Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music - 19 October 2014

Catherine Bott asks, 'What did the Georgians do for classical music?'

Three hundred years ago tomorrow, King George I was crowned in Westminster Abbey. In this week's show, Catherine Bott asks 'What did the Georgians do for classical music?'

The answer is: quite a lot. 

George I subsidised the Royal Academy of Music, supported Handel, and was patron of opera performances at the King's Theatre, Haymarket. Handel went on to produce the Coronation Anthems for George II, music that included Zadok the Priest. There'll also be music from William Boyce, Master of the King’s Musicke under George II and George III, and another Master - John Stanley.

Apart from Handel, opera and Rossini, what did the Georgians do for classical music? >

Catherine also tells the story of George IV's patronage of George Bridgetower, an Afro-Polish virtuoso violinist. Even Beethoven composed a superb work for Bridgetower - now known as the Kreutzer sonata

Finally there's music by Rossini who declined to meet King George IV because of illness, but was taken nevertheless in a two-wheel bath chair to Brighton to meet the King.