelude & Fugue in B, Op.7 No.1

Featuring: John Scott organ, Jane Parker-Smith organ, Isabelle Demers organ, David Goode organ, Alison Balsom trumpet, Jessica Cottis conductor*, London Philharmonic Brass Ensemble, Philharmonia Brass Ensemble, Voicelab, The Elysian Singers

Broadcast live on Radio 3, this concert marks the re-inauguration of the iconic Harrison & Harrison Royal Festival Hall concert organ, performed by a celebrity cast of organists with international star trumpeter Alison Balsom, Southbank Centre’s Voicelab and the brass ensembles of Southbank Centre resident orchestras the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia. The programme includes specially commissioned works from two of Britain’s most famous composers - Sir John Tavener and Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Four of the world’s leading organists celebrate the refurbishment and reinstallation of the organ, putting the instrument through its paces in a programme of virtuosic and dazzling repertoire, including Bach’s monumental Passacaglia.

Philharmonia Orchestra: Richard Strauss 150th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday 20 March, 7:30pm

Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra


Richard Strauss: An Alpine Symphony

Featuring: Philharmonia Orchestra, Lorin Maazel conductor

Broadcast live on Radio 3, and marking Richard Strauss’ 150th anniversary in 2014, the Philharmonia Orchestra perform two of his most celebrated orchestral blockbusters. Also sprach Zarathustra, Strauss’s ’homage to Nietzsche’s genius’, became a runaway hit after film director Stanley Kubrick used it to open 2001: A Space Odyssey, while the Alpine Symphony recounts a mountaineering adventure in graphic detail for an orchestra of over 150 players.

Organ Recital: Thomas Trotter

Monday 24 March 2014, 7:30pm

Johann Sebastian Bach: Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C, BWV.564

Robert Schumann: Study in E, Op.56 No.3

Robert Schumann: Study in A flat, Op.56 No.4

Robert Schumann: Study in B minor, Op.56 No.5

Judith Weir: The Wild Reeds (London premiere)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Fantasie in F minor, K.608


Julius Reubke: Sonata in C minor on Psalm 94

Broadcast live on Radio 3. Thomas Trotter is one of Britain’s most widely admired musicians. A former organ scholar of King’s College Cambridge, he has risen to become one of the most highly sought-after organists of our time. His concert - the second solo recital on the restored Royal Festival Hall organ - features one of the cornerstones of the organ repertoire, written by one of Lizst’s favourite pupils - Julius Reubke’s Sonata on Psalm 94. Trotter gives the London premiere of Judith Weir’s The Wild Reeds. Despite the fact that Mozart declared the organ to be his passion, he wrote only a handful of pieces for the King of Instruments. Thomas Trotter’s programme features the brooding yet brilliant Fantasia K608.

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: Gamechangers: A Forgotten Cello

Tuesday 25 March, 7pm

Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto grosso in B flat, Op.6 No.11

Antonio Vivaldi: Cello Concerto in D, RV.404

Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto in D minor for 2 violins, BWV.1043


Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B flat

Antonio Vivaldi: Trio Sonata in D minor, RV.63 (Variations on La Follia) Op.1 No.12

Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G

Featuring: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Sigiswald Kuijken director, violoncello da spalla, solo violinists to be announced

Broadcast live on Radio 3, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment’s series looking at turning points in the history of classical music continues with a concert featuring three of Bach’s masterpieces, his Double Violin Concerto and Brandenburg Concertos Nos.3 and 6. But the real gamechanger here is the rare concerto for the now ’extinct’ violoncello da spalla (essentially a cello played under one’s chin). This piece lay forgotten until as recently as 2004. At this concert it is performed by a gamechanger of a different sort - Sigiswald Kuijken, who directed the orchestra’s very first concert 27 years ago.

London Philharmonic Orchestra: Pull Out All The Stops Festival: An Organ Celebration

Wednesday 26 March 2014, 7:30pm

Francis Poulenc: Concerto in G minor for organ, strings and timpani

Hector Berlioz: Les nuits d’été


Camille Saint-Saëns: Symphony No.3 in C minor (Organ)

Featuring: London Philharmonic Orchestra, Yannick Nézet-Séguin conductor, Anna Caterina Antonacci soprano, James O’Donnell organ

Broadcast live on Radio 3. It has taken eight years to refurbish the grand organ of Royal Festival Hall, and the instrument resounds anew in this concert of French music punctuated by two of the greatest masterworks for organ and orchestra ever written. Poulenc’s Organ Concerto is a gregarious romp that spins off the music of the greatest organist who ever lived, Johann Sebastian Bach. The Organ Symphony by Saint-Saëns is justly famous for its awe-inspiring majesty and brilliance, worlds apart from the delicate, luminous nocturnal songs by Berlioz that separate the two.

Organ Recital: Olivier Latry

Thursday 27 March 2014, 7:30pm

Jean-Louis Florentz: Prélude from l’Enfant noir, Op.17

Olivier Messiaen: L’ascension - 4 méditations symphoniques


Charles-Marie Widor: Organ Symphony No.5 in F minor, Op.42 No.1

Broadcast live on Radio 3, Olivier Latry performs the four symphonic meditations from Olivier Messiaen’s 1934 work L’Ascension, which includes the brilliant toccata Transports de joie. Whilst only 23 years of age, Olivier Latry was appointed as one of four titulaires des grands orgue at the mighty cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. Since then, Latry has shot to fame as one of today’s most celebrated organists. In the second half of the programme there is an opportunity to hear Widor’s Symphony No. 5 for organ, with the wonderful set of variations in the first movement exploring all the colour of the Royal Festival Hall instrument. The work concludes with the most famous piece in the repertoire, Toccata.

BBC Concert Orchestra: World Once Known

Monday 31 March 2014, 7:30pm

Maurice Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin

Claude Debussy: Berceuse héroïque

Samuel Barber: Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op.24


Leos Janácek: The Fiddler’s Child

George Butterworth: A Shropshire Lad

Béla Bartók: Dance Suite

Featuring: BBC Concert Orchestra, Keith Lockhart conductor

Broadcast live on Radio 3, a world of nostalgia and reflection on mortality conveyed through bittersweet music. The mood of these pieces is encapsulated by Butterworth’s entreaties to embrace life in its inevitable brevity. Barber and Janácek’s expressions of childhood and family are prefaced by Debussy and Ravel’s tributes to the lives lost in the Great War, in its centenary year.


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