Friday Night Is Music Night

Episodes

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500 Words - Peter and the Wolf and other animal stories2018060820190201 (R2)

This week Radio 2 launched this year's 500 Words short story competition. A record breaking 134,780 children entered last year (That's 67,390,000 words if you're counting!). To mark this year's launch there's another chance to hear this special concert recorded to mark the finale of last year's competition and hear the winning stories. The BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe perform scores from classical music, films and musicals inspired by children's favourite animal stories.

Chances are the first story you ever read or were told as a child was about an animal - be it a rabbit in a blue overcoat, a bear who liked marmalade sandwiches or a very hungry caterpillar.

Barney Harwood has worked with many fearsome creatures during his 16 year stint as a CBBC presenter - notably the likes of Basil Brush, Nev the Bear and Hacker the Dog. A keen wildlife photographer - his work has taken him further afield to film the Great Barrier Reef and the Puerto Rican rainforest.
The show includes music from the cast of The Lion King featuring Shaun Escoffery (Mufasa), Nick Afoa (Simba) and Brown Lindiwe Mkhize (Rafiki) . Special guest Gary Wilmot performs songs from Doctor Dolittle and The Wind in the Willows. There's film music from Babe; Trolls and Jurassic Park. Plus music from the BBC Natural History Unit's epic Blue Planet.

And Barney reacquaints us with one of the hit bands of the 80s - Timid Toad, Reckless Rat, Artful Owl and Batty Bat - led, of course by Captain Beaky and not forgetting Hissing Sid! Captain Beaky was the creation of comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd - his series of poems were set to music by Jim Parker and Captain Beaky and his band became a huge hit with a little support from Radio 1 DJs Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds.

And finally we are joined a woman who has swum with sharks and crocodiles and abseiled into a cave full of bug infested bat poo - all in a day's work for Nightmares of Nature presenter - Naomi Wilkinson - who will narrate Prokofiev's symphonic fairy tale for children - Peter and the Wolf.

During the interval another chance to hear the winners of the 2018 500 words competition.

Concert recorded on 1st June 2018 at the Watford Colosseum.

Barney Harwood presents music inspired by favourite animal stories.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra.

A Symphony of Hits: Michael Bolton20190322

Michael Bolton performs symphonic recreations of his greatest hits at The London Palladium with the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Joerg-Achim Keller, along with guest appearances from singers Sam Bailey and Carly Paoli. This unique UK performance brings a new sound to classics including Said I Loved you But I Lied, How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, Time Love and Tenderness, Soul Provider, and When a Man Loves A Woman. Michael Bolton is a multiple Grammy winning singer and songwriter who has sold more than 65 million records in a career that now spans more than 4 decades. He has written songs with a diverse list of collaborators including Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Diane Warren, and David Foster. And Michael’s songs have been recorded by an equally diverse list of artists comprising KISS, Kanye West, Jay Z, Barbra Streisand, and Cher. Presented by Gary Davies.

Michael Bolton performs in concert at The London Palladium with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Celebrating David Bowie20190329

A special ‘Friday Night Is Music Night’ with the full sound of the 60 piece BBC Concert Orchestra plus rock band, this edition celebrates the life and work of David Bowie. Starring Tony Vincent (who made his name in ‘Rent’, then ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘We Will Rock You’) and conducted by Brent Havens, the concert is presented by the legendary Bob Harris, who was friends with Bowie when David was just starting out … Among Bob’s recollections, introducing the original backing track to ‘Space Oddity’ on a cassette player with David at a night club - to derision and apathy! The concert features new symphonic arrangements of Bowie classics including Ziggy Stardust, Life On Mars, Changes, Rebel Rebel, Under Pressure and celebrating it’s fiftieth anniversary, Space Oddity.

