Charles Hazlewood outlines the plans for Mendelssohn broadcasts during the Composers of the Year celebrations. Charles was filmed specially for the website in the Church of St Martin-within-Ludgate in the City of London. There has been a church on the site since 1174; the current building was complted in 1680 after the previous church was gutted in the Great Fire of London (1666).
Composers of the Year (Radio 3) and The Birth of British Music (BBC Two) is a celebration of the lives of four magnificent composers throughout 2009. The year marks the 350th anniversary of Purcell's birth, the 250th anniversary of Handel's death, the 200th anniversary of Haydn's death and 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn's birth.
Mendelssohn first visited London in 1829, as a precocious 20-year-old. A virtuoso pianist and organist, his music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written when he was still a teenager, had signalled that his was a special talent. As one of the most highly educated figures in classical music, he first came to Britain as part of an educational grand tour. Over the next 18 years, he made 10 further trips to this country, becoming a favourite of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and finding the inspiration to write the Hebrides Overture, the Scottish symphony, and the great oratorio Elijah. Mendelssohn introduced British musicians and their audiences to fresh ideas – revivals of Bach’s great Passions and even how to play under the conductor’s remarkable new tool – the baton. In short, Mendelssohn plugged Britain into the current of European musical thought and in doing so made a lasting impact on our musical life.
'Wings' choirs have been sending in their photos and recordings.View the page and listen to Radio 3 Wings features,Click to view the choirs' page
Watch Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Mendelssohn's music here online.Click here to watch online
Find the 108 choirs all over the UK, and abroad, which have pledged to perform Mendelssohn's O for the Wings of a Dove.Click for the choirs' index page
David Hill conducts the BBC Singers in a masterclass and performance of Mendelssohn's 'O for the Wings of a Dove'.Click for the Masterclass video page
Visit the Mendelssohn picture gallery for a fascinating visual guide to Mendelssohn's life and times.Click to enter the Gallery
Watch the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer perform Mendelssohn's 'Elijah'.Click for the Elijah online concert page
You can watch special extra video and interview footage from BBC 2 TV's Birth of British Music, Episode 4 (Mendelssohn) here.Click here for the Mendelssohn extra videos
Composers of the Year offers you the chance to receive text alerts giving details of forthcoming broadcasts and events. It's simple to sign up and once you've done so, your text alerts will be free. Click on the link below for full details.Become a fan of Mendelssohn
Composer of the Week: Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
Donald Macleod explores the life and work of German pianist, composer, organist, and conductor Felix Mendelssohn. This episode is an edited compilation of the entire week's programmes, broadcast earlier this year, and is only available within the UK.
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The Composers of the Year feature in a BBC 2 series, in May 2009 - Charles Hazlewood introduces the programmes.More about the series
30 Jul 09, 06:01 PM
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