Malala Yousafzai’s historic 2013 UN speech will be set to music by composer Kate Whitley as part of a day of BBC Radio 3 programming to celebrate International Women’s Day.
This will be the first time the historic speech has been set to music with the piece, entitled Speak Out, using extracts from Malala’s speech about every girl’s right to an education. BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales with Cor y Cwm (Youth Choir of the Year) give the world premiere performance on 8 March, International Women’s Day, at BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff.
Malala said: ‘I am honoured and excited that my speech inspired a composer to set it to music and that it will be performed and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on International Women’s Day by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales in Cardiff.
‘As the speech is a call to raise our voices, it makes me very happy that it will be sung by a large choir, that so many voices will rise to share the message of education for all. It is wonderful that the message and the music will reach many more people through the live radio broadcast.’
Radio 3 will also mark International Women’s Day by inviting six renowned female composers to take over the schedule, guest-editing and curating parts of regular programmes, with Alissa Firsova taking over Breakfast, Sally Beamish at the reins for Essential Classics, Tansy Davies in charge of Afternoon on 3, Errollyn Wallen curating In Tune, Annette Peacock in the studio for Late Junction, and Kerry Andrew sharing her own Late Junction Mixtape.
Choral Evensong will come from Truro Cathedral on 8 March, with the first live broadcast from the cathedral’s recently formed girl choristers, performing the world premieres of newly commissioned pieces by Sasha Johnson Manning and Dobrinka Tabakova, among other works.