Hi All,

I'm Australian, and there is so little contemporary classic music from living composers on our radio stations that you'd think no one is writing "classical" music anymore.

I'm interested to know if your radio stations play Contemporary Classical Music?




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  • Hello, Rob,

    The BBC has a radio programme allegedly dedicate to 'art'-styled music (the more elite audience): Radio 3.

    Over a decade it's gone down the tubes a fair bit but still does a few 'classical' and contemporary slots. The contemporary slots are usually hidden away late at night, not always. What's missubg is any composers from the last half og the 20th century. Possibly a reaction against the manager, Glock, who FAVOURED contemporary and shut anything else out if he could.

    This is its current offering. (Hear and Now was popular with the unpopular minority LOL. 2 hours' worth, usually, and good.)


    (PS, sorry if there are any typos. The site doesn't have a spell checker even if we're well on our way to the 23rd century!


    BBC Radio 3 - New Music Show
    Cutting-edge and experimental new music in live performance, plus interviews and features.
    • Hi Dane,

      Thanks for the link. Our ABC has a similar program, only ever aired late at night.

      The issue of radio stations not playing the music of living or even recent past composers is the main reason why so many classical music lovers will not listen to contemporary music. If they are never exposed to it, they can never grow to like, understand or request it.

      Classical music radio stations are killing all classical music. Eventually, there will be so few listening to classical music that they will be forced to drop it completely,  because they are not developing new audiences. 

      The ABC here only listen to their few followers and are not interested in trying to do anything different because they are scared of loosing their few listeners. Less than 1% of Australians listen to our Classic station. 

      Without radio exposure,  contemporary Australian composers are doomed. 

  • Where I currently live in Germany, all radio stations are regionalised and (unless of course you listen through the internet) you can only pick up the local one. SWR2 is a typical example --- it is a sort of hybrid general culture and current affairs station with a certain amount of varied classical music but not much contemporary, unless featuring a well know festival like Donaueschingen. One or two regions, like Bavaria, are a bit better but not much. My motherland, Sweden has really gone downhill and only seems to have a sort of Classic FM kind of station these days. For all its deficits, BBC Radio 3 is still one of the best around in a world which seem to pay ever less attention to serious music.

    PS Dane, type your reply first in your word-processor or email programme. I, too, cannot work with a forum which isn't able to use the standard browser spell-checker.

    • Yes, that's an idea - but what a palaver, say, to rply like this. I should be able to check as I go as I touch type (may the good lord help me when a capcitive touch screen is foisted on me!) but my eyesight isn't good enough to see this far smaller type in the reply panel than that in the eventual post. Thanks though for the hint!

  • I think in the US at least hardly anyone listens to radio any more, in the sense of turning on a device which receives radio waves from a commercial radio broadcast station.  The only sense in which most people listen to "radio" any more is if they access a "radio station" web site and stream the music to their non-"radio" device.  But I think even this is rare: most people listen to music by setting up their own playlists consisting of downloaded tracks from free or subscription web sites on their own devices, or accessing playlists from free or commercial web sites.

    How this relates to classical music isn't clear.  On the one hand it's true that most of the sources I've mentioned pay little attention to classical music except for the "greats."  On the other hand, there is now no reason that any listener can't put together as much classical music, including contemporary classical music, as they want on their own devices, though not many people seem to be doing it. There are recordings available, though they may be hard to find.  Even f there isn't much contemporary classical music issued by mainstream labels, many currently active composers have web sites from which recorded performances of their music can be downloaded.

    • No young person I know of today listens to any "radio station website". But they are subscribed to social media music-sharing websites like Soundcloud.com; one could argue that that's the way to get to your audience these days. And there are endless symphonies to be found on YouTube if you know the right search keywords. (I recently got acquianted with Kalinnikov's beautiful symphonies, for example, thanks to Prengel posting a link on this forum, and have been thoroughly enjoying them -- highly underrated composer that people don't seem to know, but who's on par with Tchaikovsky IMO.)

      Personally I'm not a fan of socia media sites (IMNSHO they are exploitative); but as you say, I do have about 8 GBs' worth of classical music on my mobile device from composers ranging from Telemann and Bach all the way to Shostakovich and Walton. I used to visit a certain store selling old used CDs to procure rare symphonies that are hard to find these days; I don't know if that store still exists today (I moved to a different city and haven't visited in a long time).

      • young people in general don't listen to classical music anyway -- us oldies who make up the majority of the audience do still listen to good old fashioned FM (or DAB radio) to a surprising degree. Soundcloud is OK when you get a specific link there -- trying things at random is a hopeless task as 99.9% is utter dross IMHO

        Incidentally, Kallinnikov I got to know very early on (at that time just about the only other symphonist I really knew was Tchaikovsky) but that was pure co-incidence following a tip from a friend who had fallen in love with the 2nd symphony.

        • Amazon Music Unlimited, which you have to pay for, offers many preset play lists and makes it easy to create your own.  It also has a good search feature to find things.  It has a huge number of tracks, including classical.  It does cost money, but I've found it the best way I've yet tried to put together play lists of any sort of music.

        • My secret to finding stuff online is to use google to search a specific website instead of the built-in search tool of the website itself, which as a general rule is practically useless. Typing "<your search keyword(s)> site:website.com" in google will return results only for website.com. Soundcloud is one of those sites where the search tool is next to useless; it can only find specific titles if you spell it exactly, otherwise it returns just a bunch of garbage. Using google improves this a little. Though to be frank, not by much.

        • Yes, you are right, David. Most youunger people do not seek out classical music, but, like me and many others who love classical music, they find it by accident and by hearing it played on their parents and friends parents radio. By hearing it in TV commericls. At the movies and in plays.

          But radio is still the main avenue for many people of the world to hear music. Remember, there's about 40% of the world that does not have internet access. In many places in Australia, the radio is the main avenue to access music.

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