Showing posts with label Classic FM. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Classic FM. Show all posts

Friday, September 07, 2012

Happy 20th Birthday, Classic FM!

Ah, I remember that day. Classic FM, the UK's first commercial classical music radio station, launched one merry morning in 1992. I was assistant editor of Classical Music Magazine at the time and everyone in the office wished the new kid on the block all the very best of British luck by placing a bet on Henry's Horse (remember that? Henry Kelly and the racing tips?).

We lost. But the station has continued its winning trajectory for two decades and is often first up to celebrate the achievements of the grass roots in the musical scene: the teaching of music, the charities that support it and, generally speaking, good music for everyday life.

Today they're offering a chance to win 1000 iTunes downloads an hour. We didn't envisage that 20 years ago.

And they chose to mark the big day...down at Morrison's. We don't find this kind of thing happening in our local Waitrose, I'm afraid. Well, not yet.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hannibal hits the high notes... plus the Monty Python of music, a mountaineering composer and a brand-new piece by Brahms

"I thought I'd end up in the steelworks in Port Talbot for the rest of my life," says Sir Anthony Hopkins. Is he the most open and straightforward person I've ever interviewed? Certainly one of them. And it was rather touching to hear that familiar voice speaking to me from Los Angeles, and to realise that his own, natural accent remains distinctly Welsh. As you'll know by now, Classic FM is bringing out an album of music by Hopkins. Today my interview with him about it is in The Independent. Read it here.

More light reading for Friday morning: I have an interview with the fantabulous and very funny pianist Jonathan Biss in the JC this week, which is here.

And back at the Indy, we meet the young Italian composer who went up a mountain to create a tune with a view...

That should hopefully entertain you over your coffee. And here's a bonus: a "new" Brahms piano piece has turned up in America and is to have its world premiere on BBC Radio 3 on Music Matters, 21 January, played by Andras Schiff. Christopher Hogwood apparently stumbled upon the work which looking through a collection of manuscripts in the US that had once belonged to the director of music at Göttingen University. The piece, a complete Albumblatt about two minutes long, was written in 1853 when our Johannes was all of 20 - the year he met Schumann and Clara for the first time. Perhaps it would have been amongst the pieces he performed to them on that first visit in Dusseldorf. It is apparently an early version of what became the trio section of the scherzo in Brahms's Horn Trio. The Guardian has more on this, here.