BBC Radio 3
Overview
 
BBC Radio 3 is a national radio station operated by the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 within the United Kingdom. Its output centres on classical music and opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, but jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, world music
World music
World music is a term with widely varying definitions, often encompassing music which is primarily identified as another genre. This is evidenced by world music definitions such as "all of the music in the world" or "somebody else's local music"...

, drama
Radio drama
Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story...

, culture
High culture
High culture is a term, now used in a number of different ways in academic discourse, whose most common meaning is the set of cultural products, mainly in the arts, held in the highest esteem by a culture...

 and the arts
The arts
The arts are a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. It is a broader term than "art", which as a description of a field usually means only the visual arts. The arts encompass visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts – music, theatre, dance and...

 also feature. The station is the world’s most significant commissioner of new music, and its New Generation Artists scheme
BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme
BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme was devised by BBC Radio 3 Editor Adam Gatehouse and launched in 1999. It exists as part of the BBC's commitment to nurture young musical talent. Every autumn six to seven young artists who are beginning to make a mark on the national and international...

 promotes young musicians of all nationalities. All BBC Proms concerts are broadcast live on Radio 3, and all concerts performed by the BBC orchestras and BBC Singers are also broadcast, either live or recorded.
Encyclopedia
BBC Radio 3 is a national radio station operated by the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 within the United Kingdom. Its output centres on classical music and opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

, but jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, world music
World music
World music is a term with widely varying definitions, often encompassing music which is primarily identified as another genre. This is evidenced by world music definitions such as "all of the music in the world" or "somebody else's local music"...

, drama
Radio drama
Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story...

, culture
High culture
High culture is a term, now used in a number of different ways in academic discourse, whose most common meaning is the set of cultural products, mainly in the arts, held in the highest esteem by a culture...

 and the arts
The arts
The arts are a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. It is a broader term than "art", which as a description of a field usually means only the visual arts. The arts encompass visual arts, literary arts and the performing arts – music, theatre, dance and...

 also feature. The station is the world’s most significant commissioner of new music, and its New Generation Artists scheme
BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme
BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme was devised by BBC Radio 3 Editor Adam Gatehouse and launched in 1999. It exists as part of the BBC's commitment to nurture young musical talent. Every autumn six to seven young artists who are beginning to make a mark on the national and international...

 promotes young musicians of all nationalities. All BBC Proms concerts are broadcast live on Radio 3, and all concerts performed by the BBC orchestras and BBC Singers are also broadcast, either live or recorded. There are regular productions of both classic plays and newly commissioned drama.

In 2009 Radio 3 won the Sony Radio Academy
Radio Academy
The Radio Academy is a registered charity that is dedicated to 'the encouragement, recognition and promotion of excellence in UK broadcasting and audio production'....

 UK Station of the Year Gold Award. It was nominated for the same award in 2011.

History

Radio 3 is the successor station to the Third Programme
BBC Third Programme
The BBC Third Programme was a national radio network broadcast by the BBC. The network first went on air on 29 September 1946 and became one of the leading cultural and intellectual forces in Britain, playing a crucial role in disseminating the arts...

 which was originally launched on 29 September 1946. The name was changed on 30 September 1967 when the BBC launched its first pop music station, Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

. The three other national radio channels were then renamed Radio 2
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC's national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is best described as Adult Contemporary or AOR, although the station is also noted for its specialist broadcasting of other musical genres...

, (formerly the Light Programme
BBC Light Programme
The Light Programme was a BBC radio station which broadcast mainstream light entertainment and music from 1945 until 1967, when it was rebranded as BBC Radio 2...

), Radio 3 and Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

, (formerly the Home Service
BBC Home Service
The BBC Home Service was a British national radio station which broadcast from 1939 until 1967.-Development:Between the 1920s and the outbreak of The Second World War, the BBC had developed two nationwide radio services, the BBC National Programme and the BBC Regional Programme...

).
Radio 3 took over the service which had been known under the umbrella title of the Third Network and which included on the same frequency the Third Programme itself, the Music Programme and various sports and adult education programmes.
All the component programmes, including the Third Programme, kept their separate identities within Radio 3 until 4 April 1970, when there was further reorganisation following publication of the BBC document Broadcasting in the Seventies.

Broadcasting in the 1970s

In July 1969, the BBC published the document Broadcasting in the Seventies, later described by a senior BBC executive, Jenny Abramsky
Jenny Abramsky
Dame Jennifer Gita Abramsky, DBE is chairman of the UK's National Heritage Memorial Fund . The NHMF makes grants to preserve heritage of outstanding national importance. Until her retirement from the BBC Jenny Abramsky was its most senior woman employee; she was Director of Audio and Music...

, Head of Radio and Music, as "the most controversial document ever produced by radio". Prompted partly by the problem of rising costs, one of its main thrusts was the move towards "generic" stations, each catering for a defined audience. One early option under consideration was the reduction of the four radio networks to three, and "Day-time serious music would be the casualty". Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

, Radio 2
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC's national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is best described as Adult Contemporary or AOR, although the station is also noted for its specialist broadcasting of other musical genres...

 and Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

 would broadcast during the day time, while in the evening Radios 1 and 2 would merge and Radio 3 would broadcast on the vacated frequency.

Rumours were circulating that Radio 3 would be abolished altogether, with The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

stating that there was a strong "statistical case" against the station. However, the Director-General, Charles Curran
Charles Curran (broadcaster)
Sir Charles John Curran , was a British television executive.Charles Curran was born in Dublin. He served in the Indian army from 1942-45, but left to work in the BBC Talks department. He resigned following a dispute to edit the "Canadian Fishing News", but he returned in 1951 to join BBC Monitoring...

, publicly denied this as "quite contradictory to the aim of the BBC, which is to provide a comprehensive radio service". Curran had earlier dismissed any suggestion that Radio 3's small audience was a consideration: "What is decisive is whether there is a worthwhile audience, and I mean by worthwhile an audience which will get an enormous satisfaction out of it."

Radio 3 survived, the separate titles of Music Programme and Third Programme being dropped; factual programmes, such as documentaries and current affairs, were to be passed to Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

. The document stated that Radio 3 was to have "a larger output of standard classical music" but with "some element in the evening of cultural speech programmes - poetry, plays".

