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.
The brilliant comedian was here to talk to us about her new book, but we wanted to talk mostly about 20th century French composers…
We whipped out a bit of Olivier Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus – a suite of 20 pieces for solo piano inspired by the childhood of Jesus. Here's what Dawn made of it.
First up – Rachmaninov
"Bobby Crush"… erm. No.
Wait, I think she's joking.
We'll shut up now.
Some Arvo Pärt
We played Dawn part of Pärt's (we thank you) Tabula Rasa, because we didn't think the Messiaen was quite challenging enough…
The comedian came in – and we played her some contemporary musico
Dawn French encounters some Arvo Pärt for the first time…Posted by Classic FM on Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Finally – some stonking Bach
We picked a bit of the Saint Matthew Passion and here's what she thought…