Alex James's Date Night - Saturday 5 December 2015, 7pm

Alex James consults Classic FM’s Big Book of Classical Music uncover the coming week's anniversaries from more than a thousand years of music history.

On tonight’s programme Alex celebrates the premieres of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.25 and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, and in celebrating the birthday of Sibelius, he finds out why the composer changed his name from Johann to Jean. 

Also this week, Haydn signed a lucrative contract for concerts in London which led to the creation of some of his greatest symphonies, and Glinka’s opera Russlan and Ludmilla received its premiere in St Petersburg.

Alex also celebrates the birthdays of conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the ‘man with the golden flute’ James Galway (pictured), and violinist Joshua Bell.