Alex James begins a landmark new 10-part series uncovering the times in history when classical music was changed forever.
Earlier this year, Classic FM released a brand new book entitled The 50 Moments That Rocked the Classical Music World .
Every week, Alex will be picking out five very different 'moments' and exploring their significance. Over the course of the series, Alex hopes to debunk the myth that the classical music world is a genteel one, as he explores riots, revolutions and instances when convention was challenged – nearly always for the better.
Tonight, Alex begins by looking at the origins of the world's first musical instruments, tells the story behind John Cage's seminal 4'33, and celebrates the very first opera.
Plus – why did Beethoven's 'Eroica' Symphony herald the dawn of a whole new era, and what was the significance of the death of Joseph Stalin in the world of classical music?