Broadcast highlights

The pick of the week's classical music programmes from 14-18 October

Published: October 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Radio highlights


The Essay
Wednesday 14 October, 11pm
Series in which writers describe their passions and talents for playing a musical instrument. Novelist Louise Doughty explains how playing the piano in later life presented new challenges.

Performance on 3
Thursday 15 October, 7pm

In this semi-staged performance of Berg's Wozzeck, baritone Simon Keenlyside sings the starring role. It draws on Berg's own experiences of the First World War and charts the eponymous hero's desperate descent into paranoia and insanity, using an intensely complex series of musical forms to express everything that the characters themselves cannot. Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the Philharmonia in this concert from the Royal Festival Hall.

Opera on 3
Saturday 17 October, 6pm
Semyon Bychkov conducts the first revival of Nicholas Hytner's Royal Opera House production of Verdi's Don Carlo. When Don Carlo of Spain surreptitiously contrives to meet his fiancee Elizabeth of France in the forest of Fontainbleau, he is enraptured, and the pair are thrilled at the idea of spending their lives together. But it is not to be – as part of a new peace treaty, Elizabeth is suddenly forced to marry Carlo's father, the severe old Spanish King, Philip II. Carlo is devastated, and searches for a new role as liberator of Flanders. Jonas Kaufmann, with Marina Poplavskaya as Elizabeth of Valois, and Ferruccio Furlanetto as Philip II of Spain.

TV highlights

Leeds International Piano Competition

Every three years since 1963, Leeds plays host to the cream of young international concert pianists who travel there to take part in the city's International Piano Competition. Past winners have included musical greats like Rada Lupu and Murray Perahia. Huw Edwards introduces penultimate finalist Alexej Gorlatch from Ukraine, who plays Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 5. Special guests Cristina Ortiz and Lucy Parham add expert comment, while Clemency Burton-Hill reports on the competitor's preparation.


Glyndebourne Season: Cecilia & Bryn at Glyndebourne
Friday 16 October, 8am
Two of the world's most popular opera singers, mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli and bass Bryn Terfel, share the stage to perform duets and arias by Mozart, Rossini, Haydn, Donizetti and Handel.

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