Our June cover star is violinist Rachel Podger, who came away with not one but two awards at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2023. Rachel, winner of both the Instrumental and Recording of the Year Awards for her visionary album Tutta Sola, explains to Charlotte Smith how she set out to place Bach’s incredible Sonatas and Partitas in some context - and how the composer’s monumental achievements also stand on their own.


Indeed, in this issue we talk to all of the winning performers from our 2023 Awards, including cellist Abel Selaocoe, violinist Fenella Humphreys, the team behind a sparkling new performance of the Italian-opera spoof The Dragon of Wantley, and many more. These groundbreaking, visionary artists tell us about the inspirations and processes behind their acclaimed recent recordings.

Elsewhere, Roger Nichols explores in depth the wonderful variety of Saint-Saëns’s five groundbreaking piano concertos, while Gayle Wood tells the remarkable story of Joseph Emidy, from captivity in South America to violin superstar.

Conductor Oliver Zeffman tells Michael White about staging concerts in unlikely and imaginative spaces, while the legendary violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter celebrates her 60th birthday in the company of Ariane Todes.

For this month's Musical Destinations, Laurence Vittes heads to California’s Napa Valley, where he samples wonderful music, sophisticated wine and tasty food at the region’s flagship festival.

Our Composer of the Month is William Byrd. Andrew Stewart profiles a Catholic composer who successfully defied the many dangers of Elizabethan England - and wrote some of the most beautiful music of the era to boot.

For this month's Building a Library Rebecca Franks tells the story of Rebecca Clarke’s captivating and emotional Viola Sonata, and seeks out its finest recordings. And, on our inside back cover, soprano Angel Blue discusses the music that has shaped her into the performer she is today.


Click here for the inlay of this month's cover CD.



Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.