There remained a question mark over the future of the Third Programme’s spoken word content that was not drama, poetry or current affairs: the poet Peter Porter
Peter Porter (poet)
Peter Neville Frederick Porter, OAM was a British-based Australian poet.-Life:Porter was born in Brisbane, Australia, in 1929. His mother, Marion, died of a burst gall-bladder in 1938. He attended the Church of England Grammar School and left school at 18, and went to work as a trainee journalist...

 asked what would happen to "history, literature, travel, reminiscence etc" which had previously featured on the Third Programme. The composer Peter Maxwell Davies
Peter Maxwell Davies
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, CBE is an English composer and conductor and is currently Master of the Queen's Music.-Biography:...

 and the music critic Edward Greenfield
Edward Greenfield
Edward Greenfield is an English music critic and broadcaster. He joined the Manchester Guardian in 1953, working as a lobby correspondent in the House of Commons. He has been a record critic for the newspaper since 1955, a music critic since 1964, and was chief music critic from 1977 until his...

, writing in a feature article in Radio Times
Radio Times
Radio Times is a UK weekly television and radio programme listings magazine, owned by the BBC. It has been published since 1923 by BBC Magazines, which also provides an on-line listings service under the same title...

, feared that people would lose the mix of cultural experiences which expanded intellectual horizons. However, Radio 3 controller Howard Newby
P. H. Newby
Percy Howard Newby CBE was an English novelist and broadcasting administrator. He was the first winner of the Booker Prize, his novel Something to Answer For having received the inaugural award in 1969.-Early life:P.H...

 replied that only the coverage of political and economic affairs would be passed to Radio 4: Radio 3 would keep drama, poetry, and talks by scientists, philosophers and historians.

Campaign for Better Broadcasting

Not only did Broadcasting in the Seventies propose a realignment of the existing radio stations, it also envisaged serious cutbacks in the BBC orchestras. In September 1969, a distinguished campaign group, including Sir Adrian Boult
Adrian Boult
Sir Adrian Cedric Boult CH was an English conductor. Brought up in a prosperous mercantile family he followed musical studies in England and at Leipzig, Germany, with early conducting work in London for the Royal Opera House and Sergei Diaghilev's ballet company. His first prominent post was...

, Jonathan Miller
Jonathan Miller
Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller CBE is a British theatre and opera director, author, physician, television presenter, humorist and sculptor. Trained as a physician in the late 1950s, he first came to prominence in the 1960s with his role in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe with fellow writers and...

, Henry Moore
Henry Moore
Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art....

 and George Melly
George Melly
Alan George Heywood Melly was an English jazz and blues singer, critic, writer and lecturer. From 1965 to 1973 he was a film and television critic for The Observer and lectured on art history, with an emphasis on surrealism.-Early life and career:He was born in Liverpool and was educated at Stowe...

, was formed to protest against the changes. The Campaign for Better Broadcasting (its initials were, felicitously, BBC backwards) objected to "the dismantling of the Third Programme by cutting down its spoken word content from fourteen hours a week to six" and "segregating programmes into classes". Mention of the campaign even reached debate in the House of Commons.

Music Division

Although the Music Programme – a constituent part of the old Network Three – had been absorbed into Radio 3 from 1970 onwards, the Music Division continued, a section run by specialist music staff with production responsibility for the music programmes (controllers of the Third Programme and, subsequently, Radio 3, tended to be arts oriented).
The head of the Music Division was then William Glock
William Glock
Sir William Frederick Glock was a British music critic and musical administrator.-Biography:Glock was born in London. He read history at the University of Cambridge and was an organ scholar at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge...

 who had held the post since the Fifties and had also taken over the running of The Proms
The Proms
The Proms, more formally known as The BBC Proms, or The Henry Wood Promenade Concerts presented by the BBC, is an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events held annually, predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall in London...

 in the early Sixties. Hans Keller
Hans Keller
Hans Keller was an influential Austrian-born British musician and writer who made significant contributions to musicology and music criticism, as well as being an insightful commentator on such disparate fields as psychoanalysis and football...

 and Robert Simpson
Robert Simpson (composer)
Robert Simpson was an English composer and long-serving BBC producer and broadcaster.He is best known for his orchestral and chamber music , and for his writings on the music of Beethoven, Bruckner, Nielsen and Sibelius. He studied composition under Herbert Howells...

 were on his staff. Glock was succeeded in 1972 as Controller of Music by the patrician Robert Ponsonby who himself was succeeded in 1985 by John Drummond
John Drummond (arts administrator)
Sir John Richard Gray Drummond CBE was an English arts administrator who spent most of his career at the BBC. He was the son of a master mariner in the British India line and an Australian lieder singer....

. The Music Division was eventually run down and the separation of the roles became non-existent in 1987 when Drummond also took over the controllership of Radio 3, uniting all three responsibilities: the running of the station, the music programming and The Proms.

History - The 'arts' controllers, 1967–1987

Radio 3's first three controllers tended to be speech/arts oriented and had little to do with the running of the Proms, whereas the succeeding three all directed the Proms at some point along with their duties as Controller of Radio 3.

Howard Newby, 1967–1971

Howard Newby was the last controller of the Third Programme and the first of Radio 3, overseeing the transition which resulted from the implementation of Broadcasting in the Seventies. An author, he published four novels during his stint at the Third/Radio 3, winning the first Booker Prize
Man Booker Prize
The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. The winner of the Man Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and...

 for fiction in 1969. The innovations which were to see an increase in the amount of classical music on Radio 3 were due to be completed during the course of 1971. Newby moved upwards in that same year to become Director of Programmes, Radio, without having made any striking changes to the schedules.

Stephen Hearst, 1972–1978

Before his appointment Stephen Hearst was head of BBC television's music and arts department (1967–1971). According to his own account, asked by the interview board how important listening figures were he replied that the station was financed by public money and needed to consider the size of its audience; there was a minimum viable figure but this could be increased with "a lively style of broadcasting". Another leading candidate for the post, Martin Esslin
Martin Esslin
Martin Julius Esslin OBE was a Hungarian-born English producer and playwright dramatist, journalist, adaptor and translator, critic, academic scholar and professor of drama best known for coining the term "Theatre of the Absurd" in his work of that name...

, head of Radio Drama, replied to the same question that the great cultural importance of Radio 3 made listening figures irrelevant. Hearst got the job. Radio staff tended to view television people as popularisers, and this turned out to be, in some measure, justified in Hearst’s case. Among early innovations were a prototype evening drivetime programme, Homeward Bound, which featured sequences of light classical music (and was dismissed by the critic Bayan Northcott
Bayan Northcott
Bayan Northcott is an English composer and music critic.Born in London, he studied English at Oxford University, then taught the subject for six years before taking up music criticism. Later, encouraged by Alexander Goehr and Hans Keller, he took up composition...

 as "muzak of the speeding executive"); and a Sunday phone-in request programme, Your Concert Choice ("a flabby phone-in chat," declared the Bristol Evening Post. "What is the BBC up to?"); the phone-in element was abandoned seven months later.

