Broadcast highlights

The pick of the week's classical music programmes from 5 to 10 January 2010


Radio highlights


Performance on 3
Tuesday 6 January, 7pm

In this concert from the 2009 Proms season, Mariss Jansons conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a programme of Sibelius, Ravel and Duparc. The Prom kicks off with Sibelius’s First Symphony, first performed in 1899, before Czech mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena takes the stage to sing a selection of songs by Duparc. Ravel’s ballet Daphnis and Chloe, commissioned by the Ballets Russes impresario Sergei Diaghilev in 1909, rounds off the Prom, and is followed by a Proms Plus event in which Rex Lawson performs Chopin’s Scherzo in B flat minor on the pianola.

Music Matters
Saturday 9 January, 12.15pm

This week’s edition of Music Matters sees presenter Tom Service meet British composer George Benjamin, who celebrates his 50th birthday this year. Plus Service will be joined by guests to discuss a new biography of Tchaikovsky and pianist Graham Johnson comes into the studio to talk about what makes Fauré’s songs unique.

Desert Island Discs
Friday 8 January, 9am

Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is opera director John Copley. Throughout his 60-year career, Copley has worked with all the greats at the major opera houses of the world. He introduced Luciano Pavarotti to a London audience, charmed Georg Solti with his piano playing and was even called upon to stand in for Maria Callas. He was just ten years old when he first saw an opera and he loved it straight away; ‘I caught opera’, he says, ‘like the measles’.

TV highlights

Barenboim on Beethoven
Tuesday 5 January, 7pm

As pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim heads to the Royal Festival Hall to perform all five Beethoven piano concertos this January and February, SkyArts is broadcasting a series of related concerts and masterclasses. In this programme, Barenboim peforms the Third Piano Concerto in C minor, Op. 37, before leaving the piano for the conductor’s podium to conduct the Staatskapelle Berlin in a performance from the 2007 Klavier-Festival.

Helicopter Quartet
Thursday 7 January, 4.40pm


When composer Karlheinz Stockhausen was commissioned to write a string quartet, his first reaction was to say no. But then he had a dream. ‘I heard and saw the four string players in four helicopters flying in the air and playing,’ he said. ‘At the same time I saw people on the ground seated in an audio-visual hall, others were standing outdoors on a large public plaza.’ Here’s a chance to see a rare performance of the Helicopter String Quartet, performed by the Arditti Quartet.