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 47 – Elgar, Prokofiev and Venables

When: Friday 17 August, 7-10pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

This Prom welcomes the BBC Symphony Orchestra, who will be performing Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro for Strings, a premiere of Venables’s newest work, and Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony.

Violinist Pekka Kuusisto will be joining the orchestra for the highly anticipated first performance of ‘Venables plays Bartók’. According to Venables, the piece is ‘framed around nine short Hungarian folk dances or miniatures, collected or composed by Bartók, hence the double credit of the piece: Venables/Bartók’.



What: BBC Prom 48 – Ravel played by the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle

When: Saturday 18 August, 7.30-10pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

British conductor Simon Rattle leads the London Symphony Orchestra through three Ravel works: an opera (L'enfant et les sortilèges), a ballet (Mother Goose) and a song-cycle (Shéhérazade). The cast includes mezzo-sopranos Magdalena Kožena and Patricia Bardon. Writer Katherine Langrish will feature at the interval to discuss the history and teachings of fairy tales.


What: BBC Prom 49 – European Youth Orchestra

When: Sunday 19 August, 11am-1pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

The European Youth Orchestra presents an exciting line-up comprising Chopin’s Second Piano Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony and a UK premiere of Agata Zubel’s Fireworks – a piece written to commemorate 100 years of Polish independence. The inclusion of Chopin’s concerto upholds the Polish theme for this Prom.



What: Royal Air Force in Concert

When: Sunday 19 August, 7-8pm

Where: Sky Arts

The Central Band of the Royal Air Force performs at the Birmingham Symphony Hall as part of its yearly UK tour.


What: BBC Prom 50 – Mozart and Mahler   

When: Sunday 19 August, 8.30-10.30pm

Where: BBC Four

Bernstein conducted twice at the BBC Proms over his lifetime, and this special Prom turns the clock back to the first of those concerts in 1987. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Mahler’s Fifth Symphony were on the programme, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. For this homage to Bernstein 31 years on, the same works will be performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with conductor Thomas Dausgaard. Annalien Van Wauwe will feature as clarinet soloist.


What: Edinburgh International Festival 2018

When: All Week, 11am-1pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

The Edinburgh International Festival presents a series of concerts covered on Radio 3. A number of eminent artists will be featured this week including celebrated French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, the Pavel Haas Quartet and a duo comprised of Canadian violinist James Ehnes and Scottish pianist Steven Osborne.


What: BBC Prom 51 – Strauss, Wagner and Per Nørgård

When: Monday 20 August, 7.30-9.45pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

The first Prom of the week sees the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra playing Wagner, Strauss and Nørgård. Wagner’s Parsifal will kick off the programme, followed by Strauss’s death-themed Four Last Songs. Nørgård’s Third Symphony – a modern Danish classic – will complete the set. This Prom will be its UK premiere despite being composed in the early 70s.


What: Lang Lang – New York Rhapsody

When: Tuesday 21 August, 7.15-9am

Where: Sky Arts

An exciting performance is on the cards featuring Lang Lang alongside guests Rufus Wainwright, Regina Spektor, Suzanne Vega and Kurt Elling at the Lincoln Centre – the concert will celebrate the city of New York.


What: BBC Prom 52 – Edward Gardner & Bergen Philharmonic

When: Tuesday 21 August, 7-9.15pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

The Bergen Philharmonic take on Sibelius and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. Wagner’s inspiration for the opera came from a stormy sea crossing he experienced in summer 1839. Rolf Wallin’s Violin Concerto also features in the programme, with a discussion of its composition in the interval.



What: BBC Prom 54 - Iván Fischer and Budapest Festival Orchestra (I)

When: Wednesday 22 August, 7.30-10pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

The eccentric Iván Fischer opens his first Prom of the week with Enescu’s First Suite, Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony. Soprano Anna Lucia Richter features as the soloist.


What: BBC Prom 55 - Iván Fischer and Budapest Festival Orchestra (II)

When: Thursday 23 August, 7.30-10pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

Budapest Festival Orchestra’s second consecutive night at the Proms showcases two Hungarian dances by Brahms, Brahms’s First Symphony, two Hungarian rhapsodies by Liszt and Zigeunerweisen (meaning ‘Gypsy Airs’) by de Sarasate for violin and orchestra. Writers Louise Doughty and Damian Le Bas will discuss gypsy, Roma and traveller culture during the interval.



What: BBC Prom 56 – Mozart and Bruckner

When: Friday 24 August, 7.30-10.15pm

Where: BBC Radio 3

A thrilling programme is in place for this end-of-week Prom, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing alongside acclaimed pianist Benjamin Grosvenor in Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C and Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony. Sakari Oramo will conduct.

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