Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 22 August 2015, 7pm

Alex James invites you to join him for another whistle-stop tour through the week ahead in classical music, as he picks out all the most important dates, anniversaries and ‘on this day’ events.

Alexandre Desplat wins an Oscar

On tonight’s show Alex finds out how phenomenally quickly Handel wrote his Messiah after starting it on this day in 1741, and how Johann Christian Bach secured a top job in Milan after a successful audition.

There’s also the story of how Wagner finally stole Liszt’s daughter away from her husband, and why Boccherini had to wait two years to hear if he’d got a job. 

In addition, Alex celebrates the birthdays of film composer Alexandre Desplat, pictured, and pianist Imogen Cooper.