BBC Radio 3’s Manchester Week celebrates city’s vibrant classical music scene

BBC Radio 3 is highlighting the richness of the city’s cultural scene with a week of programmes
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Manchester will be in the classical music spotlight this month as BBC Radio 3 puts on a week of programmes focusing on the city.

Manchester Week will be on the airwaves courtesy of the country’s most prestigious arts and culture radio station at the end of this month.

The programming, which was supposed to be broadcast in 2021 but was delayed for a year due to Covid-19, will put centre stage some of Manchester’s brilliant classical music ensembles and venues.

The mix of pre-recorded and live concerts will also feature the range of music-making in the city, from well-loved classical music favourites to traiblazing experimental modern music.

What is Manchester Week on BBC Radio 3?

BBC Radio 3’s Manchester Week will celebrate the city’s classical music ensembles, musicians and composers from Monday 24 January to Friday 28 January.

There will be nine performances in total from venues such as the The Bridgewater Hall, The Stoller Hall at Chetham’s School of Music, Salford’s The White Hotel and Media City, home of the BBC Philharmonic.

The Manchester Camerata on stageThe Manchester Camerata on stage
The Manchester Camerata on stage

The programmes will feature established names on the classical music scene alongside up-and-coming talent and present well-known pieces and composers alongside more experimental work.

There will also be music based around the themes of sound and nature.

It is all part of the radio station’s ongoing commitment to showcase and connect with classical music scenes and audiences all over the UK.

What is on the programme?

The week kicks off with the Lunchtime Concert on Monday 24 January at The Stoller Hall with the Manchester Camerata, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, presenting an all-Mozart recital including the Piano Concerto No 9 in E-flat major, known as the Jeunehomme, and the beautiful Sinfonia Concertante in the same key.

During the week there will also be a pre-recorded concert given by trailblazing group the Manchester Collective at Salford’s White Hotel featuring music by contemporary composers including Bryce Dessner (who combines classical composition with writing songs for his band The National), Dobrinka Tabakova and Michael Gordon as well as world premieres by Ben Nobuto and Sebastian Gainsborough.

The Northern Chamber Orchestra and soloist Chloe Hanslip will be heard in music for string orchestra and percussion by Grieg, Finzi, Elgar, and Shostakovich at The Stoller Hall.

The BBC Philharmonic will be live from Media City with conductor Ben Gernon and Chetham’s School of Music’s alumnus cellist Guy Johnston, presenting the Cello Concerto by Oldham-born composer William Walton.

And there will be a chance to hear the Hallé Orchestra’s performance of Mahler’s massive Symphony No.3 at the Bridgewater Hall under the baton of conductor Sir Mark Elder, with Alice Coote singing the solo part.

What has been said about Manchester Week?

Alan Davey, BBC Radio 3 Controller, said: “Here at BBC Radio 3 we are passionate about reflecting the amazing musical life of this country and bringing it to audiences the world over.

“This mission matters even more in the current climate, with the ongoing global pandemic and ensuing uncertainties affecting audiences’ opportunities to enjoy the live music they crave, and for musicians to be able to play, connect and make a difference.

“With the Manchester Week, we take a moment to celebrate inspiring talent in inspiring venues, and to put the spotlight on one of the UK and the world’s most creative and culturally vibrant cities. ”

Fran Healey, general manager of The Stoller Hall, says: “Manchester’s music scene is legendary, but with so many emerging artists and with incredible venues to host them, classical music in Manchester has never been more vibrant.

“Here at The Stoller Hall we couldn’t be more excited to welcome BBC Radio 3 into our very special concert hall, sharing the city’s music with the nation and the world.”

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