Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 17 October 2015, 7pm

Alex James takes another whistle-stop tour through the classical music anniversaries of the coming week.

Stephen Kovacevich pianist

On this week's show, Alex celebrates the 75th birthday today of the fine Canadian pianist Stephen Kovacevich. He made his concert debut as a pianist at the age of 11; then, at the age of 18 he moved to London to study under Dame Myra Hess on a scholarship and has been a London resident ever since. As a soloist and conductor, he has frequently performed and recorded works by, amongst others, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Bartók.

There are also birthday celebrations tonight for Howard Shore who turns 69 tomorrow, and violinist Leila Josefowicz. And Alex will also mark the premieres of Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Brahms’s Double Concerto, Schubert’s Symphony No.2 and Borodin’s opera Prince Igor

Finally why did the good burghers of Hamburg Council have to put their hands rather deeply into their pockets to prevent Telemann leaving for Leipzig? Alex will reveal all.