''Private Passions'' is a weekly music discussion programme that has been running since 15 April 1995 on
BBC Radio 3 BBC Radio 3 is a British national radio station owned and operated by the BBC. It replaced the BBC Third Programme in 1967 and broadcasts classical music and opera, with jazz, world music, Radio drama, drama, High culture, culture and the arts ...
, presented by the composer Michael Berkeley. The production was formerly made by Classic Arts Productions, a British radio and audio production company that provided programmes to the BBC until June 2013. Since June 2013, it has been produced by Loftus Audio. The producers are Elizabeth Burke, Jane Greenwood and Olivia Seligman. The one-hour show is broadcast almost every Sunday at 12:00 in the UK, and is available on demand through the BBC website, where it is possible to listen to the last seven days of Radio 3 broadcasts. Every week Berkeley interviews a notable guest about their life and musical interests and plays a selection of their favourite pieces. The emphasis is on
classical music Classical music generally refers to the art music of the Western world, considered to be distinct from Western folk music or popular music traditions. It is sometimes distinguished as Western classical music, as the term "classical music" al ...
, but also embraces
jazz Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognized as a major ...
, world music and popular song. The "life and works" aspect of the interview is generally secondary to the discussion about musical passions, and Berkeley often aims to explore a guest's unexpected musical interests. There are programs that are compilations covering a particular topic or a fictitious guest. Writer
Ian McEwan Ian Russell McEwan, (born 21 June 1948) is an English novelist and screenwriter. In 2008, ''The Times'' featured him on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945" and ''The Daily Telegraph'' ranked him number 19 in its list of th ...
has described it as "musically and psychologically irresistible. Probably the best programme on radio in Britain." The ''Private Passions'' book charts the show's first decade, listing all the guests and their choices of music. The programme's theme tune is Michael Berkeley's "The Wakeful Poet" (from ''Music from Chaucer'') performed by the Beaux-Arts Brass Quintet.BBQ: BBQ 003 T10


External links

* {{BBC Radio 3 BBC Radio 3 programmes British classical music radio programmes 1995 radio programme debuts