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Alan Davey in BBC Music Magazine interview

James Naughtie’s interview with new Radio 3 boss Alan Davey reveals more of the new controller’s thinking for the radio station.

Davey on the Radio 3 that he wants:

‘I want it to be a trusted guide to the world of music. That’s my phrase – a trusted guide.’ And the tone of the programmes? ‘Sometimes more informal but always informed. We have to have authority but it should flow naturally through our programmes. Listeners must know they’re in safe hands, and they shouldn’t need to be told it all the time.’

‘I want people to discover Radio 3 who don’t know the world of music that’s waiting for them,’ says Davey. ‘There are people who haven’t seen an orchestra, haven’t heard an opera, who can have experiences that will change them, that they’ll never forget. We can provide that, and we must.’

He’s thinking of Monday nights as a stage for European orchestras. Opera, he thinks, sits more happily at the weekend thanon a Monday (where it often went because it’s a quiet night for live orchestral performance) and he speaks about how he might find a way
of repeating some of the ground-breaking work done by David Munrow and Antony Hopkins in years gone by in opening a door on music to audiences young and old.

‘I want people to listen to Radio 3 who’ve never listened before. And I want them to be welcomed. They’ll get to know our commitment and the authority that we must provide, and they’ll also feel that this is music for them. Not for other people, whom they may think they don’t know, but for them.’

He wants to exploit the vast resources of the BBC music archive, and use on-line resources much more cleverly in the service of listeners. This may turn out to be the stamp of his time as controller.

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