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BBC classical music head Alan Davey: ‘Radio 3 is like going into a magic garden’

Alan Davey, controller of BBC Radio 3
Alan Davey, controller of BBC Radio 3 Credit: Getty

Is classical music having a hipsterish moment? According to Alan Davey, editor-in-chief of Radio 3, there are club nights in Peckham where classical is the height of cool. “It’s the Bach that gets that audience – who are hipsterish, who are wearing checked shirts and drinking beer – it gets them quiet. It’s the thing that really hits them,” says Alan Davey. “There’s something happening.”

Well, I suppose if you were, as Davey is, in charge of Radio 3 and all classical music on the BBC, you might say that too. Davey’s official job title is Controller of BBC Radio 3, BBC Proms and the BBC Orchestras and Choirs. It’s an extensive brief, and he’s determined to get more listeners through his doors...

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