Composer of the Week

BBC

BBC Radio 3's Composer Of The Week is a guide to composers and their music. The podcast is compiled from the week's programmes and published on Friday, it is only available in the UK.

Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

BBC Radio 3's Composer Of The Week is a guide to composers and their music. The podcast is compiled from the week's programmes and published on Friday, it is only available in the UK.

Language:

English


Episodes

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

2/3/2023
As performer, composer, impresario, musical director, and teacher, Antonio Vivaldi was a key figure in the musical life of Baroque Italy. Thanks to his set of Concertos “The Four Seasons”, he remains one of the most famous and best loved composers today. This week, Donald Macleod puts these four celebrated concertos front and centre as he also explores the four seasons of Vivaldi’s own life, lingering a little in his summer. We'll follow him from the start of his musical story, teaching at...

Duration:01:08:23

Composer of the Week: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Winter - Vienna

2/3/2023
Donald Macleod tries to piece together the last days of Antonio Vivaldi.

Duration:01:00:00

Composer of the Week: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Autumn - Scandal

2/2/2023
Donald Macleod explores the autumn of Vivaldi’s career as scandal breaks out.

Duration:01:00:00

Composer of the Week: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Summer - Further Fields

2/1/2023
Donald MacLeod explores Vivaldi’s successes outside his native Venice.

Duration:01:00:00

Composer of the Week: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Summer - Carnival of Venice

1/31/2023
Donald Macleod examines Vivaldi’s role in the world of the Venetian carnival.

Duration:01:00:00

Composer of the Week: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741): Spring – Pietà

1/30/2023
Donald Macleod explores Vivaldi’s association with the Ospedale della Pietà.

Duration:01:00:00

Mel Bonis (1858 – 1937)

1/27/2023
Mel Bonis's name may not be a familiar one these days, but she produced somewhere in the region of three hundred compositions. There's no doubt that she was sensitive to gender discrimination. It's why she chose to publish her music under the name of Mel rather than her birth name Mélanie. She was born in 1858 to parents of modest means. Her father worked for the watch company Breguet, still in business today, and her mother worked in the haberdashery trade. Neither of them held any...

Duration:00:46:44

Composer of the Week: Mel Bonis (1858-1937): Reflections on a life

1/27/2023
Donald Macloed explores Mel Bonis's preoccupations, musical and otherwise, in later life

Duration:01:00:00

Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975)

1/20/2023
Donald Macleod explores the turbulent life of Dmitry Shostakovich, and asks the ultimate question: Who was he? A faithful Soviet lackey… or a secret dissident? Dmitry Shostakovich, like his home country of Russia, was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. From the very beginning of his career, he pushed the boundaries, but under Stalin’s stifling regime, experimental artists were enemies of the state, and Shostakovich was at the top of the wanted list. The composer was forced to...

Duration:01:03:44

Max Richter (b 1966)

1/6/2023
Donald Macleod chats to Max Richter, one of the world’s most in-demand composers German-born British musician Max Richter is one of the most influential composers of his generation. A streaming sensation with over a billion listens, he blends classical and electronic elements in his music and is just as at home on 6Music as on Radio 3. He’s a producer, pianist and serial collaborator whose trailblazing work ranges from ballets and orchestral works to major Hollywood scores and solo albums....

Duration:01:10:33

More One Hit Wonders: Part 2

12/30/2022
Donald Macleod presents another selection of composers who are most famous for a single work. Last Easter, Composer of the Week explored the lives of ten composers whose music we adore but mainly only for a lone composition. This week, Donald Macleod makes a second selection of classical ‘One Hit Wonders’ - ten more composers who have been catapulted into the mainstream thanks to the surprising popularity of just one of their pieces. He’s joined by pianist and music director, Yshani...

