Why do audiences stand for the Hallelujah Chorus? Why is there so much farm imagery in the Messiah? Listen to this piece for some little-known (albeit fake) facts about Handel's greatest hit.
Berlioz was so obsessed with Harriet Smithson that he wrote her a symphony. She married him, only after hearing a Symphony he composed for a second(!) woman he was obsessed with. Costa Zouliou, Thomas Allely and I pry into the weird story of Berlioz's most famous work.
I found a story about Walt Disney's first cartoon character... a rabbit called Oswald.
'Thum Prints' (my collab with beatboxer Tom Thum and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Here's a radio piece Tom and I made about it...
When Stalin heard a live broadcast of Maria Yudina performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23, he requested a copy, provoking a desperate all-night dash by the radio committee and musicians to recreate the recording for the Leader and Teacher. Several days later, Stalin was dead, and this record was on his player. This is the story of that recording.
Have you ever wondered where our names for the planets come from? Costa Zouliou and I went on an etymological search.
The 18th Variation of Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is among the most loved melodies in western music. But how does it relate to the original Paganini tune?
I called my mum for her birthday. We got talking about her favourite Mozart work.
The 'Ode to Joy' is everywhere; a mighty gene in our (western) cultural DNA. It has been repurposed by such opposing ideologies that one can imagine a fictional performance enjoyed together by sworn enemies. Three short stories about Beethoven's big bombastic five-note tune.
My chat on Screen Sounds with composer and conductor Tim Davies about his work on the soundtrack to La La Land.