Radio 3 is to broadcast live concerts every weekday evening from May this year.
Four years after it significantly reduced the number of live events in Performance on 3, its main evening slot, the public broadcaster is bringing them back to the schedule.
‘Live is the essence of music-making,’ says Roger Wright, controller of Radio 3. ‘It has a real excitement and means we can give the audiences the best seat in the house.’
The move, announced at the Association of British Orchestra’s annual conference, will see live concerts on air for 46 weeks of the year, more than before 2007. Performance on 3 will begin at 7.30pm, rather than 7pm.
Wright faced criticism back in 2007 when he announced the station would be increasing the number of pre-recorded concerts, and reducing live broadcasts, from the UK’s orchestras. His latest announcement has been met with enthusiasm.
‘We are all pleased and excited about the decision,’ said Sir Mark Elder, the music director of Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra to The Guardian. ‘There is nothing like the audience having the chance to experience the excitement of a live performance.’