Composer of the Week: Louise Farrenc

The long-running Radio 3 programme celebrates its 70th anniversary

TV & Radio Information
BBC Radio 3
Monday, December 16, 2013 - 12:00


To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Composer of the Week this year, Donald Macleod challenged BBC Radio 3 listeners to come up with a composer who had never been featured in the programme’s vast coverage.

Of the four-and-a-half thousand plus suggestions that flooded in, a name that stood out was that of 19th-century pianist, composer and scholar Louise Farrenc (1804-1875).

Hers may not be a household name today, but Louise Farrenc enjoyed international recognition in her own lifetime.  She taught at Paris Conservatoire for thirty years and composed a large body of keyboard works, as well as three symphonies, several orchestral overtures and numerous chamber pieces.

The first episode contextualises Farrenc’s life and work with an exploration of her upbringing and early musical experiences in Paris.

In the following programmes, Macleod looks at her studies at the Sorbonne, the publication of her early works, the impact of meeting Johann Nepomuk Hummel on her output, and her lasting legacy at the conservatoire.

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