BBC Radio 3 announces its plans for the autumn season

The new schedule includes a dedicated Slow Radio slot and a year-long exploration of the most momentous musical moments of the last century


BBC Radio 3 announced its plans for the autumn season this week, with a pan-BBC season exploring the most significant musical moments of the last 100 years taking centre stage. Our Classical Century will be led by a series on BBC Four, with accompanying programming on Radio 3 taking place throughout the year, culminating at the First Night of the Proms in 2019.


Guests include actors Stephen Mangan, Graham Fellows and Lenny Henry, novelist Jessie Burton and conductor Sakari Oramo.

From 4 October, Radio 3 will launch a permanent monthly Slow Radio programme, with locations including Durham Cathedral and a zoo.  

The Remembrance Weekend on 10 and 11 November will feature ‘sonic memorials’: sounds taken from battlefields across the world, aired every hour on the hour. Mark-Anthony Turnage’s pacifist opera The Silver Tassie will also be broadcast live from the Barbican in London. Set during the First World War, the opera follows the narrative of a young Irish football fan returning home from war in a wheelchair.

From 15-17 February 2019, the station will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of Berlioz's death, featuring performances of his key works and lesser-known pieces, as well as works by composers who influenced his writing.

Alan Davey, controller of BBC Radio 3, announced at the End of the Road Festival last weekend that Late Junction will be launching its own dedicated festival in 2019. The two evening-long festival will be held at a new venue in East London, and will showcase a broad range of music: classical, electronic, jazz and world. 

A second season of Radio 3’s programme and podcast Classical Fix has been confirmed, with upcoming guests including writers and journalists Dolly Alderton and Elizabeth Day. The programme is hosted by Clemency Burton-Hill, who creates a personalised playlist for her guests, who then join her to discuss their impressions and opinions of their new musical discoveries. 


As usual, the station is hosting its annual BBC Radio 3 Carol Competition. Applicants are asked to write a choral score for SATB choir to the words of a poem by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. The winner will be announced and their song performed live on Friday 21 December, and played on Radio 3 throughout the Christmas period. The judging panel includes composer Bob Chilcott and Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir.