David Mellor - Sunday 8 November 2015, 7pm

David celebrates the 50th birthday of Bryn Terfel.

In this evening's show, David Mellor wishes a happy 50th birthday to the great Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel.

The son of a Snowdonian farmer, Terfel had an interest in and flair for music from a very early age. He was taught to sing traditional Welsh songs by a family friend and went on to win numerous competitions. He moved to London in 1984 to study at the Guildhall School of Music, from which he graduated in 1989. He came second, after Dmitri Hvorostovsky, in the Cardiff BBC Singer of the World Competition the same year.

Terfel made his operatic début in 1990 as Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte at Welsh National Opera and major operatic roles soon followed the world over. Today he is one of the wrold's great opera stars, excelling in a wide range of roles from Wagner's Wotan to Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.

Tonight, David picks out some of Bryn Terfel's greatest recordings – and Bryn himself has also personally chosen some of his favourite pieces of classical music to feature in the programme.

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

Meerkat falling asleep to music theory class

This meerkat falling asleep to a music theory class is such a happy sight

game of thrones musical notation

Musical terminology, illustrated by Game of Thrones

Don Ellis time signature asset

If you can work out the time signature of this piece you’re officially a musical genius