Bob Harris presents a special edition celebrating rock legend David Bowie.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Cheltenham2017042820190111 (R2)

'Friday Night is Music Night' presents a special edition, live from the Cheltenham Jazz festival big top, 'Rhythm and Blues + Jazz = Soul'. The Guy Barker Big Band together with the sixty piece BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Guy Barker, tells the story of soul music with four outstanding soul singers singers, Shaun Escoffery, Tony Momrelle, Vanessa Haynes and Noel McKoy. Among the songs, classics from Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ray Charles, Etta James, Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder and more ... Presented by Ray Fearon.

First broadcast in May 2017

Friday Night is Music Night presents 'Rhythm and Blues + Jazz = Soul' live from Cheltenham

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Christmas at Ally Pally20181221

Ken Bruce serves up a Friday Night Festive Feast with guests Alfie Boe, the BBC Radio 2 Choristers of the year - Cassian Pichler-Roca and Emilia Jaques - and with songs from his magical musical story "The Christmasaurus" - Tom Fletcher.

Tonight Friday Night Is Music Night returns to an important BBC heritage site - Alexandra Palace. The programme is recorded at the newly restored Alexandra Palace Theatre where close-by the first regular television service was launched in 1936. Friday Night is Music Night is now in its 65th year - at the heart of the programme, as ever, the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe . Tonight's programme the orchestra perform the "Troika" from "Lieutenant Kije" by Prokofiev; "Sleigh Ride" by Leroy Anderson and excerpts from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker".

Tonight's special guests include tenor Alfie Boe who joins the orchestra in a selection of favourites; and making their Friday Night is Music Night debuts the two winners of the BBC Radio 2 Young Chorister competition - 13 year old Cassian Pichler-Roca from Cheltenham and 16 year old Emilia Jaques from Thirsk. They perform a selection of Christmas carols and duet on John Rutter's "The Angel's Carol"

Tom Fletcher is a musician, singer, composer, author and vlogger but perhaps best known as the lead vocalist and guitarist of pop band McFly. In 2016 he wrote his first children's book and bestseller "The Christmasaurus" about a young boy called William Trundle. Tom added songs to the book and a musical version was premiered last year. William Trundle loves dinosaurs more than anything in the world and so he asks Santa for a dinosaur for Christmas. On Christmas Eve William finds the amazing Christmasaurus in his bedroom, and is soon off on a magical adventure complete with snow, elves, flying reindeer and, of course, Santa Claus himself.

During the interval Ken Bruce dons his hard hat to find out about the restoration of the Alexandra Palace Theatre and more about the BBC's history at this remarkable building.

Recorded at Alexandra Palace Theatre on 18th December.

Ken Bruce serves up a Friday Night Festive Feast from the Alexandra Palace Theatre.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra

Garland and Sinatra20190125

Ken Bruce introduces a special show celebrating the lives and songs of two of the most influential singers of the last century - Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra..

One of the cinema highlights of the coming year will be a new biopic starring Renee Zellweger. The film is called "Judy" and it recounts the final concerts and days of the legendary singer Judy Garland. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of her death in London in 1969 - she was just 47. Born Frances Ethel Gumm in 1922 and transformed into a Hollywood starlet with a series of blockbusters before she got to be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. A public struggle with failing health and drink and drugs - today she is still an icon in the movie and musical world.

Tonight's concert features many of the songs associated with her career including Get Happy, On The Atcheson, Topeka and the Santa Fe, and the Trolley Song. Her songs share the stage with another great legend Frank Sinatra - band singer, movie star and most influential of singers. The show includes I Could Write a Book, Luck be a Lady and My Heart Stood Still.

Ken Bruce introduces the show from the Chichester Festival Theatre. Richard Balcombe conducts the BBC Concert Orchestra with guest singers Louise Dearman and Graham Bickley.

During the interval Adam Porter pays a visit to nearby Fishbourne Roman Palace - the largest Roman villa in Britain.

