European Broadcasting Union celebrates 50th Birthday

BBC Concert Orchestra marks anniversary of the first EBU transmission

Published: November 27, 2017 at 5:14 pm

In celebration of the 50th birthday of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Johannes Wildner will be conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra at LSO St Luke’s this evening (Monday 27 November) in a performance that will be broadcast by 44 EBU radio organisations.


An international programme aims to reflect the EBU’s ethos of cross-border collaboration and innovation. The concert will feature a new commission from British-Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova, as well as performances by the Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov, Norwegian violist Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad, and US-Korean violin virtuoso Esther Yoo.

The evening will include Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto No.5, Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante, Britten’s Suite on English Folk Tunes ‘A time there was…’, as well as Tabakova’s premiere, Fanfare. The choice of music is designed to recall the inaugural concert of the EBU on the 27 November 1967, which similarly featured Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante along with Britten’s Nocturne song cycle, the composer also conducting the performance.

The EBU gives radio stations in Europe and beyond access to a range of live concerts, with subscribing stations in 56 nations and some concerts reaching an audience of 7 million. Previous EBU projects have included a Haydn complete opera cycle from 1975 to 1978, as well as the more recent One Love Manchester concert that commemorated the 22 victims of the terrorist bombing. BBC Radio 3’s Head of Music, Edward Blakeman, says that the Union is ‘a cost-effective way of accessing huge riches’.


Tonight’s concert can be heard live on BBC Radio 3 at 7pm, but if you miss the evening or want to listen again, the performance will be available on iPlayer Radio for 30 days.


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

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