In 1976 Graham Sheffield joined the BBC as a Music Producer on Radio 3, initially programming all recorded opera on the network. During his twelve years at the Corporation, Graham produced several documentaries and dramatised features, as well as programmes on Indian Classical Music (Ragas and a Republic) and a major series on Arthur Rubinstein. He produced Music Weekly with Michael Oliver from 1982 to 1987. One programme 'Tasting Notes' won the Sony Radio Award for Best Feature in 1990.

Selected Programmes

In Repertory: Jonathan Miller

In Repertory was an occasional series from the late 70's and early 80's in which senior figures from the world of opera spoke about their work and introduced excerpts.  Here, director Jonathan Miller speaks to Graham Sheffield.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1980

Purcell at the Playhouse (1982)

Four dramatised features written and presented by Roger Savage, produced by Graham Sheffield, telling the story of Purcell's work in the English theatre in the late 17th century.  With actors Nigel Anthony and Clive Swift.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1982

Music Weekly

Music Weekly was a regular magazine programme on Radio 3, the forerunner of today's Music Matters. Graham produced over two hundred editions of it between 1982 and 1987 with the presenter Michael Oliver.  In these three programmes you will find items, all from 1984, on a "solution" to Elgar's Enigma (Derek Hudson), on Verdi (David Kimbell) and on Madeleine Milhaud (Roger Nichols), in the second programme on Strauss and Mahler (Michael Kennedy), on Louis Spohr (David Brown) and an "unknown" Baroque composer called Meslier, broadcast on April 1st!  And finally a Pick of the Year programme from the end of that year.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1984

Ragas and a Republic

A documentary series exploring the contemporary history of Indian classical music since 1947 in the context of a rapidly changing society: including the voices of many of India's leading musicians from the 1980's.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1988


Selected Press for Ragas and a Republic

Read Roger Savage's article on Ragas and a Republic in the Radio Times, October 1988

Read Graham Sheffield article in The Listener. October 1998

Rubinstein: A Life in Music

A documentary presented by Jeremy Siepmann, produced by Graham Sheffield on the life and work of legendary pianist Arthur Rubinstein.  Including interviews with Emanuel Ax, Daniel Barenboim, Max Wilcox, Nela Rubinstein and others.

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1988

Third Ear

Third Ear was a daily weekday programme on Radio 3 broadcast before the main evening concert and featuring extended interviews with eminent cultural figures.  Graham contributed to it either as producer or presenter.  There are four programmes here:

1. Composer Gian Carlo Menotti, interviewed by Graham Sheffield (1989)
2. William Glock, former BBC Controller Music and the Proms, interviewed by Nick Kenyon (1991)
3. Max Rostal, legendary violinist and teacher, interviewed by Michael Hall (1989)
4. Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge, interviewed by Michael Hall (1989)

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1989-1991


A dramatic radio feature inspired by the contrast between the deadly and unpredictable violence of the avalanche phenomenon, contrasted with the deep scientific research into the subject.  Recorded on location in Davos, partly at the Avalanche Research Centre, and interspersed with news reports and a specially commissioned radiophonic score by Javier Alvarez.  

Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 1990