BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts

BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concerts take place at 1pm on various Fridays throughout the year and feature the finest chamber music performances from established performers and up-and-coming artists alike.

Since the building first opened in 2003, BBC Radio 3 have been presenting these concerts, which are recorded for broadcast at a later date, to ever-increasing numbers of people. Past seasons have included series of Bach sonatas and partitas, string quartets by Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart, Chopin piano music, song cycles by Mendelssohn, Mahler and Schumann, Piano Variations, and a Stravinsky, Debussy and Prokofiev series. We have played host to residencies by the Brodsky Quartet and Nash Ensemble, and have welcomed young performers from the ECHO Rising Stars programme.

On BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert days the Café is open for light lunches and refreshments from 12–3pm. Each concert starts at 1pm and lasts for approximately one hour.

> Don't miss our free Discovery Friday Lunchtime Concerts

NB all  concerts take place on Fridays. All concerts start at 1pm, except for the Rush-Hour concert 4 October 2019 starting 7.30pm


Bartók Plus

Daring, experimental and bursting with energy: five ensembles tease out radical sounds and folk rhythms in the complete cycle of Bartók’s string quartets.

Friday 13 September 1–2pm
Carducci Quartet

Bartók Romanian Folk Dances
Haydn String Quartet in D major Op 20 No 4
Bartók String Quartet No 3


quatuor.jpgFriday 20 September 1–2pm
Quatuor Voce

Kodály Intermezzo for String Trio
Bartók String Quartet No 2
Kodály String Quartet No 2 Op 10

arcadia.jpegSaturday 21 September 1–2pm
Arcadia Quartet

String Quartet No 2, ‘Intimate Letters’
Enescu Aubade for String Trio
Bartók String Quartet No 4


brodsky.jpgFriday 4 October 1–2pm
Brodsky Quartet

Debussy String Quartet
Bartók String Quartet No 1

Friday 4 October 7.30–9.20pm
Vertavo String Quartet

Bartók String Quartet No 5 
Dvořák String Quartet No 12, 'American'
Bartók String Quartet No 6



Beethoven & Tippett

From expansive string quartets to elegant and intimate songs, we trace the profund influence Beethoven had on the music of British composer Michael Tippett.

Friday 11 October 1–2pm
Allan Clayton & James Baillieu

Purcell arr Tippett Music for a while; If music be the food of love
An die ferne Geliebte; Adelaide
Songs for Ariel; The Heart’s Assurance


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riday 25 October 1–2pm
LSO Ensembles

Tippett Sonata for Four Horns
Septet Op 20

Friday 1 November 1–2pm
Peter Donohoe

Tippett Piano Sonata No 1; Piano Sonata No 2
Piano Sonata No 28 in A major, Op 101


Friday 8 November 1–2pm
Heath Quartet

Tippett String Quartet No 2
Beethoven String Quartet No 16 in F major Op 135


Bach Up Close

Sophisticated textures, complex shapes and irresistible melodic lines. Discover the idiosyncracies of Bach's chamber music.

Friday 3 January 1–2pm
Alina Ibragimova & Carole Cerasi

J S Bach Sonata No 4 in C minor for violin and harpsichord BWV 1017; Sonata No 1 in B minor for violin and harpsichord BWV 1014; Sonata No 6 in G major for violin and harpsichord BWV 1019


riday 17 January 1–2pm
Maxim Rysanov, Alexander Sitkovetsky & Steven Devine

J S Bach Cello Suite No 1 (arr for viola); Selection of Two-Part Inventions for violin and viola; Sonata for viola da gamba in G major

Friday 24 January 1–2pm
Justin Taylor & Consone Quartet

J S Bac Harpsichord Concerto in D minor BWV 1052; Toccata in D major for solo harpsichord; Harpsichord Concerto in G minor BWV 1058


federico colli.jpg
Friday 31 January 1–2pm
Federico Colli

J S Bach Italian Concerto in F major BWV 971; Keyboard Partita No 4 in D major BWV 828; Chaconne in B minor from Violin Partita No 2 BWV 1004 (arr Busoni)


Russian Roots

Step into a world of history, folk heritage and rich musical tradition, as we invite chamber musicians to explore Russian music from across the centuries.

Friday 28 February 1–2pm
Lawrence Power & Pavel Kolesnikov

Kabalevsky Improvisation
Une larme; Hopak
Aveu passionné
Beethoven arr Bowden
Adagio sostenuto from Piano Sonata No 14, 'Moonlight' for viola and piano
Viola Sonata


Friday 13 March 1–2pm
Katharina Konradi & Gaspard Trio

Shostakovich Seven Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok Op 127 for soprano and piano trio
Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova
Sofia Gubaidulina
Letter to the Poetess Rimma Dalos
Lera Auerbach
O, let’s escape, Beloved;
O, never sing to me again; Vocalise

Friday 3 April 1–2pm
Gringolts Quartet

Stravinsky Three Pieces for String Quartet
String Quartet No 4
String Quartet No 3


Friday 17 April 1–2pm
Simon Crawford-Phillips & Philip Moore

Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances
Stravinsky arr Victor Babin
Three Movements from ‘Petrushka’ for two pianos


Antoine Tamestit & Friends

In tandem with his Artist Portrait series with the LSO, the charismatic viola soloist Antoine Tamestit curates a complementary chamber music series with a cast of his closest musical friends.

Friday 8 May 1–2pm

with Arod String Quartet

Reger Solo Suite No 1 in G minor for viola
Webern Langsamer Satz
Brahms String Quintet No 2 in G major Op III


Jörg Widmann_1920x1080.jpg
Friday 15 May 1–2pm

with Jörg Widmann & Dénes Várjon

Bruch Nos 2, 4, 5 & 6 from Eight Pieces for clarinet, viola and piano Op 83
Jörg Widmann Fantasie for solo clarinet
Kurtág Hommage a R Schu Op 15d
Mozart Clarinet Trio in E-flat major K 498, ‘Kegelstatt-Trio’

Friday 5 June 1–2pm

with Masato Suzuki

JS Bach
Sonata for viola da gamba No 3 in G minor BWV 1029
Sonata for viola da gamba No 1 in G major BWV 1027
Sonata for viola da gamba No 2 in D major BWV 1028


Colin Currie_1920x1080.jpg
Friday 26 June 1–2pm

with Colin Currie

Programme to include:
Tristan Murail C’est un Jardin Secret for solo viola
Bruno Mantovani Moi, Jeu for marimba
Carter Figments IV for solo viola; Figments V for percussion
Berio Naturale

2019/2020 Season: Tickets cost £15 (£13 concessions) + booking fee*.
Book any four or more concerts for £10 each. Concession tickets are not eligible for the multi-buy discount as discounts cannot be combined. All four concerts must be booked from the same season for the discount to apply.

* £0.60 online booking fee, £0.70 telephone booking fee per transaction. No fee when tickets are booked in person. Click here for more information on booking fees and discounts

Audience waiting for BBC Radio 3 lunchtime concert

bbc radio 3