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BBC launches new classical music discovery service

By | Published on Monday 28 September 2020

Hannah Peel, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Isata Kanneh-Mason

The BBC has launched a new archive of more than 600 recordings of classical music performances, under the name Experience Classical.

A collaboration between BBC Radio 3 and BBC Archive, the project is being fronted by BBC Young Musician winner Sheku Kanneh-Mason, his sister Isata, and composer Hannah Peel. It aims to provide tools for people – particularly newcomers – to discover classical music. Users can browse music by composer, instrument, mood and the age of pieces.

Recordings in the archive are all performed by BBC Orchestras, Choirs and New Generation Artists and span works by more than 150 different composers. A number of compositions are newly-commissioned works from former contestants in the BBC Young Composer competition.

As well as performances, there are also archived radio shows and podcasts on offer to listen to, with everything available through the BBC Sounds app.

Last week, of course, the announcement of a new 24/7 dance music channel in the BBC Sounds app led to media regulator OfCom launching an investigation into whether or not the Corporation is over-stretching its public service remit by expanding what that app offers.

A classical music service would seem less controversial, although there are classical commercial stations that could well be annoyed.

Check out the Experience Classical service here.