Classic FM announces biggest series in 21-year history

Musician and broadcaster Catherine Bott joins Classic FM to present ambitious 150-week series.

Classic FM has announced the launch of one of the biggest non-fiction series in the history of British radio.

Starting at the end of October, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Classical Music will run for 150 weeks and will be presented by the musician and broadcaster Catherine Bott, who joins Classic FM from BBC Radio.

For the next three years, Catherine will shine the spotlight on every area of classical music, answering questions about the genre – from "what exactly is 'classical music'?" to "how did Beethoven manage to compose music when he was deaf?"

In her first programme, to be broadcast at 9pm on Sunday 27 October, Catherine will focus on the issue of 'period performance', asking whether it matters if classical works are performed on more modern instruments than the ones for which they were written. 

Future editions will include special shows dedicated to film music, contemporary works and, during the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth in 2014, the role of famous works of literature in shaping the history of classical music. 

Over the course of the series, listeners will be encouraged to submit their questions, with suggestions for topics forming a key part of the programme.

"I'm thrilled to be joining the lively team at Classic FM," said Catherine, "and look forward to sharing my love of great music with listeners as we go on a voyage of discovery together.”

Classic FM's Managing Editor Sam Jackson said: "Classic FM is the home of classical music in the UK and we've long admired Catherine Bott's warm, authoritative and infectiously enthusiastic approach. I'm delighted to welcome her to the Classic FM family for this ambitious, exciting and, I hope, groundbreaking series, which I'm confident our audience of 5.6 million weekly listeners will love."

The series comes off the back of Classic FM's popular book - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Classical Music…But Were Too Afraid to Ask - co-authored by Sam Jackson with the station's Managing Director, Darren Henley, and which was the best-selling classical music book of 2012.