New (can we still call him new?) Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey introduced his station’s new season of programmes at an event earlier this week. At the same time, there was a hint of a slightly redefined station too.
According to Davey, Radio 3 was a cultural destination, distinct from its perceived competitor Classic FM, in a radio world big enough for both to coexist. Maybe it was more of a reminder of Radio 3’s inherent appeal – it’s much-guarded secret – which some of us forget. Post-Proms it’s important to remember that culture isn’t just classical music – it goes far, far wider than that.
A contemporary of mine from my hometown (give or take two years) also attended the event and explained when he first started listening to the station back in the early nineties (a good fifteen years before I did with any regularity). I observed nods of recognition when I explained that I always found Radio 3 somewhere to escape to. It was something I felt incredibly protective about – a shining example of distinctive BBC output.
Alan Davey speaks with a modest passion about the service he now runs. He is a reassuring presence for a service which feels solid and protected. That in itself makes me feel that as a listener I’m a part of the world he occupies. And that strikes me as the most authentic and genuine way of encouraging others to explore a vast cultural world.
Some personal highlights from the next few months:
Saturday 3 and 10 October 2015 – Hear and Now: Cut and Splice Festival
Sunday 11 October 2015 – Sunday Feature: Arthur Miller – Speaking of New York
Sunday 11 October 2015 – Drama on 3: Death of a Salesman
Monday 12 – Friday 16 October 2015 – The Essay: Staging Arthur Miller
Friday 6 – Sunday 8 November 2015 – Free Thinking Festival 2015
Saturday 7 November 2015 – Handel’s Orlando (with sync’ed live commentary online)
Sunday 22 November 2015 – Sunday Feature: Asian Theatre in Britain
Friday 11 December 2015 – World on 3: Northern Lights (live music + sync’d film online)
Friday 18 December 2015 – In Tune Christmas Special
Sunday 20 December 2015 – Private Passions: Alan Bennett
Friday 1 – Thursday 7 January 2016 – New Year New Music
Sunday 10 January 2016 – Tom Stoppard’s Artist Descending a Staircase