A pop-up glass studio has been created at Southbank Centre in London for Radio 3 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Third Programme.
Two weeks of special broadcasts and events including live classical music performances, a live radio drama, interactive workshops, cultural debates in partnership with London Literature Festival, retro tea dances, poetry readings, classical yoga and an embedded composer creating new works will take place.
Artists featured throughout the fortnight include Nicola Benedetti, Max Richter, Vladimir Jurowski, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Willard White, Margaret Atwood, Naomi Alderman, Elizabeth Kenny, Teju Cole, and more.
The 70th anniversary of the Third Programme, the predecessor to BBC Radio 3, takes place on 29 September. From 23 September to 7 October the public will be able to see BBC Radio 3 presenters and producers broadcasting all day, every day, from the glass studio in Southbank Centre’s Terrace Café and the Royal Festival Hall public spaces, from early morning classics in Breakfast to live performances every afternoon on In Tune and eclectic music mixes in late night programmes. Audiences will also be able to hear radio broadcasts including five Essays by five writers including Michael Rosen, Marina Lewycka and Marina Warner who, like the Third Programme, were born in 1946.
Sound Frontiers – BBC Radio 3 Live at Southbank Centre also complements the station’s broadcast partnership with Philharmonia Orchestra’s Stravinsky series Myths and Rituals, which will see Radio 3 broadcast all five Philharmonia Stravinsky concerts in the In Concert slot from May to September 2016. Radio 3 will also feature the orchestra’s digital installation in Royal Festival Hall, The Virtual Orchestra, presented by Southbank Centre during the same fortnight.
There’ll also be special live evening broadcasts from the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s new season, plus cultural debate from the London Literature Festival Living in Future Times in Radio 3’s Free Thinking ideas show. And across the fortnight, Radio 3’s Embedded Composer in 3, Matthew Kaner, will be breaking down how contemporary classical music works by composing new pieces for broadcast on the Breakfast show.
As well as the live broadcasts, Sound Frontiers features a series of special live events, including classical performances across the site, poetry performance and retro Tea Dances with a swing band reminiscent of the 1940s when the Third Programme launched. Embracing the location, a series of ‘Classical Yoga’ classes will take place on Southbank Centre’s Festival Terrace overlooking the river Thames with live classical accompaniment.
BBC Radio 3 will also host hands-on workshops on radio presenting, music mixing and editing across the fortnight, alongside panel discussions, speed mentoring and chances to hear from radio experts and prominent figures from the world of radio about making it in the industry.
Radio 3 will also highlight its commitment to poetry with live actor editions of Words and Music, during which two actors will perform a curated selection of poems in the pop-up studio, set aside a varied selection of similarly-themed music. Ian McMillan will also bring three editions of his ‘cabaret of the word’, The Verb – with spoken word artists, performance poets and writers all joining him; and on National Poetry Day (6 October) poets and poems will make some special appearances in Radio 3’s programmes from the pop-up studio.
Edward Blakeman, Head of Music Programming and Policy, BBC Radio 3: “BBC Radio 3, and before it the Third Programme, has been a cultural patron for seven decades, being brave with its programming and forging new paths. Our partnership with Southbank Centre, which was also created in the spirit of post-war optimism, is a perfect fit and we can’t wait both to immerse our audiences in our past and in our future and to, as always, exercise flexibility both in our schedule and in our yoga poses!”
Gillian Moore, Director of Music, Southbank Centre said: “It’s with great excitement that we announce the first programme details of Radio 3 Live at Southbank Centre. We can’t wait for the glass studio, technicians, presenters, producers, artists, yogis and swing dancers to move into Royal Festival Hall for a fortnight! The belief that arts and culture must be available to all is central to the work of both our organisations. What better way to inspire audiences and visitors than this visible reminder of what exceptional music making is available to them all day, every day – and of which they can be a part.”