Alex James's Date Night: upcoming shows

Alex James studio Classic FM

Saturdays, 7-9pm. Text 61812, tweet @ClassicFM or email using the form below.

Each Saturday night, Alex James explores the anniversaries, birthdays and 'on this day' events from the world of classical music for the week ahead.

There are joyful births to celebrate and deaths to mourn; historic premieres to mark; and award ceremonies to remember. 

You can listen to last week's Alex Jame's Date Night on our Classic FM Radio Player, or go to the Classic FM Playlist for a list of the pieces played in each programme.

Forthcoming shows: 

Saturday 27th May, 7pm

This week, in the show that’s all about the most important dates in the classical music calendar, Alex James pays tribute to Luciano Pavarotti, who made his London debut on this day in 1966. He quickly earned the epithet ‘The King of the High Cs’, and tonight we’ll hear exactly why this was such an accurate nickname for the tenor.

On 27th May 1766, meanwhile, a ten-year-old Mozart finished work on his Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, which we’ll hear this evening.  It’s also the day in which Mascagni’s interest was raised after seeing a competition advertised. He decided to enter his Cavalleria Rusticana for consideration, in a move that was to change his life. Find out how, tonight. 

Saturday 3rd June, 7pm

This week, in the show that’s all about the most important dates in the classical music calendar, Alex begins with a celebration of the French composer, Georges Bizet – who, on this day in 1869, married Geneviève Halévy. On the same day in 1933, Vaughan Williams was appointed to the Order of Merit; Alex plays some of his finest music tonight.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, Alex marks the birthday of the acclaimed Italian mezzo soprano Cecilia Bartoli – born in Rome on 4th June 1966 – and tells the rather remarkable story of one Karl Ditters, a composer was granted permission to append his name by decree of a certain empress. We’ll also hear the famous 4 Sea Interludes from Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes, to mark the premiere of that now-acclaimed opera at Sadlers Wells, in 1945.

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