Tonight Catherine Bott asks, ‘Can pop musicians ever write good classical music?’
The answer, you may not be surprised to know,is yes, of course. And Catherine has plenty of evidence to prove it, dating back to George Gershwin who made millions writing popular songs but whose aspirations were always to raise jazz and popular forms to the level of respectability given to classical works. Tonight we hear Gershwin’s own Variations on ‘I Got Rhythm’.
Among the rock and pop stars featured tonight who have created works for the concert hall are Deep Purple’s keyboardist Jon Lord, piano man Billy Joel and Sir Paul McCartney, pictured with Carl Davis.
There's also music from former prog rocker Sir Karl Jenkins, a score to A Midsummer Night’s Dream ballet by Elvis Costello and something from erstwhile Mungo Jerry guitarist and now Classic FM presenter John Brunning.