Stars to curate live classical concerts for BBC Radio 3’s Celebrity Choice

darcy bussell

Darcy Bussell and Joanna Lumley are among the stars to have been given the chance to curate their own classical music event as part of BBC Radio 3 series Celebrity Choice.

The series kicks off on 1 March with Strictly judge Darcy Bussell and run throughout the week.

The concerts are part of a series of five curated editions of Radio 3 In Concert where much-loved figures outside the professional classical music world introduce their selections of recorded live performances as picked from the BBC Experience Classical digital archive. 

Celebrity Choice

All the recordings here feature BBC Orchestras, Choirs and New Generation Artists.

BBC Radio 3’s much-loved presenter, veteran broadcaster Sean Rafferty introduces the selections, and is in conversation with former ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell; actor, playwright, and Artistic Director of London’s Young Vic Theatre Kwame Kwei-Armah; actress and campaigner Joanna Lumley; comedian and TV presenter Rose Matafeo; and broadcaster, journalist, writer and media personality Janet Street-Porter.

In the programmes, these personalities from the media, dance and drama world discuss their musical choices, revealing links between their picks and their own life experiences, passions for specific strands of classical music, and their recent discoveries.

joanna lumley
Fabulous darling: Lumley joins in with Celebrity Choice for classical music.

Classical treat

“Curating my dream concert and sharing it with Radio 3 listeners is a treat, particularly at a time where the shared live concert experience isn’t possible”, Rose Matafeo said. 

“It’s also going to make me seem very smart and sophisticated to all of my friends and I will brag about it for years to come.”

BBC Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey said: “We are thrilled that guests from other spheres have agreed to create their ideal concerts for us and to share the emotion, solace, refuge and joy that classical music has brought them. 

“BBC Radio 3 is always keen to open the treasure chest of classical music to new audiences and to find imaginative ways of bringing great music in new ways to existing audiences. 

“We hope Celebrity Choice does both. So many people have been deeply missing live music in the past year and this special week is also a perfect way to bring to life some of our rich archive of concert performances at a time we would normally be broadcasting night after night of live concerts.”

The Celebrity Choice programmes will be available on BBC Sounds for 30 days after initial broadcast.