Radio 3 to mark Schubert anniversary with 200 hours devoted to the composer

Spirit of Schubert celebrates the Austrian’s output

BBC Radio 3 has announced that it will be devoting a week of its schedule in March to Franz Schubert.

From 23-31 March, almost every note the composer wrote will be broadcast or performed live on the station. On top of this, Composer of the Week presenter Donald Macleod will provide a daily insight into Schubert’s life, and writer Tom Service will be answering listeners’ questions and looking into the less-explored aspects of Schubert’s life and music in The Schubert Lab.

Each afternoon from 4.30pm renowned Lieder pianist Graham Johnson will be leading the In Tune Schubert Salon and each day sees performances by the likes of pianist Imogen Cooper, the Atos Trio, pianist Paul Lewis and clarinettist Michael Collins.

One highlight of the season will be a live broadcast of Professor Brian Newbould’s new completion of Schubert’s Symphony in D, D708a. 'I have saturated myself in his music and style and tried to think my way inside what he wrote and how he would have intended to finish this symphony,’ Newbould said in an interview with The Telegraph. ‘But he didn’t indicate how it should be written in many parts, so much of the orchestration is guess work.'

For a full guide to BBC Radio 3’s The Spirit of Schubert, pick up a copy of the March issue of BBC Music Magazine - on sale now. Also in this issue, read interviews with ten top Schubert performers about the works they find most inspiring, and hear Schubert's moving song cycle Winterreise performed by baritone Henk Neven and pianist Hans Eijsackers on your free cover CD.

And if you’re in the UK, you can also download six free tracks by Schubert on iTunes. Simply go to www.classical-music.com/itunes to find out how.

Elizabeth Davis