BBC Radio 3 returns to Glasgow’s City Halls

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast a series of live classical music recitals from Glasgow’s City Halls for the first time since the lockdown began in March.

In strict compliance with the government’s social distancing guidelines, the recitals will take place without audience, and will feature solo and duo performances only.

Today Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, and Donalda Mackinnon, Director BBC Scotland, announced the news this morning (Thursday).

A series of 4 recitals will be presented live at Glasgow’s City Halls, and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 as part of the Lunchtime Concert slot, from Tuesday 14 July to Friday 17 July.

Similarly to the Wigmore Hall series, the Lockdown Live from Glasgow’s City Halls recitals feature exclusively solo and duo performances, involving artists based in Central Scotland – to avoid unnecessary travel.

The performances will take place in an empty venue with no audience present, with a minimal set up involving one BBC Radio 3 producer backstage, a BBC sound engineer, one presenter inside the auditorium and one member of City Halls staff on duty – in strict compliance with the government’s social distancing guidelines and with more than 2 metres in social distancing.

Donalda Mackinnon, Director BBC Scotland, says: “We know how much our SSO audiences, and those who listen at home via the radio, love their concerts so we’re delighted to help bring music live from our base at Glasgow City Halls over the next few weeks to Radio 3. Like many industries the creative sector is having a very tough time at the moment so it’s been fantastic that, working with a range of others in Scotland over the last few months, we’ve been able to help bring a wide range of artistic performances back onto our screens and airwaves.”

Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3 and classical music says: “There is a real primal need for live music and the refuge and respite it gives our audiences – the response to our Wigmore Hall series has been tremendous. We know it also matters to musicians themselves to make this live connection again. We take our role as the leading live classical music broadcaster and sponsor really seriously and are grateful to the performers and our partners at City Halls for giving us the opportunity to continue to bring live music making back to different parts of the UK as soon as we can within government guidelines.”

Colin Currie says: “‘I’m thrilled to be asked to perform in Glasgow City Halls, a venue I well know and love. Some of the final live music events I attended before the pandemic were in this building and to return there to make a mark as part of this city’s and the country’s return to performing is an honour and a privilege. Playing to an empty hall will be a new experience but I will try to channel my energies to envelope the wide community of music-lovers who are so keen and in such need of a fix of fresh music.”