He's one of classical music’s most important composers - and on the eve of his 80th birthday, we got to ask him what he thinks about the state of classical music in 2016.
Classic FM will mark the centenary of the world famous violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin next year by broadcasting a special 20-part series, presented by Menuhin’s official biographer Humphrey Burton.
Yehudi Menuhin: The Master Musician will run every Saturday night from 9pm to 10pm, starting on 9 January 2016.
In 1996, Classic FM first broadcast a series to mark the 80th birthday of Yehudi Menuhin, which was also presented by Burton. Menuhin was a much-loved figure in the UK: although born and raised in the United States, he lived in London, took British citizenship and eventually became first a knight of the realm and then a peer. At the time, he came to the Classic FM studios and spent hours reminiscing about his varied life and extraordinary career for what became a highly acclaimed radio series.
Twenty years later, and to mark Menuhin’s centenary in 2016, Classic FM will re-broadcast the entire series with fresh commentary, interviews and content.
Humphrey Burton said: “To devote 20 hours to a single musician might seem an exaggerated centenary tribute, but not when it’s Menuhin. His music-making flows in and out of the reminiscences. You will hear 50 years of recording history, from the earliest electric 78s to CDs, in which he conducts Beethoven’s symphonies.
"Menuhin really was the master musician of our title and I am extremely proud to have been both his friend and his biographer. Yehudi Menuhin: The Master Musician is Classic FM’s unique tribute to a truly great man.”
Sam Jackson, Classic FM’s Managing Editor, said: “When Classic FM first broadcast Yehudi Menuhin: The Master Musician in 1996, it quickly became one of the most popular series in the station’s four-year history. Now, 20 years later, we’re delighted to be working with Humphrey Burton on this refreshed version, which will give today’s Classic FM listeners an unrivalled opportunity to discover more about the life of one of the 20th century’s most important and most influential musicians.”
Classic FM is also media partner for the biennial Yehudi Menuhin Competition, the world’s leading competition for young violinists, taking place in London from 7-17 April 2016. The competition is open to players under the age of 22 (born after 17 April 1994).