Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 28 March 2015, 7pm

Join Alex for all the important classical music anniversaries to be celebrated over the week ahead.

Tonight Alex James begins with a trio of 'on this day' premieres – 28 March was a big day in music history. In 1800, Haydn's Trumpet Concerto was premiered; the following year, Haydn was in the audience for the premiere of Beethoven’s The Creatures of Prometheus; and in 1916, Hubert Parry’s setting of William Blake’s Jerusalem was given its first performance at the Queen’s Hall in London. Alex will be enjoying all three pieces, and discovering the stories behind their premieres.

Then there's a tribute to the composer William Walton, who was born in Oldham on 29 March 1902. As well as telling the story of Walton's life, Alex will reveal why, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, the composer found himself in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and the then Prime Minister, Edward Heath. 

We’ll also discover the rather intriguing reason why Dvorak caught a cold in March 1904 and why Liszt found himself in an unusual piano duel on 30 March 1934.  

As we head into April, Alex celebrates the birthday of the acclaimed conductor Christian Thielemann and marks the founding of America's oldest symphony orchestra, the New York Philharmonic.