Location: Allies and Morrison, 85 Southwark St, London SE1 0HX
Classical music on television has never been under more threat. BBC Four, the corporation’s home for music lovers, all too often appears in news articles amidst rumours of being axed. Audience figures for the simple broadcast of live performances are going down. Arts organisations are taking the creation of video content into their own hands, sharing their output online. One newspaper reviewer even claimed that “somewhere between the camera lens and the living room, the soul of the music being played has been lost”.
So is there still a place for classical music on television? This panel discussion will track the journey of the art form on our tellies from live performance broadcasts to music programmes influenced by other television genres. We'll be asking top executives in the television industry whether classical music has a future on the Box and, if so, what they think it looks like.
This exciting discussion about the links between the classical music and television worlds features a fantastic panel of speakers:
Jan Younghusband is Head of Commissioning, Music TV at BBC. She is part of the TV Factual Commissioning team and works with BBC Music to deliver the pan-BBC music strategy. She has commissioned live events, concerts, documentaries and seasons across TV Radio and online, including The Opera Season, David Bowie: Five Years, The Sound of Cinema, George Harrison: Living in The Material World, Crossfire Hurricane: The Rolling Stones, the new look for the BBC Proms on Television, Rule Britannia: Music, Mischief and Morals in the 18th Century and the Jubilee Concert. She has also acquired concert events and documentaries for BBC One, including Adele at the Royal Albert Hall, Coldplay in Concert, and Russell Brand: Give it up for Comic Relief. Before joining the BBC Jan was Head of Arts and Performance at Channel Four Television, and she has also been Assistant Producer to Sir Peter Hall at the National Theatre, General Manager of the Peter Hall Company and a freelance producer and writer. Jan trained in opera production at Glyndebourne.
Ben Weston is Head of Specialist Factual at television production company Reef TV. Ben's commissions include Les Mis at 25: Matt Lucas Dreams the Dream for BBC Two, the Vodafone Live Music Awards and Fashion Rocks for Channel 4, How Britain Got the Gardening Bug for BBC Four, and Holocaust – A Music Memorial Film for BBC Two, which won a BAFTA, an International Emmy and a RTS award. At Reef TV he also commissioned a one-hour documentary special for ITV about the smash album series Now That’s What I Call Music!, a Christmas special on Channel 5, Britain’s Craziest Christmas Lights, and BBC Two’s award-winning drama documentary Messiah at the Foundling Hospital. Before joining Reef in 2012 Ben was Executive Editor of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee including the Diamond Jubilee Concert. Prior to that he was a Commissioning Executive at the BBC.
James Rhodes is a classical pianist who featured in shows on BBC 4, Channel 4 and Sky Arts. James has released five albums and performed in venues around the world from the Barbican, Roundhouse, Royal Albert Hall, Latitude Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Soho Theatre in the UK to halls in Paris, Australia, Hong Kong, Chicago, and Vienna. He also presented a Chopin documentary for BBC4 and had his own television series James Rhodes: Piano Man on Sky Arts. He presented and performed in Channel 4's television documentary Notes for The Inside and television show Piano Night, interviewing celebrities including Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Rusbridger and Derren Brown at the piano. His memoir, Instrumental, was recently published by Canongate.
Olivia Howie, Development Researcher at Reef TV will chair the discussion.
The event will be held at the offices of Southwark-based architects Allies and Morrison, who have got an amazing studio in Southwark. And as usual, you're very welcome to join the networking drinks after the event, details will be confirmed shortly.
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