Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 18 July 2015, 7pm

Alex James takes you on a weekly tour through the important dates and events from more than a thousand years of classical music’s history.

On this week's show, Alex discovers why 90 years ago this week, Time magazine made Gershwin its first cover-star musician. He was big news - the premiere of Rhapsody in Blue the year before had given him a profile which would have been unimaginable for any other composer of concert music.

And did you know that Saint-Saens had his own museum? A distant cousin of the composer's was a librarian in Dieppe, and Saint-Saens regularly sent him photos, sketches of his works, autographed manuscripts and all the mail he received. This museum – now housed in a 15th century castle overlooking the English Channel – today holds some 20,000 letters addressed the the composer.

Also tonight Alex cuts a slice of birthday cake for Ladies in Lavender composer Nigel Hess and the superb Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti.