The new members of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artist scheme – one of the most prestigious of its type – have been revealed.
They are Ukrainian violinist Aleksey Semenenko, British mezzo Catriona Morison, Georgian pianist Mariam Batsashvili, British jazz bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado, the French ensemble Quatuor Arod, German trumpeter Simon Hofele, and French guitarist Thibaut Garcia.
Two of this year’s intake – who will now all benefit from significant performance, broadcast and recording opportunities in the two years ahead – are already signed to Erato; Garcia joined the label last year, while Quatuor Arod joined in April. Audiences will now have an extra opportunity to become familiar with the highlighted artists as from Wednesday October 4, Radio 3 will devote a weekly afternoon programme (4.30 until 5pm) to BBC New Generation Artists both current and past.
The announcement came alongside an unveiling of BBC Radio 3’s new season. One unusual highlight will be the latest in the station’s exploration of the idea of ‘slow radio’ as it attempts to recreate a journey Bach took from Arnstadt to Lübeck to hear organist Dietrich Buxtehude.
There’s more slow radio too: Radio 3 will be collaborating with the Wellcome Collection on a project called ‘Why Music? The Key to Memory’, which will draw together the voices of people living with dementia in an unpresented, six-hour sequence. A further five-part slow radio initiative will focus on the experiences of monastic life.
A continuous series of music also finds its way into the afternoon show In Tune, which will now include a new 'mixtape' segment inspired by 'River of Music' (in which Radio 3 last year offered listeners a non-stop, 12-hour sequence of music).
Other schedule changes include a focus on the organ, courtesy of a new show Choir and Organ, to be presented by Sara Mohr-Pietsch. The show will be accompanied by supporting material such as interviews and features online, building progressively into an online library.
There are also two more collaborations with galleries. To accompany Sir Simon Rattle’s arrival at the London Symphony Orchestra (something also being celebrated with live broadcasts) Radio 3 is hosting an exhibition of archive recordings at the Barbican, the LSO’s home. Another collaboration sees the wider BBC working alongside London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Royal Opera House on an opera season, as part of which Radio 3 will broadcast the operas featured in the related exhibition.
Commenting on some of the new initiatives, Radio 3 controller Alan Davey said: ‘We’re a place for anyone who needs space to think or time out. I want Radio 3 to be an antidote to today’s often frenzied world. We’re more than just a radio station - we’re a curator and a creator, a commissioner, and an innovator … We are a cultural powerhouse and a committed contributor to today’s classical music and arts landscape.’