Hearst also launched the arts discussion programme Critics’ Forum which lasted sixteen years, and the series of single-theme evenings and days: French Sunday, Polish Evening, American Sunday etc. A Saturday night programme of miscellaneous music, Sounds Interesting, featured, for example, "experimental fusions of popular styles", Terje Rypdal
Terje Rypdal
Terje Rypdal is a Norwegian guitarist and composer. Most of his music has been released on albums of the German record label ECM. Rypdal has collaborated both as a guitarist and as a composer with other ECM artists such as Ketil Bjørnstad and David Darling...

, songs from Gino Vanelli and "new work from Art Garfunkel
Art Garfunkel
Arthur Ira "Art" Garfunkel is an American singer-songwriter, poet, and actor, best known as being a member of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel...

 and Prism
Prism (band)
Prism is a Canadian rock band originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They were active from 1977 to 1984 and are active again from 1988 to present. The band's sound is a mix of Album-Oriented Rock and pop rock. They have released a total of 13 albums to date...

". In 1978 Hearst was promoted to Controller, Future Policy Group.

Ian McIntyre, 1978–1987

Ian McIntyre
Ian McIntyre
Ian McIntyre is the head men's soccer coach at Syracuse University. On January 6, 2010, he was named as the 15th soccer coach in school history. He previously coached at Hartwick College from 2003 to 2009, posting four 10 win seasons. He compiled a 71-36-25 record as the head coach of the Hawks...

 was moved sideways from Controller of Radio 4 to Radio 3 "to create smoother waters at Radio 4", as Newby put it, but relations with most departments, especially the Music Division, became uncomfortable. Meanwhile, Aubrey Singer
Aubrey Singer
Aubrey Singer was a British broadcasting executive. He was the controller of BBC Two from 1974 until 1978, who replaced Robin Scott and was replaced himself by Brian Wenham....

, later described by the music critic David Cairns
David Cairns (writer)
David Cairns is a British journalist, non-fiction writer and musician. He is a leading authority on the life of Berlioz.-Biography:...

 as "a dedicated populariser", had taken over as Managing Director, Radio. The possibility that a commercial classical music station with a "streamed format", like the drivetime Homeward Bound, might poach Radio 3’s listeners was raised in 1979 and Singer felt Radio 3 should get in first, rather than being forced to react later. The result was that in 1980 Homeward Bound was replaced by an extended programme called Mainly for Pleasure, a "sensitively compiled anthology of good music of all types and styles", while Saturday afternoons had a programme of shorter presenter-selected repeats from earlier in the week. As with Homeward Bound, there were no advance details of what would be played. Keller
Hans Keller
Hans Keller was an influential Austrian-born British musician and writer who made significant contributions to musicology and music criticism, as well as being an insightful commentator on such disparate fields as psychoanalysis and football...

 complained that every programme, instead of provoking thought, was merely "thought-killing background".

Financial cuts hit Radio 3 hard in 1980 and an internal paper recommended the disbandment of several of the BBC orchestras. Industrial action by musicians delayed the start of the Proms, there were redundancies in the Music Division which was to be disbanded and morale was low. Concern was expressed that Radio 3 had lost prestige without gaining new listeners. In 1983 The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

devoted a column to Radio 3, outlining the diverse unhappinesses of producers, contributors and listeners. Meanwhile, senior management was dissatisfied with listening figures and Director-General Alasdair Milne
Alasdair Milne
Alasdair David Gordon Milne is a former BBC producer who became Controller of BBC Scotland, the BBC's Director of Programmes and then Director-General of the BBC in July 1982. His resignation was forced by the BBC Governors in January 1987, following pressure from the Thatcher government...

 suggested that presentation style was "too stodgy and old-fashioned". In 1987 a decision was taken to merge the positions of Controller, Music (held by John Drummond who had also been running the Proms), and Controller, Radio 3 (held by McIntyre). Drummond was appointed and McIntyre soon left the BBC.

History - The 'music' controllers 1987–present

Stephen Hearst expressed the view that the Controller of Radio 3 should know enough about music to run all aspects of the station, but it was not until John Drummond
John Drummond (arts administrator)
Sir John Richard Gray Drummond CBE was an English arts administrator who spent most of his career at the BBC. He was the son of a master mariner in the British India line and an Australian lieder singer....

 was appointed in 1987 that this came about.

John Drummond, 1987–1992

John Drummond
John Drummond (arts administrator)
Sir John Richard Gray Drummond CBE was an English arts administrator who spent most of his career at the BBC. He was the son of a master mariner in the British India line and an Australian lieder singer....

 was not a musician by profession but he had experience of administration, having run the Edinburgh Festival
Edinburgh Festival
The Edinburgh Festival is a collective term for many arts and cultural festivals that take place in Edinburgh, Scotland each summer, mostly in August...

 between 1977 and 1983. When he took over from Ian McIntyre he effectively had three jobs: Controller (Music), Director of the Proms and running Radio 3. Like Hearst, Drummond felt that the presentation of music programmes was too stiff and spoke of its "dogged dullness". He set about encouraging announcers be more natural and enthusiastic. Much of the drama output, which was predominantly of new work, he found to be "gloomy and pretentious" and he insisted on more repeats of classic performances by such actors as John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

 and Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
David Paul Scofield, CH, CBE , better known as Paul Scofield, was an English actor of stage and screen...

. There were features on anniversaries: William Glock
William Glock
Sir William Frederick Glock was a British music critic and musical administrator.-Biography:Glock was born in London. He read history at the University of Cambridge and was an organ scholar at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge...

's eightieth birthday, Michael Tippett
Michael Tippett
Sir Michael Kemp Tippett OM CH CBE was an English composer.In his long career he produced a large body of work, including five operas, three large-scale choral works, four symphonies, five string quartets, four piano sonatas, concertos and concertante works, song cycles and incidental music...

's eighty-fifth and Isaiah Berlin
Isaiah Berlin
Sir Isaiah Berlin OM, FBA was a British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas of Russian-Jewish origin, regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century and a dominant liberal scholar of his generation...

's eightieth; a Scandinavian Season; and an ambitious Berlin Weekend to mark the reunification of Germany
German reunification
German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic joined the Federal Republic of Germany , and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die...

 in 1990. Drummond came home from Berlin and complained that "not one single senior person in the BBC had listened to any part of it". The following year a much praised weekend was broadcast from London and Minneapolis-St Paul, creating broadcasting history by being the first time a whole weekend had been transmitted "live from another continent". New programmes introduced by Drummond included the experimental music show Mixing It
Mixing It
Mixing It was a radio programme showcasing experimental music. Its original remit was to showcase "crossover" music that blurred the established boundaries between genres...

