YEAR OF MUSIC: Classical inspiration for every day
Year of Music is a carefully curated collection of classical music offering one piece to listen to every day of the year.
In this follow-up to her much-loved Year of Wonder, award-winning violinist, journalist and broadcaster Clemency Burton-Hill seeks to represent the widest possible picture of what the genre known as 'classical music' can be. In this book, she dymystifies the music by humanising its creators. Of the composers included in her daily choices some are very famous indeed, but others have so far garnered only a niche audience.
'Classical composers can seem impossibly remote from the lives of regular humans in the 21st century. The term "classical" music, if it conjures any image at all, invariably calls to mind some sort of 18th-century European white male, perhaps in a powdered wig and velvet frock coat. We don't think of these humans as being just like us: relatable, fallible, flawed creatures who are all in their own ways figuring out how to be. We don't think of them as being women, people of colour, minorities. And yet in this book we find hundreds of inspiring humans of all stripes and backgrounds, creating music of dazzling diversity. I write of their stories, their lives and loves, their losses and triumphs, their sorrows and joys and as I did so that old cliche about music being the universal language was revealed for the profound truth it is. Truly all of human life is here.'
Music is a universal, social object, made by humans for humans, passed between us as gifts across space and time. The pieces of music you will find in this book will see you through a whole year, offering a soundtrack to your everyday life as well as a reminder that in our ever more frenetic and fragmented lives, finding a space to sit and listen to a piece of music every day can be a singular gift to yourself.
Clemency Burton-Hill has been one of the UK's most prominent arts and music broadcasters for the past decade. As the host of BBC Radio 3's Breakfast Show she welcomed a new audience to classical music. Her television presenting work includes the BBC Proms and Young Musician of the Year, as well as numerous other music and arts programmes on radio, television and online. As a journalist her work has been published in every major UK publication, including the Economist, the Financial Times, Guardian, Observer and Independent. She is also the music columnist for BBC Culture. An award-winning violinist, Clemency has performed all over the world under leading conductors. She is the co-founder of Aurora Orchestra and a patron of the music and arts education charities The Choir of London Trust and Dramatic Need. She was appointed Creative Director of Music and Arts for New York Public Radio in September 2018 and she divides her time between London and New York.