Radio 3 announces ‘Baroque Spring’

A month of programming to celebrate the era of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

BBC Radio 3 has unveiled a month of programming to celebrate all things Baroque. Baroque Spring will run for a month from 3 March and encompass live performance, drama, comedy and a week in residence at St George’s, Bristol.


The season launches on Sunday 3 March with a live edition of the Early Music Show from Media City, Salford with performances from The English Concert directed by Laurence Cummings.

Every Sunday afternoon throughout the month there will be more live performances of Baroque music, each week from from a different National Trust house in the UK. Katie Derham will present the concert with the Antiques Roadshow’s Lars Tharp on hand to provide the history of each house.

On 15 March Radio 3 will mark Red Nose Day with Baroque Around the Clock, a day of Baroque-themed comedy and music for Comic Relief including ‘Beastly Baroque’ sketches taking a wry look at the composers of the period.

St George’s, Bristol plays host to a week of concerts and talks from 25 March including performances by harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the BBC Singers. The Essay that week will also be recorded in St George’s on the theme ‘A Taste for Baroque’.

BBC Two also joins in with a 90-minute documentary on Bach, presented by Sir John Eliot Gardiner. The renowned early music conductor will also curate a Bach Marathon at the Royal Albert Hall on 1 April including performances and talks, all of which will be broadcast on Radio 3. Gardiner is on the cover of the March issue of BBC Music Magazine (on sale 13 February) – he talks exclusively to Tom Service.

Other highlights of the season include Baroque Remixed, a concert presented by Lauren Lavern and Andrew McGregor from The Roundhouse, Camden. The programme features new works by contemporary composers that have been inspired by Baroque masterpieces.

Plus, each morning Radio 3’s Breakfast presents the ‘Breakfast Forty-Eight’, a daily dose of music from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. There will also be the chance to ask all your Baroque-related questions in Baroque Busted, presented by Sara Mohr-Pietsch on 6, 11 and 26 March.


Pick up a copy of the March issue of BBC Music Magazine (on sale 13 February) for full Baroque Spring listings, an exclusive interview with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and a free CD of music by Bach and Telemann.