Aung San Suu Kyi's musical portrait

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Radio 3 commissions Jonathan Dove to write work

Jonathan DoveComposer Jonathan Dove (right) has been commissioned by Radio 3 to create a piece inspired by Nobel Peace prize winner and Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi.

Dove was ‘composer in residence’ at the radio station for a special day focusing on Musical Portraits on 7 May. Listeners were asked to get in touch with suggestions of a 21st-century public figure on which Dove could base a new work. Other names suggested included the actress Meryl Streep and computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee.

‘I am delighted to be able to portray someone so influential and admirable, who shows such steadfastness in the face of opposition,’ said Dove. ‘Her peaceful and powerful demeanour has already allowed me to imagine how a musical form might portray her.’

Radio 3’s Portraits Day also featured live debates from National Portrait Galleries of both England and Scotland, guests including impressionist Alistair McGowan and actor Fiona Shaw, as well as the launch of a week of essays on the nature of portraiture.

Imogen Sebba