(1990) which he described as a late-evening music strand for genres which fell between Radio 1 and Radio 3: "ethnic music, minimalism, and some kinds of experimental or advanced rock". In this it could be seen as a precursor to the current programme Late Junction
Late Junction
Late Junction is a music programme broadcast on three nights a week by BBC Radio 3. Billed as "an eclectic mix of world music, ranging from the ancient to the contemporary", the programme has a wide musical scope. It is not uncommon to hear medieval ballads juxtaposed with 21st century electronica,...

. As far as the station's position within the BBC was concerned, Drummond said that the higher reaches of the corporation showed no interest whatsoever: "I can't remember ever having a serious conversation with anyone above me in the BBC about Radio 3 ... I would much rather have had the feeling that they thought it mattered what Radio 3 did."
In 1992 Drummond relinquished the post of controller, while retaining the role of Director of the Proms in order to run the centenary season.

Nicholas Kenyon, 1992–1998

Nicholas Kenyon
Nicholas Kenyon
Sir Nicholas Roger Kenyon CBE is an English music administrator, editor and writer on music. He was responsible for the BBC Proms 1996-2007 following which he was appointed Managing Director of the Barbican Centre, Europe's largest multi-arts centre.-Education and career:After attending St Bede's...

 came to Radio 3 from being chief music critic of The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

, having had training in arts administration and run the South Bank
South Bank
South Bank is an area of London, England located immediately adjacent to the south side of the River Thames. It forms a long and narrow section of riverside development that is within the London Borough of Lambeth to the border with the London Borough of Southwark and was formerly simply known as...

’s Mozart Now Festival in 1991. He took up his post in February 1992, with the new commercial radio station Classic FM
Classic FM (UK)
Classic FM, one of the United Kingdom's three Independent National Radio stations, broadcasts classical music in a popular and accessible style.-Overview:...

 due to launch later in the year. One of his first acts was to send three senior producers to study classical music stations in the United States. Kenyon’s view, like Singer
Aubrey Singer
Aubrey Singer was a British broadcasting executive. He was the controller of BBC Two from 1974 until 1978, who replaced Robin Scott and was replaced himself by Brian Wenham....

’s a decade earlier, was that Radio 3 had to make changes before the new station began broadcasting, rather than react later. Saatchi & Saatchi
Saatchi & Saatchi
Saatchi & Saatchi is a global advertising agency network with 140 offices in 80 countries and over 6,500 staff. It was founded in London in 1970 but now headquartered in New York. The parent company of the agency group was known as Saatchi & Saatchi PLC from 1976 to 1994, was listed on the London...

 were appointed as the station’s advertising agents. An early controversy was the axing of three popular mainstay announcers, Malcolm Ruthven, Peter Barker and Tony Scotland, as a start to creating a new style since Kenyon, like Drummond, thought the Radio 3 style was off-putting to potential new listeners. On Air and In Tune, two new drivetime-formula programmes – an innovation for Radio 3 – were to fill the breakfast and teatime slots. Brian Kay
Brian Kay
Brian Kay is an English radio presenter, conductor and singer. He is well known as the bass in the King's Singers during the group's formative years from 1968 until 1982, and as such is to be heard on many of their 1970s LP recordings...

, late of the King’s Singers and latterly a popular presenter on Radio 2 and Radio 4, was engaged to front a three-hour programme of popular classics on Sunday mornings. Drama was to be cut by a quarter, news which drew a letter of protest to The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

, with Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize–winning English playwright and screenwriter. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party , The Homecoming , and Betrayal , each of which he adapted to...

, Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard
Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL is a British playwright, knighted in 1997. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thing, and Rosencrantz and...

 and Fay Weldon
Fay Weldon
Fay Weldon CBE is an English author, essayist and playwright, whose work has been associated with feminism. In her fiction, Weldon typically portrays contemporary women who find themselves trapped in oppressive situations caused by the patriarchal structure of British society.-Biography:Weldon was...

 among the signatories. Few of these innovations escaped criticism from either the press or listeners. Kenyon was nevertheless eager to reassure that all this was not "some ghastly descent into populism": the aim was to create "access points" for new listeners.
Kenyon has admitted that in 1995 pressure was being exerted by senior management for Radio 3 to increase its ratings.
There was "widespread disbelief" when he announced in the summer that a new morning programme would take the 09:00 spot from the revered Composer of the Week and would be presented by a signing from Classic FM – the disc jockey Paul Gambaccini
Paul Gambaccini
Paul Matthew Gambaccini is a radio and television presenter in the United Kingdom...

 who had started his career with the BBC on the pop station Radio 1. The torrent of criticism, especially once the programme went on air a few weeks later, was so unrelenting that Gambaccini announced the following spring that he would not be renewing his contract with Radio 3.
Aside from the controversies, Kenyon’s controllership was marked by several highly distinguished programming successes.
Fairest Isle was an ambitious project which marked 1995 – the 300th anniversary of the death of Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music...

 – with a year-long celebration of British music; Sounding the Century (1997–1999) presented a retrospective of 20th-century music. Both won awards.
He also introduced a number of well received specialist programmes: the children’s programme The Music Machine, Spirit of the Age (early music), Impressions (jazz), Voices (vocal music), and the arts programme Night Waves, among them.

In 1996, Radio 3 became a 24-hour station. From midnight until 06:00 the programme Through the Night
Through the night
Euroclassic Notturno is a six-hour sequence of classical music recordings assembled by BBC Radio from material supplied by members of the European Broadcasting Union and streamed back to those broadcasters by satellite for use in their overnight classical-music schedules...

filled in with radio recordings supplied by participating broadcasters of the European Broadcasting Union
European Broadcasting Union
The European Broadcasting Union is a confederation of 74 broadcasting organisations from 56 countries, and 49 associate broadcasters from a further 25...

. It is put together by a small BBC team, and is taken by several other European broadcasters under the title Euroclassic Notturno. In order that live overruns did not create cumulative disruption to the daily schedule, one “fixed point” of 22:00 was created which would result, when necessary, in the curtailment or cancellation of items to allow Through the Night to begin promptly at midnight. Kenyon had in fact earlier declared that he wanted "lots of fixed points" and had already begun to introduce “stripping” – programmes that appeared regularly at the same time each day through the week. Humphrey Carpenter
Humphrey Carpenter
Humphrey William Bouverie Carpenter was an English biographer, writer, and radio broadcaster.-Biography:...

 commented: "Kenyon made no reference to the fact that the Third Programme had been founded under the motto ‘no fixed points’."

Roger Wright, 1998–present

Roger Wright
Roger Wright (music administrator)
Roger Wright is an English radio administrator and arts administrator. He is currently the Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Director of The Proms....

 took over as controller in November 1998. One of the innovations of his first year was the introduction of the relaxed late-night music programme Late Junction
Late Junction
Late Junction is a music programme broadcast on three nights a week by BBC Radio 3. Billed as "an eclectic mix of world music, ranging from the ancient to the contemporary", the programme has a wide musical scope. It is not uncommon to hear medieval ballads juxtaposed with 21st century electronica,...

with its varied mix of genres. Wright said he was addressing "this feeling people had that they didn't want to put Radio 3 on unless they were going to listen carefully". Jazz programmes and world music were given a higher profile, a new programme of light music was presented by Brian Kay
Brian Kay
Brian Kay is an English radio presenter, conductor and singer. He is well known as the bass in the King's Singers during the group's formative years from 1968 until 1982, and as such is to be heard on many of their 1970s LP recordings...

, and Andy Kershaw
Andy Kershaw
Andy Kershaw is a British broadcaster, known for his interest in world music.His shows feature a mix of country, blues, reggae, folk music, spoken word performance from the likes of Ivor Cutler, and other music from around the world.- Early Life :Kershaw and his sister, fellow broadcaster Liz...

’s music programme, which had been dropped by Radio 1, was reintroduced on Radio 3. A BBC spokesman described the station as having "changed beyond all recognition in the last couple of years". From now on the watchword was to be quality, freeing music from its "outmoded boxes", said Wright, "not a dumbing down but a smarting up". With the BBC Charter
BBC Charter
The BBC Charter established the BBC . An accompanying Agreement recognises its editorial independence and sets out its public obligations in detail....

 due for review, Radio 3’s programming figured largely in the documentation used in support of a ten-year renewal and the BBC’s Annual Report 2003/04 was able to report that Radio 3 "achieved a record [audience] reach in the first quarter of 2004".
The Secretary of State's
Secretary of State (United Kingdom)
In the United Kingdom, a Secretary of State is a Cabinet Minister in charge of a Government Department ....

 foreword to the government’s Green Paper
Green paper
In the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland and the United States a green paper is a tentative government report of a proposal without any commitment to action; the first step in changing the law...

 in 2005 made special mention of "the sort of commitment to new talent that has made Radio 3 the largest commissioner of new music in the world" as a model for what the BBC should be about.

However, as Roger Wright reaches the tenth anniversary of his controllership, the situation has changed somewhat. The same BBC Annual Report which mentioned the record audience also reported some listener unhappiness. Critical reception of the changes had also been mixed, especially of the new style of presentation – described as "gruesome in tone and level". The world music output was criticised as "street-smart fusions" and "global pop". Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR
RAJAR
RAJAR was established in 1992 to operate a single audience measurement system for the radio industry in the United Kingdom. RAJAR is jointly owned by the British Broadcasting Corporation and the RadioCentre...

) began to record lower listening figures. Substantial schedule changes were made early in 2007, some of them – including the dropping of live evening concerts – very controversial. After Kenyon’s "lots of fixed points" came Wright’s "all fixed points" with schedules now stripped across the week, contained in fixed length slots and introduced by regular presenters.
In spite of these changes, the figures began to plummet. The new style Breakfast programme failed to achieve the listening figures of its predecessor.

Reversals of recent policy resulted in the dropping of Making Tracks (children’s programme), Stage and Screen (music theatre and film music) and Brian Kay’s Light Programme. Andy Kershaw’s show has transformed into the multi-presenter World on 3 and Late Junction has lost one of its four weekly editions. Mixing It
Mixing It
Mixing It was a radio programme showcasing experimental music. Its original remit was to showcase "crossover" music that blurred the established boundaries between genres...

(the long-running experimental music show) has also been dropped. The evening alternative music programmes have all been put back by one hour, to begin at 11.15pm, closer to the so-called "graveyard slot
Graveyard slot
A graveyard slot is a time period in which a television audience is very small compared to other times of the day, and therefore broadcast programming is considered far less important. Graveyard slots are usually in the early morning hours of each day, when most people are asleep...

". However, protesters against the removal of the Wednesday afternoon live broadcast of Choral Evensong to Sundays have been rewarded by its return to Wednesdays and live evening concerts have been reintroduced with 30 concerts promised for 2008–09.

Important projects undertaken have been The Beethoven Experience in June 2005, when the schedules were cleared for six days to broadcast the entire works of Beethoven round the clock. The same total immersion approach was used for A Bach Christmas in December 2005 for the entire works of JS Bach for ten days in the run-up to Christmas. In February 2007, one week was similarly given over to the works of Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.

In October 2007, Wright succeeded Nicholas Kenyon as Director of the BBC Proms while remaining in post as Controller of Radio 3.

Notable programmes

Over more than forty years the schedules have been regularly updated. However, two long-running BBC programmes currently broadcast on Radio 3 – Choral Evensong and Composer of the Week – predate even the arrival of the Third Programme in 1946.

Choral Evensong

The Anglican service of sung Evening Prayer
Evening Prayer (Anglican)
Evening Prayer is a liturgy in use in the Anglican Communion and celebrated in the late afternoon or evening...

 is broadcast weekly on Radio 3 live from cathedrals, university college chapels and churches throughout the UK.http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/choralevensong/ On occasion, it carries Choral Vespers
Vespers
Vespers is the evening prayer service in the Western Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours...

 from Catholic cathedrals, such as Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral in London is the mother church of the Catholic community in England and Wales and the Metropolitan Church and Cathedral of the Archbishop of Westminster...

, or a recorded service from choral foundations abroad. Choral Evensong is the BBC’s longest-running outside broadcast programme, the first edition having been relayed from Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 7 October 1926. Its 80th anniversary was celebrated, also live from Westminster Abbey, with a service on 11 October 2006.

The programme has a strong following, revealed by various unpopular attempts in the past to change the broadcast arrangements. When the programme was moved from Radio 4 to Radio 3 in 1970 it became a monthly broadcast but vigorous protests resulted in a return of the weekly transmission on Wednesday afternoons.

More recently, in 2007 the live broadcast was switched to Sundays which again resulted in protests. The live transmission was returned to Wednesdays in September 2008 with a recorded repeat on Sunday afternoons. Choral Evensong forms part of Radio 3's remit on religious programming though the musical performance and repertoire holds interest for a wider audience.

