The BBC has unveiled plans for what it describe as ‘the biggest-ever classical music season across the BBC’.
Called ‘Our Classical Century’, it will explore the past 100 years of classical performance, through programmes on BBC Four – shown in four parts, beginning in the autumn – concerts by BBC orchestras (including at the Proms) and broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, including educational programmes. Each of the four series will explore key repertoire from the past century, which will then be performed by a BBC Orchestra.
The announcement came in a speech by Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey at the annual Association of British Orchestra's conference, held this year in Cardiff, in which he reiterated the need for classical music organisations to continue to unapologetically proclaim the message that classical music is for everyone. Commenting on the announcement, Davey said: ‘In the classical music industry we have to respond to changing times with new ideas and new ways of connecting with and engaging the public. Our aim will be to help people of all ages to begin a new relationship with classical music – or take their existing relationship even further – and make it a habit and passion for life.’
Also in the speech he announced that a special Prom this year will mark the 40th anniversary of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Awards and feature past winners, while a documentary on BBC Four will explore how the winners across the decades developed and progressed.