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    On your radio: listen to classical music live from the Southbank Centre

    Ntando Brown

    If you can’t come to the music, let the music come to you. For 12 days, BBC Radio 3 is taking up residency in our sadly closed Royal Festival Hall to broadcast a series of live classical concerts.

    Tune in to BBC Radio 3 at 7.30pm from Monday 19 to Friday 30 October (with the one exception of Sunday 25 October) and you’ll be transported into our iconic building via the music of many of our Resident and Associate Orchestras. And if hearing the concerts live wasn’t enough, you’ll also have the opportunity to watch many of them back online too. 

    Contemporary Black composers are at the heart of this series, and are brought to the fore from the opening night when Chineke! Orchestra perform a world premiere of composer James B Wilson’s latest work, inspired by a resonant moment in the recent Black Lives Matter protests. Concerts from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the London Sinfonietta follow the theme, featuring works by Errollyn Wallen, Adolphus Hailstork, Jessie Montgomery, Hannah Kendall, George Lewis and Tania León. And you’ll also hear historic works by composers including Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Florence Price and Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

    Additional highlights include the last-ever recital at a major UK venue from violinist Tasmin Little. And Roderick Williams and Rowan Pierce will lend their voices to the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for Handel’s tale of unrequited love, Apollo e Dafne.

    Take a look at the series programme below, and see which of the performances you’ll also be able to enjoy visually in the coming weeks.


    Chineke! Orchestra

    Chineke! Black Legacies

    Mon 19 October, 7.30pm

    Conducted by Kevin John Edusei, Chineke! Orchestra mark Black History Month with music from Black composers. The programme includes pieces from the well-known Samuel Taylor-Coleridge; the forgotten Florence B Price – the first African-American woman to have her work performed by a major American orchestra; and the contemporary James B Wilson, who’s latest commission, a collaboration with poet Yomi Sode, is given its world premiere.

    A video of this performance can be streamed online for free from Mon 23 November

    find out how

    Roderick Williams At Southbank Centre

    Apollo e Dafne

    Tue 20 October, 7.30pm

    The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment begins its 2020/21 season with Bach's best-known cantata, Ich Habe Genug (I have enough). This is followed by Handel's Apollo e Dafne, a tragic tale of unrequited love, featuring baritone Roderick Williams (pictured) and soprano Rowan Pierce.

    A video of this performance can be streamed online for free from Thu 29 October.

    find out how

    Thierry Fischer, conductor
    Marco Boggreve

    2014: Memory and Renewal

    Wed 21 October, 7.30pm

    The London Philharmonic Orchestra evoke changing times with a concert of music from the last two centuries. From the fragile peace of Europe in 1814 there’s Schubert’s delightful Second Symphony. Skip to 1914, with Europe once again on the brink, and German composer Max Reger’s musical tribute to Mozart. And in 2014 Austrian composer Thomas Larcher finds a myth of renewal snaking through the Alpine forests.

    A video of this performance can be streamed online for free from Wed 4 November

    find out how

    Tasmin Little, violinist

    Tasmin Little

    Thu 22 October, 7.30pm

    One of Britain’s best-loved violinists, Tasmin Little, continues her delayed final musical season before retiring from the concert stage. For this, her last performance at a major concert venue, Little is joined by four of her favourite piano partners; Andrey Gugnin, Piers Lane, John Lenehan and Martin Roscoe.


    Sophie Bevan
    Sussie Ahlburg

    Celebrations and Revolutions

    Fri 23 October, 7.30pm

    The London Philharmonic Orchestra presents the music of Beethoven and the composer they called ‘the Black Mozart’, Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. This sparkling concert features the creative flair of pianist Nicolas Namoradze and a star turn from soprano Sophie Bevan (pictured).

    A video of this performance can be streamed online for free from Wed 11 November.

    find out how


    Santtu-Matias Rouvali, conductor
    Camilla Greenwell

    Santtu-Matias Rouvali: American Dreams

    Mon 26 October, 7.30pm

    One day on from the 75th anniversary of its first concert, the Philharmonia Orchestra presents a selection of music from the other side of the Atlantic. The concert features the work of a trio of American composers – Aaron Copeland, Steve Reich and Florence Prince – plus Dumbarton Oaks by Sravinsky, who became an American citizen.

    This performance can also be watched live through an online video stream.

    find out how

    Alexander Gadjiev
    Shahriyar Farshid

    BBC New Generation Artists feat. Alexander Gadjiev & Rob Luft

    Tue 27 October, 7.30pm

    Alexander Gadjiev (pictured) brings his brand of thoughtful pianism to our Royal Festival Hall stage to explore Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt. The second half of this concert sees jazz guitarist Rob Luft and his quartet joined by singer Alina Duni.

    London Sinfonietta, artist writing music

    Yet Unheard

    Wed 28 October, 7.30pm

    Join the London Sinfonietta and envelop yourself in music by established and emerging Black composers in this concert co-curated by leading composer and new music thinker George Lewis. The performance takes its name from a haunting and emotionally fraught piece by Courtney Bryan (pictured) which commemorates Sandra Bland's tragic death in police custody, and also features compositions by Hannah Kendall, Cuban composer Tania León, and George Lewis.

    A video of this performance can be streamed online for free from Wed 25 November

    find out how

    Conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen

    Salonen Conducts Ravel and Britten

    Thu 29 October, 7.30pm

    The Philharmonia Orchestra’s 2020/21 season is Esa-Pekka Salonen’s last as Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor, a position he has held since 2008. For this first concert in his landmark season he is joined by outstanding American soprano, and Royal Festival Hall debutant, Julia Bullock. At the heart of what’s sure to be a memorable programme is Britten’s Les Illuminations, a setting of nine poems by Rimbaud.

    This performance can also be watched live through an online video stream.

    find out how

    Jason Alden

    National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

    Thu 27 October, 8.45pm

    During the summer months, teenagers in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain took the time to explore music written by Black composers. In this concert they share some of what they discovered including compositions by Mason Bynes, Adolphus Hailstock, Jessie Montgomery. The concert culminates in a performance of Mighty River by Belize-born British composer, Errollyn Wallen, a magnificent piece which explores the history of the slave trade in Britain.

    Kaspar Dalkarl

    An evening of French & Finnish music

    Fri 30 October, 7.30pm

    For the final night of BBC Radio 3’s residency sees the BBC Concert Orchestra take to the stage, conducted, for the first time, by their new Principal Guest Conductor, Anna-Maria Helsing (pictured). Finnish soprano Anu Komsi joins the orchestra for a performance of songs by Debussy, and Sibelius' dramatic Höstkväll.