BBC classical music archive to be ‘returned to the public’

The BBC is celebrating 100 years of classical music in Britain by making its classical music archive available to the public.

Speaking at the launch of Our Classical Century, BBC director-general, Tony Hall, said historic and recent performances ‘will be returned to the public’ and made available via iPlayer and a new app called BBC Sounds.

‘We’ve been recording, creating and documenting great work for almost a century now ourselves. We have the public to thank for that,’ he said. ‘They own – via the BBC – one of the greatest classical music archives in the world.

‘It captures iconic moments from the Proms to Cardiff Singer of the World, from BBC Introducing to our Young Musician competition – celebrating its 40th birthday this year. In an age of ever growing platforms – and social media sharing – these performances – some historic and some very recent – will be returned to the public.’

Describing the year-long Our Classical Century as ‘the biggest classical music season’ the BBC has ever presented, Hall confirmed that the season will run in four parts across the year, with a new commission on The First Night of the Proms in 2019.

Presenters across the season include Lenny Henry, Brian Cox, Lucy Worsley, Katie Derham, Tom Service and Josie D’Arby.

For more information on the lineup of documentaries and concerts, visit the BBC website here.