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Music Matters


Radio 3's flagship classical music magazine programme.

Radio 3's flagship classical music magazine programme.
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London, United Kingdom




Radio 3's flagship classical music magazine programme.




Night Blossoms

With Tom Service. As part of Radio 3's Night Blossoms, Tom visits Japan during cherry blossom season, finding musical portals to other worlds: from Noh theatre to Japanoise, and from Bach to today's composers fusing ancient and modern ideas. Tom is accompanied by the violinist and translator Midori Komachi. At a traditional house in the back streets of Tokyo, Tom meets the composer Yuka Takechi, shakuhachi player Rei Jin and koto player Yoko Nishi, who reveal the meaning of Ma, the space...


Jennifer Johnston, JACK Quartet and the British Museum concerts

Tom Service talks to opera singer Jennifer Johnston about her beginnings as a barrister and how it informs her musical career today, about being coached by Vassily Petrenko at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and about her writings and social media life, which she considers vital to express herself beyond the stages and concert halls. We visit the British Museum's festival of 'Europe and the World: a symphony of cultures', where music of 20th-century greats such as Stockhausen, Ligeti...


Eva-Maria Westbroek, Philip Venables, Opening of Queen Elizabeth Hall, Music and Wellbeing

With Tom Service Philip Venables is one of the most exciting and confrontational composers working today, and with the help of the London Sinfonietta his new project The Gender Agenda is turning London's Queen Elizabeth Hall into a giant irreverant gameshow exploring the idea of gender (in)equality. Tom talks to him about the project and how and why he uses music as a political mouthpiece. Since its opening in 1967 the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London's Southbank has seen any number of...


Is Iceland the world's most musical country?

In this week's Music Matters Tom Service visits Reykjavik to ask whether Iceland is the most musical country in the world? With a population of just 350,000 Iceland still boasts multi-million-selling pop acts like Sigur Ros and Bjork, a world class orchestra, Oscar-winning composers, countless music festivals as well as a vibrant and world renowned contemporary music scene. And all these different genres seem to intertwine with each other effortlessly - so Tom is in Reykjavik to discover...


Grace Bumbry, Audra McDonald, Bill Fontana

Sara Mohr-Pietsch meets two American singers - the opera icon Grace Bumbry and the broadway star Audra McDonald. Plus a conversation with the sound artist Bill Fontana in Snape, Suffolk, where he's created an installation modifying sounds from the reedbeds, marshes and the Maltings' industrial past, for this year's Aldeburgh Festival. Grace Bumbry's career was launched when she won a competition at the tender age of 17. She was sought after across Europe and the USA as a mezzo soprano and...


Monteverdi 450: Monteverdi the Radical

Monteverdi the radical: Sara Mohr-Pietsch marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of composer Claudio Monteverdi with an investigation into his life and music, exploring what made him a modernist and a radical in his day. Sara visits the three important cities in which he lived: Venice, Mantua and Cremona, to discover what shaped him as man and musician. She interviews performers Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Ottavio Dantone about their personal perspectives on Monteverdi, and academic...


Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla at CBSO

Tom Service asks conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla about her plans for the City of Birmingham Orchestra, looks at the slave trade with composer Thierry Pécou, and explores the rarely-performed opera-oratorio, Le vin herbé. Tom visits Symphony Hall to talk to the exciting young conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla about her ambitions for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and music education in Birmingham. He also discusses the challenges faced by the CBSO with Chief Executive Stephen Maddock...


Milton Babbitt: Changing the way we think about music

Daniele Gatti on life as the new Chief Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, plus Sara Mohr-Pietsch examines the life and work of avant-garde American composer Milton Babbitt and 19th-Century conductor Hans Richter.


Busoni: music’s forgotten visionary

At the turn of the 20th Century, the name of Ferruccio Busoni was on the lips of music-lovers across Europe. But 150 years after the composer’s birth, contemporary concert goers barely know who he is. With Tom Service.


Kristjan Jarvi, Viola Tunnard and Sally Beamish

Presented by Sara Mohr-Pietsch. Including interviews with conductor Kristjan Jarvi and composer Sally Beamish, plus a tribute to forgotten pianist Viola Tunnard.


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