Friday, October 12, 2018


For those anticipating more detail on the BBC's push to make more classical music available online, last night's launch of 'Our Classical Century' was pretty thin. Here's the section of Lord Hall's speech.

"We’ve been recording, creating and documenting great work for almost a century now ourselves. We have the public to thank for that. They own - via the BBC - one of the greatest classical music archives in the world. It captures iconic moments from the Proms to Cardiff Singer of the World, from BBC Introducing to our Young Musician competition - celebrating its 40th birthday this year.

In an age of ever growing platforms - and social media sharing - these performances - some historic and some very recent - will be returned to the public. We’ll make them available on iPlayer and BBC Sounds - an app we’re launching soon that will, we hope, transform what you hear from the BBC.

We want to work with partners across the creative sector to develop the ambition - for instance, using voice technology to bring the archive to life. The way we consume and share content has changed, of course, but music’s ability to bring us together has never felt more important - and classical music’s role in that should not be underestimated."

Regular readers will be delighted to learn that John Simpson has a role to play in one of the tv programmes that form part of the season. John and Suzy Klein will be co-hosts of a BBC Four documentary looking at classical music from 1936 to 1953. Suzy tells us "The BBC’s World Affairs Editor John Simpson is a huge classical fan, learnt the flute, and has a favourite classical playlist that accompanies him to war zones across the globe."

Anyway, the launch, in a basement belonging to Westminster University along the Euston Road, looked moderately lively towards the end...

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