BBC launches ‘conversations with composers’ series

BBC Radio 3Harrison Birtwistle, Judith Weir and Matthew Herbert are to feature in a major new series of conversations with composers for BBC Radio 3.

Hear and Now: Composers’ Rooms begins on 5 March and will see presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch visiting the homes and studios of prominent contemporary composers including Birtwistle, Herbert, Kaffe Matthews Anna Meredith, George Benjamin, Tansy Davies, Dai Fujikura and James MacMillan.

Mohr-Pietsch says: ‘Everyone can imagine what an artist’s studio or writer’s room looks like, but we rarely think about the space where new music is written.

‘When I’ve stepped foot inside a composers’ room I’ve been struck by how they arrange their creative space – the objects they display, the position of a desk, the view from the window – and how it tells a story about them and their music. I’m thrilled to be bringing these rooms and their inhabitants alive for listeners of Hear and Now.’

Composer Oliver Knussen, who recorded at his Suffolk home for the series, said: ‘I like to work in a nest. I like the idea of sitting at one’s desk and inventing and writing it down and contemplating and reacting to the way it looks.’

Fujikura, who works in a warehouse studio, added: ‘The act of composing is obviously deeply a part of composers’ everyday life whether they like or not, and it is great that Hear and Now is focusing on the most intimate part of creation.’

Composers’ Rooms will also be available as a permanent collectable series of downloads via the BBC Radio 3 website, along with photos and related content about the composers featured.