Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 4 July 2015, 7pm

Join Alex James for another time-travelling journey through all the important dates in the classical music calendar.

Vasily Petrenko

On this week’s show, Alex tells the story of the completion of Handel’s opera Semele, which the composer managed to finish despite being very ill, and finds out why composer Giovanni Paisiello lost a prestigious job because of his political views.

Alex also reveals how Dvorak’s father rescued the composer-to-be from a burning inn, and there's the story of how three leading tenors launched a worldwide phenomenon on the eve of the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

There'll also be birthday candles lit for conductor Matthias Bamert, pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy and Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko (pictured).