Duration:00:47:27

More One Hit Wonders: Part 1

12/30/2022
Donald Macleod presents another selection of composers who are most famous for a single work. Last Easter, Composer of the Week explored the lives of ten composers whose music we adore but mainly only for a lone composition. This week, Donald Macleod makes a second selection of classical ‘One Hit Wonders’ - ten more composers who have been catapulted into the mainstream thanks to the surprising popularity of just one of their pieces. He’s joined by pianist and music director, Yshani...

Duration:00:43:25

JS Bach at Christmas

12/23/2022
Donald Macleod invites us to join Bach and his family during the Christmas season, at five different periods in his life. Christmas can be special wherever you live, but to experience a truly Christmassy Christmas, many would say that the only place to go is Germany. Plenty of Britain’s favourite Yuletide traditions originated there and Germany’s citizens have always had a special knack for celebrating this time of year. This was certainly true in J.S. Bach’s lifetime and, right through his...

Duration:01:20:28

Leokadiya Kashperova (1872-1940)

12/16/2022
Donald Macleod explores the recently unearthed life and works of Leokadiya Kashperova, one of the most talented composers and pianists of her generation. The name of Leokadiya Kashperova was, for many decades, recorded in mainstream musical history as a footnote: the piano teacher of Igor Stravinsky. Her full story as a musician and composer has finally now been unearthed, through the researches of Dr Graham Griffiths, supported by Radio 3’s Forgotten Women Composers project in collaboration...

Duration:01:03:02

César Franck (1822-1890)

12/9/2022
Donald Macleod explores how Cesar Franck, who was, known for being retiring and unassuming, became a leading figure of French musical life. It seems as if Franck's diffident character positively hindered his advancement. He wasn't interested in moving in glamorous social circles, and lived, according to one visitor who called on him the year before he died, "like a monk". This natural reticence may be why the composer of popular works such as the Violin Sonata, the Piano Quintet, a...

Duration:00:54:04

Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)

12/2/2022
Donald Macleod explores Chopin and his relationship with novelist George Sand, from their first meetings to their fractious end. Early in 1837, Franz Liszt introduced Chopin to a woman who would have a profound influence on his life. Her name was George Sand and Chopin’s relationship with the novelist would go on to stretch for almost a decade and prove to be the longest romantic bond of the composer’s life, and a defining creative relationship for both of them. Over the course of this week,...

Duration:01:12:54

Doreen Carwithen (1922-2003)

11/25/2022
Marking the centenary of her birth, Donald Macleod delves in to the little known world of 20th century British composer Doreen Carwithen. Doreen Carwithen is one of only a handful of female British composers who worked in the film industry in the 1940s and 1950s. Dramas, mysteries, horror flicks, documentaries, the thirty plus films she scored form a substantial part of her musical legacy. An award winning student, Carwithen first came to critical attention in the concert hall, with the...

Duration:01:07:48

The Harlem Renaissance

11/18/2022
The northern Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem was meant to be an upper-class white neighborhood, but rapid overdevelopment led to empty buildings and desperate landlords seeking to fill them. In the early 1900s, in what became known as the Great Migration, African-Americans from the South moved north to New York in droves, searching for work after the war, and hoping to escape the racial violence tearing through America. Harlem became a centre for Black culture in the city, drawing in poets...

Duration:01:40:50

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)

11/11/2022
Donald Macleod explores the relationship between Verdi and the city of Milan. As the hearse carrying the coffin of the composer Giuseppi Verdi travelled through Milan, more than half of the city’s population lined the streets to pay their respects and catch a final glimpse of their hero. Few musicians have made such an indelible impression on the population of a country, and become more linked to their sense of identity than him. And fewer still have become as ingrained in the fabric of a...

Duration:01:02:16

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912)

11/4/2022
Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, from his first steps up the musical ladder, to his premature death at the age of 37 and the legacy left behind. At the turn of the 20th century, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor could have been described as the most famous Black person in Britain. His cantata trilogy, the Song of Hiawatha, was an overnight success, and by the age of 25 he had packed out the Royal Albert Hall with a thousand performers, let alone the audience. His...

Duration:01:07:58