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In what will be Radio 2’s biggest celebration of live music in a decade, twenty of pop’s best-loved artists will be performing for Radio 2’s Piano Room Month - accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra - live from London’s BBC Maida Vale studios from Monday 31st January to Friday 25th February. 

The gigs will be broadcast live in Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show (Monday to Friday, 9.30am-12pm) and on BBC Sounds. Each artist will perform three tracks – a new song, a classic, and a cover – with members of the BBC Concert Orchestra accompanying alongside them. Following the live shows, each performance will be available to watch live on BBC iPlayer then on demand from 6pm that day and available for 30 days afterwards. Ken’s PopMaster quiz - which sees two contestants compete in a pop quiz - remains daily at 10.30am. 

In addition to the live broadcasts, an hour-long special will be broadcast on Radio 2 each Sunday (7-8pm) featuring highlights from the previous week’s performances (Sunday 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th February). 

Jeff Smith, Radio 2’s Head of Music, said: “At Radio 2 we pride ourselves on providing our music-loving listeners with the widest range of songs and live music to be heard anywhere on UK radio. We worked hard to offer incredible performances to our audience throughout the past two years, and I’m thrilled to bring 20 live sessions to each of Ken’s weekday shows next month. I’d like to thank all of the artists, most of whom will be performing their first live session of 2022, as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra, who have been busy rehearsing a vast range of different songs. Tune in live, watch them all on BBC iPlayer or listen on BBC Sounds.” 

Ken Bruce said: “I predict cold, rain and possibly even a smattering of snow this February, so what better remedy than to sit back with a warm brew and join me and some of the finest musicians in the world for Radio 2’s Piano Room Month.” 

The artists performing are: 

  • Monday 31st January              David Gray
  • Tuesday 1st February             Jack Savoretti
  • Wednesday 2nd February       Stereophonics
  • Thursday 3rd February            Anne-Marie
  • Friday 4th February                 Katie Melua
  • Monday 7th February              Clean Bandit
  • Tuesday 8th February             Joy Crookes
  • Wednesday 9th February        Will Young - performing on the anniversary of him winning Pop Idol in 2002
  • Thursday 10th February          Rebecca Ferguson
  • Friday 11st February              Tom Odell
  • Monday 14th February            James Morrison
  • Tuesday 15th February           Ella Henderson
  • Wednesday 16th February      Craig David
  • Thursday 17th February          Natalie Imbruglia
  • Friday 18th February               James Blunt
  • Monday 21st February            Tears For Fears
  • Tuesday 22nd February          Simple Minds
  • Wednesday 23rd February      Emeli Sandé
  • Thursday 24th February          Jamie Cullum (pre-recorded)
  • Friday 25th February               Ed Sheeran (pre-recorded)    

Bill Chandler, Director BBC Concert Orchestra, says: “The BBC Concert Orchestra takes great pride in its Radio 2 home and is excited to collaborate with such a range of world-class musicians for its Piano Room Month. As the UK’s most versatile orchestra, we’re thrilled to help bring these extra-special live performances to audiences across the month of February.” 

Given the ongoing situation with Covid, please note that artists are subject to change at short notice. 

Radio 2 delivered live music to listeners throughout the lockdown with Radio 2 House Music sessions which launched in lockdown 2020 and featured some of the biggest names in music including Barry Manilow, Melanie C, Kelly Clarkson, Cliff Richard, Joan Armatrading, Lola Lennox and Jessie Ware, with many accompanied remotely by the BBC Concert Orchestra. 

In 2020 Radio 2 Live at Home featured performances from around the world with Sheryl Crow from her ranch in California, Craig David, Erasure in the UK and New York, Sir Tom Jones, The Killers on the roof of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, John Legend from his home terrace in LA, McFly, Gregory Porter on the roof of Capitol Records Tower in LA, The Pretenders and Nile Rodgers & CHIC feat. Rebecca Ferguson in the UK and New York. Radio 2 Live in 2021 featured four gigs in four nations, each in front of small socially-distanced audiences with Manic Street Preachers in Cardiff, Steps in Manchester, Westlife in Belfast and Texas in Glasgow. 

And Radio 2 In Concert returned last December with performances from Duran Duran and Coldplay in front of an audience at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in London. 

The mission of the BBC Concert Orchestra is to bring inspiring musical experiences to everyone, everywhere, with the ensemble’s versatility as the key. The orchestra can be heard on BBC Radio 2’s Sunday Night Is Music Night and for BBC Radio 3 it explores a wide selection of music, ranging from classical to contemporary. The orchestra has performed on many soundtracks, including Blue Planet and Serengeti for BBC One and for George the Poet’s award-winning podcast for BBC Sounds. In February 2021 it performed for the BBC One and BBC Radio 2 national celebration of musical theatre, Musicals: The Greatest Show. 

The orchestra appears annually at the BBC Proms, and is an Associate Orchestra at the Southbank Centre. Along with its regular engagements throughout the UK, the orchestra tours internationally – most recently performing in Malta for the BBC Radio 2 broadcast, It’s a Kind of Magic – The Queen Story. The BBC Concert Orchestra offers enjoyable and innovative education and community activities and take a leading role in the BBC Ten Pieces, the BBC Young Composer competition and the newly launched BBC Open Music programme. 

BBC Radio 2 is the UK’s most listened to radio station, with a weekly audience of 14.6 million (RAJAR Q3, 2021), and won Station Of The Year at the Music Week 2021 awards. The network’s presenters include Michael Ball, Zoe Ball, Tony Blackburn, OJ Borg, Rev. Kate Bottley, Ken Bruce, Craig Charles, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Fearne Cotton, Sara Cox, Jamie Cullum, Gary Davies, Vanessa Feltz, Paul Gambaccini, Bob Harris, Ana Matronic, Cerys Matthews, Jason Mohammad, Trevor Nelson, Paul O’Grady, Dermot O’Leary, Elaine Paige, Mark Radcliffe, Rylan, Liza Tarbuck, Jeremy Vine, Johnnie Walker, Jo Whiley, Claudia Winkleman and Steve Wright. 

16 May 2022 | Press release

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16 May 2022

  • UK success at Eurovision 2022 (see Features, Showbiz, Live)

  • What does the #CryptoCrash mean for web3 and music? (see Comment)

  • Managers report delay in visas for performers wanting to enter UK (see News)

13 May 2022

  • BMG and Warner Music bidding to buy Pink Floyd’s catalogue (see Deals)

  • MMF: "What is currently an opaque black box of song royalties, needs to be transformed into a glass box" (see Opinion)

12 May 2022

  • MMF publishes Song Royalties Manifesto (see News)

  • Girl bands made British pop great – so where have all the good ones gone? (see Features)

11 May 2022

  • More on myth that 60,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify daily (see Analysis)

10 May 2022

  • Travel limits on international music tours to be eased (see News)

09 May 2022

  • Music industry earnings 2021: Riding the wave (see Analysis)

06 May 2022

  • Copyright Royalty Board asked to approve 32% increase on mechanical royalties (see International)

  • Streaming is not the future of the music economy (see Opinion)

05 May 2022

  • Research confirms the majors benefit most from Spotify's curated playlists (see Analysis)

  • Report: Women in Music 2022 (see Analysis)

04 May 2022

  • Why did #MeToo bypass the music industry? (see Opinion)

  • SoundCloud acquires Musiio (see Digital)

  • How TikTok’s evolution can help artists grow (see Analysis)

03 May 2022

  • Black women are finding their voice against abuse in the music industry (see Comment)

  • Spotify shares now selling at less than the IPO price four years ago (see Analysis)