Celebrates two great stars and two great voices - Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Gregory Porter and Friends2018022320190315 (R2)

Friday Night Is Music Night is very proud to present 'Gregory Porter and Friends' at the London Coliseum. Gregory Porter is a modern jazz singer with a classic jazz pedigree. Born and raised in Sacramento and then Bakersfield, he began singing in church where his mother was a minister. After a shoulder injury forced him out of a career in American football, he began singing in Brooklyn and then Harlem, releasing two albums before being signed by the famous Blue Note label. Since then he has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame. His gold album 'Liquid Spirit' reaching the UK top ten and winning a Grammy in 2014. Countless concerts and appearances have followed, including the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury. In tonight's concert he brings his extraordinary vocal talent to a selection of songs made famous by his idol Nat King Cole, as well as his own award winning songs, contemporary classics, and standards from the Great American Song Book, including songs by Hoagy Carmichael and Ray Charles. With special guests Imelda May and Tony Momrelle, the sixty piece BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Big Band, conducted by Mike Reed, this will be an extraordinary night to remember.
First broadcast in February 2018

Gregory Porter and friends Imelda May and Tony Momrelle in concert at the London Coliseum.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Jason Robert Brown2018060120190118 (R2)

The three-time Tony award winning composer, lyricist, conductor and pianist comes to London for this special Friday Night Is Music Night, recorded at the London Palladium. This special performance features music from his dazzling musicals , including the award-winning The Bridges of Madison County; the influential The Last Five Years; his debut song cycle, Songs for a New World; the seminal Parade; and the sensational Honeymoon in Vegas. With special guests from Broadway and the West End, Rachel Tucker (Wicked, The Last Ship, I’d Do Anything) Betsy Wolfe (The Last Five Years, Bullets Over Broadway, Waitress) and Norm Lewis (Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, Porgy and Bess) and the sixty piece BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Broadway maestro Larry Blank, this is a chance to catch up with one of the giants of contemporary musical theatre.
First broadcast in June 2018

Broadway phenomenon Jason Robert Brown stars with Rachel Tucker, Betsy Wolfe & Norm Lewis.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Live from the Queen Elizabeth Hall20190208

Ken Bruce presents a live edition from the QEH on London’s Southbank with special guests Gary Wilmot, Sarah Fox and Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist Thomas Nielsen.

Friday Night is Music Night returns to the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank for a live edition. For more than 65 years – the programme – has been heralding the start of the weekend. First broadcast on Friday, 25th September 1953 on the BBC Light Programme - the same year saw the Queen’s Coronation; the Conquest of Everest and the end of sweet rationing. The likes of Nat King Cole, Guy Mitchell and someone called Jimmy Young dominated the pop charts that year. The programme’s brief was and still is "to create a Friday-night show which would help people relax after the week's hard work and put them in the right mood for a happy weekend". It is the world’s longest running live orchestral music show . With the BBC Concert Orchestra as it’s backbone, the heady mix of classical and popular works, film music, songs from the shows, opera and operetta has entertained millions of audiences across the globe.

Tonight the BBC Concert Orchestra is conducted by its Principal Conductor Bramwell Tovey with special guests Gary Wilmot, Sarah Fox (soprano) and the winner of Radio 2’s Young Brass Award – 17 year old Thomas Nielsen(cornet). The show includes show tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Frank Loesser, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin and Thomas Nielsen plays the sparkling Napoli by Bellstedt. Orchestral fireworks are provided as ever by the versatile BBC Concert Orchestra – their repertoire includes Shostakovich’s Festive Overture and John Williams’ film music for Jurassic Park.

Ken Bruce presents a live edition from the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London\u2019s Southbank

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Pure Imagination20181214

Hugh Bonneville presents a concert inspired by children's classics. With the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Broadway maestro Larry Blank and star singers Louise Dearman, Caroline Sheen, Michael Xavier, and Joe Stilgoe. Recorded at The London Palladium, the concert includes songs from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hans Christian Anderson, The Little Mermaid, Frozen, Mary Poppins, Toy Story and Paddington! Also featuring film scores to classic adventures Hook, ET and Harry Potter. A 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' evening for Christmas.

