Our Classical Century


Series 1 - Episode 3 1953-1971



Our Classical Century shows how vital orchestral music became to cinema and television. This third edition may only span 1953 to 1971 but Suzy Klein and latest co-host Joan Bakewell have an awful lot of ground to cover, from Malcolm Sargent popularising the Last Night of the Proms to Dvorak becoming forever linked to the Hovis ad.

Much of the territory is very familiar: Jacqueline du Pré’s grasp on Elgar and Daniel Barenboim, Yehudi Menuhin’s West Meets East alliance with Ravi Shankar, classically trained Rick Wakeman’s contribution to David Bowie’s Life on Mars... But there’s delight in the detail, such as Bakewell being shown a relic from Wilfred Owen bestowed to Benjamin Britten in gratitude for his War Requiem.


Suzy Klein and Joan Bakewell explore classical music between 1953 and 1971, including the first broadcast of the Last Night Of The Proms and Britten's controversial War Requiem. The programme also examines the influence of Jacqueline du Pré, Daniel Barenboim, Yehudi Menuhin, and Ravi Shankar, and reveals how classical music became increasingly entangled with the more modern concepts of rock music, television and film.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Suzy Klein
Presenter Joan Bakewell
Contributor Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Contributor Julian Lloyd Webber
Contributor Rick Wakeman
Director Ellen Hobson
Editor Cliff West
Executive Producer Richard Bradley
Executive Producer Steve Condie
Producer James Giles
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