Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 6 August 2016, 7pm
Alex James celebrates the major classical music anniversaries for the week ahead, including how Percy Grainger had a not so private wedding.
On 9 August 1928 at the Hollywood Bowl, some 20,000 people witnessed an extraordinary thing: the composer and pianist Percy Grainger got married at the end of a concert to his fiancée Ella Ström.
They might have had a clue it was going to happen because the concert marked the first performance of Grainger's bridal song, To a Nordic Princess.
Grainger met Ström, a Swedish-born artist, during a trans-Atlantic crossing to America. They stayed in touch and later became engaged. Percy, of course, had unusual tendencies of which Ella reportedly knew nothing in advance.
This evening, Alex also discovers how Charles X awarded Rossini with France’s highest honour – an unusual occurrence for an Italian and how Bach began a new job in 1703.