John Humphrys, one of Britain’s best-known broadcasters, joins the Classic FM team this year to present his own Sunday afternoon show from 3pm to 5pm.
Each week he will share his own stories and reflections of his favourite composers and their music.
With a successful career spanning six decades, John has presented on both radio and TV, and has anchored many of the country’s flagship news programmes, including the Today Programme.
Sunday 9 August
This afternoon, John celebrates the Australian-born composer Percy Grainger, who got married on this day in 1928, in front of an impressive twenty-two thousand people; and commemorates the first appearance of the modern loudspeaker with music that deserves to be played loudly – the finale of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Then, John unveils a recent release from an ensemble that brings together some of the finest string players from Russia and the former USSR. We hear music by the composer from which the group take their name: Camerata Tchaikovsky.
Sunday 16 August
On this day in 1846, Rossini married his second wife; a woman described as “the most beautiful courtesan in Paris”, so John plays an overture by the composer which raises the curtain on an opera with a comic plot that has romance at its heart: The Barber of Seville.
John also marks the the anniversary of Beethoven’s completion of one of his many Piano Sonatas on this day in 1814, and brings a new recording of Schubert’s Symphony No.4 from the conductor Kevin John Edusei and the Munich Symphony Orchestra.