A concert inspired by classic children's stories, presented by Hugh Bonneville

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra

Rick Astley in concert at The London Palladium2018092120181228 (R2)

For this unique performance Rick Astley is joined on stage by his own band, the BBC Concert Orchestra and musical director Malcolm Edmonstone as they perform new settings of songs from his latest album Beautiful Life along with many of his biggest hits of the past 30 years. These include Never Gonna Give You Up, Cry For Help, She Wants To Dance With Me and Hold Me In Your Arms as well as timeless classics from the Great American Songbook including Nature Boy and These Foolish Things. At the interval Gary Davies talks to Rick about a diverse range of topics including this new orchestral adventure, his key to career longevity and the long established internet phenomenon known as rick-rolling!

Rick Astley performs songs from his 3 decades as a singer with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra

Shirley Ballas20181130

All this week The BBC has been celebrating the UK's thriving dance scene as part of Dance Passion. As well as special performances on television and features across radio, dance companies big and small have been live streaming rehearsals and behind the scenes insights from Birmingham to Leeds, Belfast to Glasgow, Swansea to London. You can see what's been happening by going online at bbc.co.uk/dance

To tie in with Dance Passion - another chance to hear Strictly’s Shirley Ballas as she shimmies, shuffles, spins and chasses us through a selection of her favourite music.

She's called the Queen of Latin and this is why : - She has been dancing since the age of 7. She is 3 time ‘British Open to the World’ Latin American Champion, 10-time US Latin American Champion, and multiple-times British National Champion. By 21, Shirley had won nearly every major title she competed in worldwide. She is the only person to have ever won the British Open to the World Latin American Championships in Blackpool with two different partners and reached the finals an impressive 17 times. Shirley still remains the youngest ever female to reach the ‘British Open to the World’ Dance Championship finals. She is now one of the top Ballroom and Latin teachers and adjudicators in the world and is head judge on the BBC’S Strictly Come Dancing.

Joining her are two people who have held that famous Strictly Glitter Ball trophy. Current Strictly champion Joe McFadden and professional dancer Joanne Clifton who with celebrity partner Ore Oduba won the competition in 2016.

Joseph McFadden, though best known for his tv roles in Cranford, Heartbeat and Holby City, is no stranger to musical theatre . He has appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Rent, She Loves Me and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. In this special show he sings songs from the musicals and the great American songbook.

Joanne Clifton comes from a dancing family. She was taught dancing by her parents, former World Champions Keith and Judy Clifton, competing in her first competition at the age of just 3 years old, with brother, and fellow Strictly professional dancers, Kevin Clifton. She has many titles to her name including five times British Champion, three times Italian Champion, Professional Ballroom European Champion in 2012 and the Professional World Dancesport Champion in 2013.

She left Strictly to persue a career in musical theatre and has since appeared in Thoroughly Modern Millie; Flashdance the Musical and Tophat.

With Shirley at the helm much of tonight’s music has a latin feel and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart perform Mambo Jambo; El Cumbanchero; Soul Bossa Nova and Brazil.

During the interval another Strictly Star finds himself with time on his hands - Anton du Beke who with partner Susannah Constantine was voted off in the first week of the series reflects on his dancing years and recalls his remarkable leading ladies – including – Katie Derham, Nancy Dell’Olio and Ann Widdecombe.

Concert first broadcast in November 2018

With Shirley Ballas. Now straighten that back, head up and keep your shoulders down!

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra

Strictly Strauss2018051820190104 (R2)

Strictly Strauss - Johann I, Johann II, Josef and Eduard. Ken Bruce turns genealogist as he presents a history of the amazing Strauss Family.

First came Johann Strauss the father and then Waltz King himself - Johann Strauss II and his brothers - Josef and Eduard. The Strauss Family - they remain unrivalled in the world of Viennese music. Mazurkas, polkas and above all the waltz. Johann Strauss II wrote over 500 dance pieces and his work was much admired by Brahms and Wagner.