Composer of the Week

Composer of the Week is claimed as the longest-running classical music programme in Britain, having been launched in August 1943. It was first broadcast on the Third Programme (later Radio 3), under its original title of This Week’s Composer, in 1964 when the station’s daytime broadcasting began. Each week, in five daily programmes, the work of a particular composer is studied in detail and illustrated with musical excerpts. Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

, Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.Born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part of...

, Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

, Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

 and Handel
HANDEL
HANDEL was the code-name for the UK's National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. It consisted of a small console consisting of two microphones, lights and gauges. The reason behind this was to provide a back-up if anything failed....

  have all featured once most years, a different aspect of their work being chosen for study each time. However, the programme also covers more 'difficult' or less-widely known composers, with weeks devoted to Rubbra
Edmund Rubbra
Edmund Rubbra was a British composer. He composed both instrumental and vocal works for soloists, chamber groups and full choruses and orchestras. He was greatly esteemed by fellow musicians and was at the peak of his fame in the mid-20th century. The most famous of his pieces are his eleven...

, Medtner
Nikolai Medtner
Nikolai Karlovich Medtner was a Russian composer and pianist.A younger contemporary of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Alexander Scriabin, he wrote a substantial number of compositions, all of which include the piano...

, Havergal Brian
Havergal Brian
Havergal Brian , was a British classical composer.Brian acquired a legendary status at the time of his rediscovery in the 1950s and 1960s for the many symphonies he had managed to write. By the end of his life he had completed 32, an unusually large number for any composer since Haydn or Mozart...

 and the Minimalists
Minimalist music
Minimal music is a style of music associated with the work of American composers La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. It originated in the New York Downtown scene of the 1960s and was initially viewed as a form of experimental music called the New York Hypnotic School....

 among others. The regular presenter is currently Donald Macleod.

CD Review

CD Review is a Saturday morning programme dealing with new classical music releases, topical issues and interviews. The programme title is an update of Record Review which was broadcast on Network Three occasionally from 1949, then weekly from 1957. It includes the feature Building a Library which surveys and recommends available recordings of specific works. In 2006 Building a Library was attacked as 'elitist' for including such composers as Karl Amadeus Hartmann
Karl Amadeus Hartmann
Karl Amadeus Hartmann was a German composer. Some have lauded him as the greatest German symphonist of the 20th century, although he is now largely overlooked, particularly in English-speaking countries.-Life:...

 and Elliott Carter
Elliott Carter
Elliott Cook Carter, Jr. is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer born and living in New York City. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the 1930s, and then returned to the United States. After a neoclassical phase, he went on to write atonal, rhythmically complex music...

 and lesser-known works of great composers, at the expense of well-known mainstream works. However, the charge was rebutted by the programme's producer, Mark Lowther, who said that Radio 3 audiences wanted programmes that challenged and inspired. The regular presenter of CD Review is Andrew McGregor.

Jazz Record Requests

Jazz Record Requests was the first weekly jazz programme on the Third Programme. First presented by the jazz musician Humphrey Lyttelton
Humphrey Lyttelton
Humphrey Richard Adeane Lyttelton , also known as Humph, was an English jazz musician and broadcaster, and chairman of the BBC radio comedy programme I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue...

, the 30-minute programme was launched in December 1964 and is still running more than forty years later. Now extended to an hour long, it still has its place on Saturday afternoons. Presenters on Radio 3 have included Steve Race
Steve Race
Stephen Russell Race OBE was a British composer, pianist and radio and television presenter.-Biography:Born in Lincoln, the son of a lawyer, Race learned the piano from the age of five...

, Peter Clayton
Peter Clayton
Peter Clayton was an English music broadcaster and writer, best known for presenting jazz and easy listening music programmes on BBC Radio 1 and 2....

 and Charles Fox
Charles Fox (jazz critic)
Charles Richard Jeremy Fox was an English writer and broadcaster specialising in jazz.Fox worked as the jazz critic of the New Statesman. In addition he occasionally contributed to The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Gramophone. From the early 1960s he hosted the British radio programme Jazz...

. The current presenter is Geoffrey Smith.

Pied Piper

Pied Piper was an iconic children’s programme, presented by the 29-year-old early music specialist, David Munrow
David Munrow
David Munrow was a British musician and early music historian.- Biography and career :Munrow was born in Birmingham and was the son of Birmingham University dance teacher Hilda Norman Munrow and Albert Davis 'Dave' Munrow, a Birmingham University lecturer and physical education instructor who...

, it had the sub-title Tales and Music for Younger Listeners and ran from August 1971 until 1976. Lively and varied, it was aimed at the 6–12 age group, though much older children and adults also listened. The programme ran for five series and a total of 655 episodes until it was brought to an end by Munrow’s untimely death in May 1976.

BBC orchestras and BBC Singers

Central to Radio 3's output are the BBC Orchestras and Singers, known collectively as the "BBC Performing Groups".
  • BBC Symphony Orchestra
    BBC Symphony Orchestra
    The BBC Symphony Orchestra is the principal broadcast orchestra of the British Broadcasting Corporation and one of the leading orchestras in Britain.-History:...

    , based in London
  • BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    The BBC National Orchestra of Wales is a Welsh symphony orchestra and one of the BBC's five professional orchestras. The BBC NOW is the only professional symphony orchestra organisation in Wales, occupying a dual role as both a broadcasting orchestra and national orchestra.The BBC NOW has its...

    , based in Cardiff
    • The BBC Symphony and Welsh Orchestra both have affiliated amateur choruses of a very high standard (BBC Symphony Chorus
      BBC Symphony Chorus
      The BBC Symphony Chorus is a British amateur chorus based in London. It is the dedicated chorus for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, though it performs with other national and international orchestras....

       and BBC National Chorus of Wales).
  • BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra is a broadcasting symphony orchestra based in Glasgow, Scotland. One of five full-time orchestras maintained by the British Broadcasting Corporation , it is the oldest full-time professional orchestra in Scotland...

    , based in Glasgow
  • BBC Philharmonic
    BBC Philharmonic
    The BBC Philharmonic is a British broadcasting symphony orchestra based at Media City UK, Salford, England. It is one of five radio orchestras maintained by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The orchestra's primary concert venue is the Bridgewater Hall....

    , based in Manchester
  • BBC Concert Orchestra
    BBC Concert Orchestra
    The BBC Concert Orchestra is a British orchestra based in London, one of the British Broadcasting Corporation's five radio orchestras. With around fifty players, it is the only one of the five which is not a full-scale symphony orchestra....

