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


BBC Radio 3 shines a light on the city’s rich cultural scene with a week of programs

Manchester will be in the classical music spotlight this month as Radio BBC 3 features a week of city-centric programming.

Manchester Week will hit the airwaves thanks to the country’s most prestigious arts and culture radio station at the end of this month.

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The lineup, which was due to air in 2021 but has been delayed for a year due to Covid-19, will put some of Manchester’s brilliant classical music ensembles and venues in the spotlight.

The mix of pre-recorded and live concerts will also showcase the range of musical creation in the city, from beloved classical music favorites to pioneering 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.

Manchester Camerata on stage

Programs will feature established names from the classical music scene alongside emerging talent and feature well-known pieces and composers alongside more experimental work.

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

It’s all part of the radio station’s ongoing commitment to showcasing and connecting with classical music scenes and audiences across the UK.

What’s on the program?

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

During the week there will also be a pre-recorded concert performed by pioneering Manchester Collective band at Salford’s white hotel with music by contemporary composers including Bryce Dessner (who combines classical composition with songwriting for his band The National), Dobrinka Tabakova and Michael Gordon as well as world premieres from 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 Stoller Hall.

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

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

What have we said about Manchester Week?

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

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

“With Manchester Week, we are taking a moment to celebrate inspiring talent in inspiring locations and to shine a light on one of the most creative and culturally vibrant cities in the UK and the world. ”

Fran Healey, Managing Director of Stoller Hall, said: “Manchester’s music scene is legendary, but with so many up-and-coming artists and incredible venues to host them, classical music in Manchester has never been more vibrant.

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


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