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BBC launches Music Nation for London 2012

The BBC is to celebrate the UK’s orchestral and live music community as part of the countdown to the London 2012 Festival.

The live events, taking place around the UK on March 3rd and 4th 2012, will include live performances on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Local & Regional Radio.

BBC Radio 3 will be Music Nation’s principal media partner, broadcasting live content throughout the weekend, with additional programming on Radio 2, BBC Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and BBC local radio.

Across the weekend, highlights include flash mob performances of The Marriage of Figaro in Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra premièring a newly commissioned fanfare from Scottish composer James MacMillan, the Barbican Centre hosting Urban Classic, a collaboration between the BBC Symphony Orchestra and rising stars of the UK’s urban music scene, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing the UK premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s settings of five Shakespeare sonnets.

Orchestras and choirs, large, small, professional and amateur, have formed partnerships with other musical organisations and venues in their area to create and host performances and workshops in 45 locations across the UK with more than 25,000 participants under the Music Nation banner.

The weekend is one of a select group of countdown events for the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, and is a key part of the BBC’s Cultural Olympiad programming. Built primarily around classical music, but taking in jazz, folk and world music, Music Nation aims to engage as many people as possible.

Devised and led by the BBC, and including performance by the six BBC performing groups, Music Nation is a partnership with Arts Council England, the Association of British Orchestras (ABO), British Association of Concert Halls (BACH), Orchestras Live, Making Music, Conservatoires UK and LOCOG.

Tim Davie, Director of BBC Audio & Music, says “The BBC is very proud to have brought together this esteemed group of partners to create Music Nation, in a first for the UK orchestral sector. It will showcase the hugely important role that orchestra, choirs and venues play in communities and create an amazing weekend of fantastic live music. Music Nation, combined with the recently announced Radio 1 Hackney weekend, the 2012 Proms season and our support for New Music 20×12 demonstrates the extent of the BBC’s support for live music around the UK.”

Ruth Mackenzie, London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Director says “With events all over the country, we hope as many people as possible will join in with Music Nation as they prepare for the London 2012 Festival and a fantastic summer of cultural celebration. This unprecedented partnership demonstrates the strength of the UK’s creative communities and how the Cultural Olympiad is bringing organisations together to create truly memorable events.”

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