    , based in Watford
  • BBC Singers
    BBC Singers
    The BBC Singers are the professional chamber choir of the BBC. As one of six BBC Performing Groups, the 24-voiced choir has been in existence for more than 80 years. The BBC Singers have commissioned and premiered works by the leading composers of the past century, including Benjamin Britten, Sir...

    , based in London


Radio 3 also has a broadcast commitment to the BBC Big Band
BBC Big Band
The BBC Big Band, originally known as the BBC Radio Big Band is a British big band run under the auspices of the BBC. Widely regarded as the UK’s leading and most versatile jazz orchestra, the band broadcasts exclusivley on BBC Radio, particularly on BBC Radio 2's long running series Big Band Special...

, no longer a staff orchestra and is managed externally.

Although Radio 3 is the primary broadcast home of the Performing Groups, only the BBC Symphony, Philharmonic, Concert Orchestra and Singers are funded by Radio 3. The BBC Scottish Symphony is funded by BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland is a constituent part of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly-funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. It is, in effect, the national broadcaster for Scotland, having a considerable amount of autonomy from the BBC's London headquarters, and is run by the BBC Trust, who...

 and performs on BBC Scotland's Radio and TV Services. The BBC Welsh Orchestra is funded by BBC Wales
BBC Wales
BBC Cymru Wales is a division of the British Broadcasting Corporation for Wales. Based at Broadcasting House in the Llandaff area of Cardiff, it directly employs over 1200 people, and produces a broad range of television, radio and online services in both the Welsh and English languages.Outside...

 and the Welsh Arts Council. The BBC Concert Orchestra also broadcasts on BBC Radio 2.

News

Although the basis for Radio 3 is music and arts, there are a small number of news bulletins, one at 9am and another at 5pm. As explained by Wright, a 15 second news summary is provided to give listeners the opportunity to switch over to another more news bases station, should something appeal to them. The readers include Catriona Young, Vaughan Savidge
Vaughan Savidge
Vaughan Savidge is a British freelance newsreader and continuity announcer on BBC Radio 3, also working on the World Service and on BBC Radio 4 performing spoof news items on Armando Iannucci's Charm Offensive....

 and Jill Anderson.

The Radio 3 controversy

Controller Nicholas Kenyon summed up the perennial problem of Radio 3 as "the tension between highbrow culture and popular appeal ….the cost of what we do and the number of people who make use of it”: elitism versus populism (or ‘dumbing down’) and the question of cost per listener. This argument has included members of the BBC itself. In 1969, two hundred members of the BBC staff protested to the director general at changes which would ‘emasculate’ Radio 3, while managing director of radio Ian Trethowan
Ian Trethowan
Sir Ian Trethowan was a British journalist, radio and television broadcaster and administrator who eventually became Director-General of the BBC...

 described the station in a memorandum as "a private playground for elitists to indulge in cerebral masturbation". Later, former Radio 3 controller John Drummond complained that the senior ranks of the BBC took no interest in what he was doing.
There have also been tensions between corporate policy affecting the Third/Radio 3 and what the artistic world and sections of the audience wanted:
  • The Third Programme Defence Society (1957) opposed cuts in broadcasting hours and the removal of what the BBC considered "too difficult and too highbrow". Supported by TS Eliot, Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

    , Laurence Olivier
    Laurence Olivier
    Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

  • The Campaign for Better Broadcasting (1969) opposed proposed cuts in Radio 3’s speech output. Supported by Sir Adrian Boult
    Adrian Boult
    Sir Adrian Cedric Boult CH was an English conductor. Brought up in a prosperous mercantile family he followed musical studies in England and at Leipzig, Germany, with early conducting work in London for the Royal Opera House and Sergei Diaghilev's ballet company. His first prominent post was...

    , Jonathan Miller
    Jonathan Miller
    Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller CBE is a British theatre and opera director, author, physician, television presenter, humorist and sculptor. Trained as a physician in the late 1950s, he first came to prominence in the 1960s with his role in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe with fellow writers and...

    , Henry Moore
    Henry Moore
    Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art....

    , George Melly
    George Melly
    Alan George Heywood Melly was an English jazz and blues singer, critic, writer and lecturer. From 1965 to 1973 he was a film and television critic for The Observer and lectured on art history, with an emphasis on surrealism.-Early life and career:He was born in Liverpool and was educated at Stowe...

    .
  • The Gambaccini issue (1995–96) arose as listeners and press critics protested the introduction into a slot formerly used for Composer of the Week of a program presented by Paul Gambaccini
    Paul Gambaccini
    Paul Matthew Gambaccini is a radio and television presenter in the United Kingdom...

    , a former Radio 1
    BBC Radio 1
    BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

     and Classic FM
    Classic FM (UK)
    Classic FM, one of the United Kingdom's three Independent National Radio stations, broadcasts classical music in a popular and accessible style.-Overview:...

     presenter. This was seen as part of a wider move towards popularisation, to compete with Classic FM and to increase ratings. Gambaccini is quoted as saying: “I had a specific mission to invite [Radio 4’s] Today listeners to stay with the BBC rather than go to Classic FM.”
  • Friends of Radio 3 (FoR3) (from 2003), a listeners’ campaign group set up to express concern at changes to the station's style and scheduling, including the shift to presenter-led programmes stripped through the week, as on Classic FM and other mass-audience music stations. Officially, the BBC stated that "the network's target audience has been redefined and broadened and the schedule began to be recast to move towards this during 1999." The group’s stated aim is "To engage with the BBC, to question the policies which depart from Radio 3's remit to deliver a high quality programme of classical music, spoken arts and thought, and to convey listener concerns to BBC management." Supported by Dame Gillian Weir
    Gillian Weir
    Dame Gillian Constance Weir DBE is a New Zealand organist.-Biography:Gillian Weir was a co-winner of the Auckland Star Piano Competition at 19, playing Mozart. A year later she won a scholarship of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in London...

    , Robin Holloway
    Robin Holloway
    Robin Greville Holloway is an English composer.-Early life:From 1952 to 1957, he was a chorister at St Paul's Cathedral...

    , Andrew Motion
    Andrew Motion
    Sir Andrew Motion, FRSL is an English poet, novelist and biographer, who presided as Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2009.- Life and career :...

    , Dame Margaret Drabble.

In the current climate of intense competition in the radio industry, the RAJAR listening figures are scrutinised every quarter by both broadcasters and the press. When listening figures showed an abrupt downturn from 2004, Friends of Radio 3 claimed that recent changes had caused the station to lose listeners. Dramatic schedule changes were introduced in February 2007. However, some of these were widely unpopular, and the year 2007/08 saw record low listening figures
Adjustments in September 2008, e.g. reintroducing some live concerts, reversed some of the policies and listening figures improved.

