Watch Classic FM’s John Suchet conduct a Beethoven symphony, for the very first time

27 January 2020, 09:58

By Kyle Macdonald

This weekend saw the legendary broadcaster and Classic FM’s resident Beethoven expert conduct his musical hero’s music for the very first time.

2020 is Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250 anniversary with orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists all around the world filling the next 12 months with celebrations of the great composer.

The year will also contain a few firsts and new discoveries – and we had one on Saturday night, when Classic FM’s John Suchet took to the podium of one of the world's great orchestras to conduct Beethoven’s music for the very first time. And very good Maestro John was too.

John was presenting a concert talk with the Oxford Philharmonic, kicking off their year-long Beethoven tribute where they will perform all of the composer’s major symphonic work.

The former TV newsreader was telling the audience about the revolutionary Symphony No. 3, 'Eroica', when (following some encouragement from the philharmonic’s music director Marios Papadopoulos), he took the step up to lead the orchestra in the iconic openings of the symphony’s first and final movements.

Suchet called the moment a “schoolboy dream come true”.

John Suchet is back behind the microphone this week with his regular weekday Classic FM show, and every Saturday night in 2020 he also presents ‘Beethoven – The Man Revealed’, a year-long series about Beethoven’s life, celebrating 250 years since the great composer’s birth. He also has a new edition of his Beethoven book, especially for the big year.