News: Rose Matafeo Goes Classical

Classic Interview: Rose Matafeo

Comedian Rose Matafeo is one of the celebrities who will curate an edition of Radio 3's In Concert series in March. 

From Monday 1 to Friday 5 March BBC Radio 3 presents Celebrity Choice, a series of five curated editions of Radio 3 In Concert  where much-loved figures outside the professional classical music world introduce their selections of recorded live performances as picked from the BBC Experience Classical digital archive. All the recordings here feature BBC Orchestras, Choirs and New Generation Artists.  

BBC Radio 3’s Sean Rafferty introduces the selections, and is in conversation with former ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell; actor, playwright, and Artistic Director of London’s Young Vic Theatre Kwame Kwei-Armah; actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley; comedian and TV presenter Rose Matafeo; and broadcaster, journalist, writer and media personality Janet Street-Porter.

In the programmes, these personalities from the media, dance and drama world discuss their musical choices, revealing links between their picks and their own life experiences, passions for specific strands of classical music, and their recent discoveries 

Matafeo says: “Curating my dream concert and sharing it with Radio 3 listeners is a treat, particularly at a time where the shared live concert experience isn’t possible. It’s also going to make me seem very smart and sophisticated to all of my friends and I will brag about it for years to come.” 

The Celebrity Choice programmes will be available on BBC Sounds for 30 days after initial broadcast.

Matafeo's Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning show Horndog will air on BBC One Wednesday 24th February at 10:45pm, and will be available on BBC iPlayer from Sunday 21st February.




BBC Radio 3

Monday  1 – Friday 5 March 2021, 7.30PM

Celebrity Choice

Monday 1 March

Celebrity Choice: Darcey Bussell
This evening, former ballerina and Strictly judge Darcey Bussell shares some of her classical music favourites with Sean Rafferty, and reveals some of the stories behind her choices, including the turning point in her teenage years when she was selected to dance to the slow movement of Mahler's Fifth Symphony. Other music includes works by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Prokofiev.

Mozart: Overture (Marriage of Figaro)
BBC Concert Orchestra
Keith Lockhart (conductor)

Mahler: Adagietto (from Symphony No 5)
BBC Philharmonic
Gianandrea Noseda (conductor)

Mendelssohn: Overture, Scherzo, Nocturne and Wedding March (from A Midsummer Night's Dream)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Jiri Belohlavek (conductor)

JS Bach: Cello Suite No 3, BWV 1009
Andrei Ionita (cello)

Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet Suite No 1, Op 64a (extracts)
BBC Philharmonic
Yan Pascal Tortelier (conductor)

Villa-Lobos: Study No 1 in E minor
Maxwell Davies: Farewell to Stromness
Sean Shibe (guitar)

Stravinsky: The Firebird (suite, 1945 version)
BBC Philharmonic
Yan Pascal Tortelier (conductor)


Tuesday 2 March

Celebrity Choice: Kwame Kwei- Armah

Kwame Kwei-Armah, actor, playwright, director, broadcaster and, since 2018, Artistic Director of the Young Vic, talks to Sean Rafferty about the classical music that means most to him, including Mozart, a composer he has loved ever since one of his earliest roles in Peter Schaffer's play Amadeus.

Bernstein: Candide (Overture)BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Rumon Gamba (conductor)

Leoš Janáček: String Quartet No. 1, 'The Kreutzer Sonata'

Apollon Musagete Quartet


Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Richard Hickox (conductor)


Arvo Pärt: Cantus in memorium Benjamin Britten

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Robert Spano (conductor)


Liza Lim: Flying Banner

BBC Symphony Orchestra

Garry Walker (conductor)


Mozart: Serenade No. 10 in B-Flat Major, K. 361 'Gran Partita'

Wind Players from BBC Symphony Orchestra

Sakari Oramo (conductor)


Wednesday 3 March

Celebrity Choice: Joanna Lumley

In conversation with Sean Rafferty, actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley shares her choices of classical music repertoire, including   a Mozart piano concerto and Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet.

Rossini: Overture to William Tell
BBC Philharmonic, Paul Watkins (conductor)

Borodin: Polovtsian dances from 'Prince Igor'
BBC Philharmonic, Giandrea Noseda (conductor)

Mozart: Piano Concerto no. 21 in C major K.467
Alice Sara Ott (piano),
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Jun Märkl (conductor)

Beethoven: Prisoners' Chorus from Fidelio
Orfeon Donostiarra (Chorus)
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Juanjo Mena (conductor)

Pauline Viardot-Garcia: Bolero - Madrid, Lamento and Upon the hills of Georgia)
Catriona Morison (mezzo soprano), Simon Lepper (piano),
Olena Tokar (soprano), Igor Gryshyn (piano)

Liszt: Fantasia on themes from Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni
Mariam Batsashvili (piano)

Tchaikovsky: Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet
BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Grant Llewellyn (conductor)


Thursday 4 March

Celebrity Choice: Rose Matafeo

New Zealand comedian Rose Matafeo chooses music from the BBC Experience Classical Archive, including pieces with the flavours of impressionism, which she loves, like Debussy La mer and Ravel Jeux d'eau, but also in Delius' tone poem 'On hearing the first cuckoo in spring'. Rose also loves Gershwin and jazz-infused pieces, so she's selected his 'An American in Paris'.

Elgar: Cockaigne (in London Town), Op. 40
BBC Philharmonic
Andrew Davis, conductor

Ravel: Jeux d’eau
Zhang Zuo, piano

Debussy: La mer
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov, conductor

Delius: On hearing the first cuckoo in spring
BBC Concert Orchestra
Barry Wordsworth, conductor

Respighi: Pines of Rome (binaural recording)
BBC Philharmonic
John Storgards, conductor

Bernstein: Sonata for clarinet and piano
Annelien Van Wauwe, clarinet
Martin Klett, piano

Gershwin: An American in Paris
BBC Philharmonic
Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde – Prelude and Liebestod
BBC Philharmonic
Vassily Sinaisky, conductor


Friday 5 March

Celebrity Choice: Janet Street-Porter

In the final programme of the series Sean Rafferty meets the multi-talented Janet Street-Porter. The one-time national newspaper editor, pioneering broadcaster, and author reveals her penchant for Baroque and 21st century music, and Scandi Noir, represented here by Handel, Tartini, Anne Dudley, Sibelius and Kaija Saariaho.

Handel: Zadok the Priest (Coronation Anthem No 1 HWV 258)
BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales
Xian Zhang (conductor)

Giuseppe Tartini: Sonata in G minor (Devil's Trill)
Alexandra Soumm (violin)
Aimo Pagin (piano)

Handel/Johan Halvorsen: Passacaglia in G minor
Alexandra Soumm (violin)
Victor Julien-Laferrière (cello)

Sibelius: Tapiola
Jean Sibelius
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Ilan Volkov (conductor)

Kaija Saariaho: Terra Memoria

Anne Dudley: Music and Silence
BBC Concert Orchestra
Barry Wordsworth (conductor)



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