Radio 3 announces World War One centenary programmes

Two weeks will be dedicated to wartime composers and musicians

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Published: May 20, 2014 at 11:10 am

To coincide with the centenary of the World War One, BBC Radio 3 is dedicating two weeks of scheduling to programmes that trace the story of the conflict through its music.


Whole days will be dedicated to the music of the major European countries involved, including the UK on 23, 24 and 26 June, Germany on 25 June and Russia on 1 July.

Also on the bill is a historic Live in Concert broadcast from Sarajevo on 28 June which marks 100 years since the assissination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Vienna Philharmonic and Opera Choir of the National Theatre of Sarajevo will perform music from France, Germany and Austria in a tribute to European peace.

A week of programmes from 29 June will focus on composer and poet Ivor Gurney who served on the front line. This will include Iain Burnside’s drama about Gurney’s life, A Soldier and a Maker.

Regular slots, including Essential Classics and Afternoon on 3, will focus on the works of combatant composers and The Essay will look at the impact of war on philosophical approaches to the arts.

Serveral works by composers lost in the War will be recorded for the first time, including some that haven’t been heard since 1919. Also, three special programmes will be broadcast from National Trust properties that have strong links to World War One.


Other programmes dedicated to the World War One centenary will be broadcast across the BBC. Visit for details. And you can find out more about the musical legacy of World War One in the June issue of BBC Music Magazine, out now.

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