The best classical music on TV and radio this week

We round up the best classical music broadcasts on radio and television for this coming week

The best classical music on TV and radio this week

What: BBC Prom 8 – Youthful Beginnings

When: Friday 20 July, 7.30-10 pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

Principal conductor Thomas Søndergård and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales showcase the works of two female composers whose lives were tragically cut short during their careers – Lili Boulanger and Morfydd Owen. The orchestra also takes on Schuman’s Symphony No. 4, while pianist Bertrand Chamayou performs Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1.



What: BBC Proms 2018 at… Roundhouse

When: Saturday 21 July, 3-5 pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

The Proms returns to Camden’s formidable Roundhouse. Composer and conductor George Benjamin leads the London Sinfonietta, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Expect to hear elegant renditions of Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments, Charles Ives’s The Unanswered Question and Messiaen’s Et exspecto resurrectionem mortuorum,  a memorial to the dead of two world wars.



What: BBC Prom 9 – War & Peace 

When: Saturday 21 July, 7.30-10 pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

Celebrating 100 years since the end of the First World War, the World Orchestra for Peace performs a programme that includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which was written in the wake of the Second World War, and Britten’s anti-war composition, Sinfonia da Requiem. The Orchestra is directed by conductor Donald Runnicles and features distinguished soprano Erin Wall.



What: BBC Prom 10 – Faure, Franck & Widor’s Toccata

When: Sunday 22 July, 11-12 pm

Where:  BBC Radio 3

Latvian organist Iveta Apkalna makes her Proms debut with a programme inspired by French 19th and 20th-century music. Widor’s compelling Organ Symphony No. 5 and Thierry Escaich’s dramatic Évocations both pay homage to the Baroque and Renaissance eras, while famous works by Franck and Bach offer a full-bodied feast for the ears.


What: Private Passions – Audrey Niffenegger

When: Sunday 22 July, 12-13 pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

Author of The Time Traveller’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger, joins Michael Berkeley for an insightful discussion on her eclectic taste in music, which spans 12th Century music by Hildegard von Bingen to Philip Glass and Radiohead.



What: Prom 11 – Mahler Symphony of a Thousand

When: Sunday 22 July, 7.00-8.30 pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales and its principal conductor Thomas Søndergård join forces to take on one of Mahler’s greatest orchestral masterpieces, Symphony No. 8. In fact, the piece was so widely acclaimed, even Mahler himself said: ‘It is the biggest thing I have ever done.’



What: Nigel Kennedy – The Four Seasons

When: Monday 23 July, 6-7.10 am

Where: Sky Arts

The early risers may want to tune in this morning to a striking performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by violinist Nigel Kennedy and the English Chamber Orchestra.


What: BBC Prom 12 – Beethoven, Shostakovich & Rachmaninov

When: Monday 23 July, 7-9.15 pm 

Where: BBC Radio 3

One year on for her Proms debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, rising young American conductor Karina Canellakis returns for an exciting programme of Russian masterpieces – Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances and Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto.


What: Prom 13 – Pioneers of Sound

When: Monday 23 July, 10.15-11.30 pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

Daphne Oram’s innovative Still Point premieres at the Royal Albert Hall in this late night Proms special. Pioneers of Sound offers a programme of electronically manipulated orchestral music, giving listeners the chance to hear something remarkably unique.


What: BBC Prom 14 – Sibelius, Schubert & Zimmerman

When: Tuesday 24 July, 7.30-10 pm  

Where: BBC Radio 3

Prom 14 offers enigmatic and technically formidable works by three great composers: Sibelius, Schubert & Zimmerman. John Storgårds directs the BBC Philharmonic, and is joined by pianist Louis Lortie and soprano Elizabeth Watts.


What: A Tribute to Randy Newman – Hollywood in Vienna

When: Wednesday 25 July, 7-9 am

Where: Sky Arts

Conductor David Newman leads the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in a concert commemorating the works of composer Randy Newman, writer of Disney film scores including Toy Story and Monsters, Inc.


What: BBC Prom 15 – Paul Lewis plays Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ concerto

When: Wednesday 25 July, 7.30-10.15 pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

Principal guest conductor, Ben Gernon, joins the BBC Philharmonic for a transcendental pairing of Beethoven’s final piano concerto with Brahms’s Second Symphony. Prom 15 sees the return of Paul Lewis, who played all five Beethoven piano concertos in the 2010 Proms.



What: BBC Prom 16: Stravinsky, Debussy & Wagner

When: Thursday 26th July, 7:30-10 pm (2 hrs 30 mins)

Where: BBC Radio 3

The Hallé, under the guidance of conductor Mark Elder, explores the works of these three world-class composers. Tune in to hear the orchestra perform Wagner’s Tannhäuser overture, Debussy’s La damoiselle élue and Stravinsky’s Song of the Nightingale and The Firebird.

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