Berlioz: Composer of the week on Radio 3

With near perfect timing, Berlioz is Radio 3’s Composer of the Week from Monday 11 March!

Well it was the 150th anniversary of his death on Friday 8 March.

Explore the programmes on offer about him at:

There are a number of events planned this year celebrating #Berlioz150 – see:

Hector Berlioz wrote his magnificent Symphonie Fantastique in 1830 as an expression of his unrequited love for the Irish actress Harriet Smithson (whom he later married). It is a hugely innovative composition, an intensely vivid work, and one of the great early Romantic works that tells a story. Berlioz himself called it An Episode in the Life of an Artist, in Five Parts, and it includes the March to the Scaffold, in which you can hear the blade of the guillotine falling, and the Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath, where the string players use the wood of their bows to imitate the rattling of bones in a tour de force of rhythmic and orchestral virtuosity.

Hear the Brighton Phil perform this piece at their season finale on Sunday 17 March at 2.45pm, Brighton Dome Concert Hall. Tickets from Brighton Dome Ticket Office, (01273) 709709 or

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