The BBC has unveiled an ambitious strategy for music, said to be its biggest commitment to music by the broadcaster in 30 years. The CBA conference last month was a prologue to issues and innovation in Public Service Broadcasting and music.
Highlights of the strategy, BBC Music, include bringing classical music into schools, partnering with the National Skills Academy to provide music training, extending features in iPlayer and Playlister (the broadcaster’s on-demand app and music-favouriting services, respectively), a raft of music documentaries and a new music awards event.
“BBC Music is a celebration of the brilliant musical talent across our country,” said Tony Hall, Director-General, “we’ll be joining up music on television, radio, iPlayer and online like never before. There’ll be new shows, new partnerships, and whole new ways to enjoy music on the BBC.”
Within the strategy, the Ten Pieces project aims to introduce primary school pupils to ten classical music compositions (from John Adams to Igor Stravinsky), as a springboard for creative responses through dance, digital art and animation. It will culminate in a celebration of the children’s work in Summer 2015.
The broadcaster will also be working with training academies across the UK to develop the technical and production skills of the future, particularly in live music. From later this year bbc.co.uk/music will bring fans more music coverage and content tailored to their music tastes.
For the first time ever, BBC One TV, Radio 1 and Radio 2 will unite for a celebration of the best in popular music from the last year, for the BBC Music Awards, which will take place in London this December. It will be the biggest musical event on the BBC since Glastonbury, one of the world’s largest music festivals, held nearly every year. Awards on the night will include British Artist of the Year, International Artist of the Year and Song of the Year.
New documentary commissions and programming will span topics as large as The Soundtrack Of The Twentieth Century, a 100-year history of pop; country music; guitar music; and music and fashion.
The broadcaster is also working with a consortium of national music and cultural organisations to bring the Congolese ensemble L’Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste (pictured) to the UK for the first time. A BBC documentary will follow the orchestra – many of whom play on self-built instruments – as they tour the UK with a programme of Congolese music alongside works by Beethoven and Berlioz.