When it first appeared in the late 18th century the waltz was considered scandalous. In a gavotte you stand side by side but in a waltz couples are in close hold - they bodies touching. Goodness Gracious! The best selling pamphlet of the time was by German critic Salomon Jakob Wolf whose "Proof that Waltzing is the Main Source of Weakness of the Body and Mind of our Generation" sold out twice. The waltz was first seen in Britain at the Prince Regent's grand ball of 1816. The Times reported on "the indecent foreign dance called the waltz" and "the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs" Even Lord Byron (not known for his defence of high morals) criticised the dance.

Tonight's concert will include many Strauss family favourites performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell - The Blue Danube; Tales from the Vienna Woods; Bahn Frei!; Die Libelle and the Radetsky March. Our guest coloratura soprano will be Friday night star Rebecca Bottone - who will perform Village Swallows and When the Lemon Trees Bloom.

During the interval - writer Peter Kemp looks at the life of the forgotten Johann Strauss - Johann Strauss III

Time to roll back the carpet and brush up on your fleckerls, your canter pivots, hesitations and left whisks.

Viennese whirl anyone?

This programme was first broadcast in May 2018

Strictly Strauss - Ken Bruce presents a brief history of the Strauss Family.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Strictly Strauss2018051820190104 (R2)

Strictly Strauss - Johann I, Johann II, Josef and Eduard. Ken Bruce turns genealogist as he presents a history of the amazing Strauss Family.

First came Johann Strauss the father and then Waltz King himself - Johann Strauss II and his brothers - Josef and Eduard. The Strauss Family - they remain unrivalled in the world of Viennese music. Mazurkas, polkas and above all the waltz. Johann Strauss II wrote over 500 dance pieces and his work was much admired by Brahms and Wagner.

When it first appeared in the late 18th century the waltz was considered scandalous. In a gavotte you stand side by side but in a waltz couples are in close hold - they bodies touching. Goodness Gracious! The best selling pamphlet of the time was by German critic Salomon Jakob Wolf whose "Proof that Waltzing is the Main Source of Weakness of the Body and Mind of our Generation" sold out twice. The waltz was first seen in Britain at the Prince Regent's grand ball of 1816. The Times reported on "the indecent foreign dance called the waltz" and "the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs" Even Lord Byron (not known for his defence of high morals) criticised the dance.

Tonight's concert will include many Strauss family favourites performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Stephen Bell - The Blue Danube; Tales from the Vienna Woods; Bahn Frei!; Die Libelle and the Radetsky March. Our guest coloratura soprano will be Friday night star Rebecca Bottone - who will perform Village Swallows and When the Lemon Trees Bloom.

During the interval - writer Peter Kemp looks at the life of the forgotten Johann Strauss - Johann Strauss III

Time to roll back the carpet and brush up on your fleckerls, your canter pivots, hesitations and left whisks.

Viennese whirl anyone?

This programme was first broadcast in May 2018

Strictly Strauss - Ken Bruce presents a brief history of the Strauss Family.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra

The Scary Fairy Saves Christmas20181207

For this unique performance recorded at the Lowry Theatre in Salford, Craig Charles joins forces once again with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in this, the latest installment in his series of modern day fairy tales. Written in conjunction with composer Iain Farrington, the Scary Fairy once again features a larger than life cinematic score as Craig's fable in rhyme takes the listener on a seasonal adventure packed full of humour and nostalgia with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

Presented by Angellica Bell, the first part of the concert features the BBC Philharmonic and conductor Clark Rundell with a programme of wintry delights. These include movements from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet Suite, Skating from Prokofiev’s Winter Bonfire, The Dance of the Tumblers from Rimsky Korsakov’s Snow Maiden and Claude Thornhill’s Snowfall. They are also joined by guest singer Curtis Stigers who performs with the BBC Philharmonic for the very first time in a set that includes his own hits, I Wonder Why and Never Saw A Miracle, combined with the festive groove of Christmas classics such as Let It Snow and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Craig Charles performs his latest modern day fairy tale with the BBC Philharmonic.

The world's longest-running live orchestral programme featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra