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Bernard Stevens Composer of the Week on BBC Radio 3

Thursday 30 June 2016


For a whole week, starting on 4 July, BBC Radio 3 features the work of composer and Royal College of Music alumnus Bernard Stevens in this, his centenary year.

In Composer of the Week, presenter Donald Macleod will explore the life and work of Stevens who, despite living during one of the most tumultuous periods of recent history, enjoyed success as a composer for the concert hall and screen alongside a respected teaching career.

Born in 1916, during the First World War, Stevens studied with RO Morris and Gordon Jacob at the RCM, graduating in 1940. His first symphony, composed on active service in the British Army, won first prize in a competition to celebrate an end to the hostilities of World War Two.

Stevens became professor of composition at the RCM in 1948, teaching students such as Keith Burstein and celebrated composer Michael Finnissy, whose music can be heard in a portrait concert at the RCM this autumn. It was around this time that Stevens worked on a number of film scores, including both The Upturned Glass and The Mark of Cain in 1947.

Composer of the Week is broadcast every weekday at 12pm and repeated at 6.30pm on BBC Radio 3.You can also listen live or on demand online through BBC iPlayer.

The programme is one of BBC Radio 3's longest-running series, and lets audiences discover more about the lives and works of both celebrated and lesser-known composers. The producer of this edition is Luke Whitlock, another RCM alumnus and former member of staff.

Find out more about the series on the Composer of the Week website.