Technical information

Radio 3 does not use dynamic range compression of the volume of music on FM (this is distinct from the data compression used for formats such as MP3) during the evening, unlike the other station which transmits a lot of classical music,
Classic FM
Classic FM (UK)
Classic FM, one of the United Kingdom's three Independent National Radio stations, broadcasts classical music in a popular and accessible style.-Overview:...

. On DAB
DAB
Dab or DAB may refer to:-Companies and organisations:* Danish Automobile Building, maker of buses* Dansk Almennyttigt Boligselskab, a Danish non-profit housing association...

 compression can be set by the user, so is less of a problem.

Innovations

To improve the quality of outside broadcasts over telephone lines the BBC designed a NICAM
NICAM
Near Instantaneous Companded Audio Multiplex is an early form of lossy compression for digital audio. It was originally developed in the early 1970s for point-to-point links within broadcasting networks...

 style digitisation technique called pulse code modulation running at a sample rate of 14,000 per second per channel. It later designed digital recording machines (transportable) sampling at the same rate.
In June 2005 in conjunction with Radio 3’s Beethoven Experience (a week exclusively devoted to the works of Beethoven played round-the-clock), the BBC trialled its first music downloads over the internet. The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda
Gianandrea Noseda
Gianandrea Noseda is an Italian conductor. He studied piano, composition and conducting in Milan. He furthered his conducting studies with Donato Renzetti, Myung-Whun Chung and Valery Gergiev....

 played all nine Beethoven symphonies and the recordings were offered as free mp3 downloads. The stated aim was "to gauge audiences' appetite for music downloads and their preferred content, and will inform the development of the BBC strategy for audio downloads and on demand content". The experiment was wildly successful, attracting 1.4 million downloads. There was anger among the major classical record labels who considered it unfair competition and "devaluing the perceived value of music". As a result, no further free downloads have been offered and the BBC Trust has ruled out any classical music podcasts with extracts longer than one minute.
In October 2007, Radio 3 collaborated with English National Opera
English National Opera
English National Opera is an opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St. Martin's Lane. It is one of the two principal opera companies in London, along with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden...

 in presenting a live video stream of a performance of Carmen
Carmen
Carmen is a French opéra comique by Georges Bizet. The libretto is by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée, first published in 1845, itself possibly influenced by the narrative poem The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin...

, "the first time a UK opera house has offered a complete production online".
In September 2008, Radio 3 launched a filmed series of concerts. These will be available to watch live and thereafter each concert will be available online for 7 days "in high quality vision".

Radio 3 is now available world wide on the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 and is broadcast on digital radio in the United Kingdom
Digital radio in the United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, the roll-out of digital radio is proceeding since test transmissions were started by the BBC in 1990. The UK currently has the world's biggest digital radio network, with 103 transmitters, two national DAB ensembles and 48 local and regional DAB ensembles...

 via DAB
Digital audio broadcasting
Digital Audio Broadcasting is a digital radio technology for broadcasting radio stations, used in several countries, particularly in Europe. As of 2006, approximately 1,000 stations worldwide broadcast in the DAB format....

, on Freeview, Freesat
Freesat
Freesat is a free-to-air digital satellite television joint venture between the BBC and ITV plc, serving the United Kingdom. The service was formed as a memorandum in 2007 and has been marketed since 6 May 2008...

, Sky, Virgin Media
Virgin Media
Virgin Media Inc. is a company which provides fixed and mobile telephone, television and broadband internet services to businesses and consumers in the United Kingdom...

 and other subscription platforms.

In September 2010, for the final week of the Proms broadcasts, the BBC trialled XHQ (Extra High Quality), a live internet stream transmitted at 320Kb/s (instead of Radio 3's usual 192Kb/s), using its AAC-LC 'Coyopa' coding technology.

Controllers of the Third Programme and Radio 3

  • 1946–48 George Barnes
    George Barnes (BBC)
    Sir George Reginald Barnes was a British broadcasting executive, who was a station Controller of both BBC Radio and later BBC Television in the 1940s and 1950s...

  • 1948–52 Harman Grisewood
    Harman Grisewood
    Harman Joseph Gerard Grisewood was an English radio actor, radio and television executive, novelist and non-fiction writer. He acted as literary executor to the poet David Jones, a lifelong friend....

  • 1953–58 John Morris
  • 1959–71 Howard Newby
    P. H. Newby
    Percy Howard Newby CBE was an English novelist and broadcasting administrator. He was the first winner of the Booker Prize, his novel Something to Answer For having received the inaugural award in 1969.-Early life:P.H...

  • 1972–78 Stephen Hearst
  • 1979–87 Ian McIntyre
    Ian McIntyre
    Ian McIntyre is the head men's soccer coach at Syracuse University. On January 6, 2010, he was named as the 15th soccer coach in school history. He previously coached at Hartwick College from 2003 to 2009, posting four 10 win seasons. He compiled a 71-36-25 record as the head coach of the Hawks...

  • 1987–92 John Drummond
    John Drummond (arts administrator)
    Sir John Richard Gray Drummond CBE was an English arts administrator who spent most of his career at the BBC. He was the son of a master mariner in the British India line and an Australian lieder singer....

  • 1992–98 Nicholas Kenyon
    Nicholas Kenyon
    Sir Nicholas Roger Kenyon CBE is an English music administrator, editor and writer on music. He was responsible for the BBC Proms 1996-2007 following which he was appointed Managing Director of the Barbican Centre, Europe's largest multi-arts centre.-Education and career:After attending St Bede's...

  • 1998–present Roger Wright
    Roger Wright (music administrator)
    Roger Wright is an English radio administrator and arts administrator. He is currently the Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Director of The Proms....


Works cited

  • BBC Annual Report and Accounts, 2003/2004, London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 2004
  • Briggs, Asa, The BBC: The First Fifty Years, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985 ISBN 0192129716
  • Carpenter, Humphrey, The Envy of the World: Fifty Years of the BBC Third Programme and Radio 3, 1946-1996, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1996 ISBN 0297818309
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Review of the BBC’s Royal Charter: A strong BBC, independent of government (government Green Paper), 2005
  • Drummond, John, Tainted by Experience: A Life in the Arts, London: Faber & Faber, 2001 ISBN 057120922X
  • Radio Times, 1923–present, London: British Broadcasting Corporation ISSN 0033-8060 02

External links

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