BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival: The Listening Service

The Barbour Room

To guarantee your ticket book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis.

The Listening Service is Radio 3’s innovative programme aimed at bringing fresh audiences to classical music. Each week, Tom Service introduces a different way of listening to and imagining a musical idea. How do composers begin a piece of music? Why is repetition so important in all kinds of music, from pop to classical? When does noise become music?

In this edition, Tom explores the idea of polyphony – many voices, of equal importance, independent of each other and yet essential to the greater whole. A musical democratic utopia? Or are some voices always going to be more equal than others?

Online there’s a podcast, quirky animations, shareable clips on social media and a linked playlist. Here’s what our listeners have to say:

“Challenging, provocative, sometimes infuriating, and always interesting. Perfect radio. ”

“A huge surprise, finding this blending of philosophy, music, contemporary issues and simple and accessible language.”

Presenter of Radio 3’s Music Matters since 2003, Tom Service studied music at the University of York. He writes for newspapers and magazines including The Guardian.


For your information…

  • Phase one tickets will be available from 12noon on Monday 5 February, with phase two tickets available from 12noon on Monday 19 February.
  • Tickets are strictly limited to four per person.
  • To guarantee your ticket book in advance. There will be some tickets available on the day on a first come, first served basis.
  • Please take your seats 10 minutes prior to the event start time otherwise you may lose your place.


Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival 2018

Part of BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival 2018

Welcome to the Free Thinking Festival from BBC Radio 3. All weekend here at Sage Gateshead we’re gathering together a throng of talented individuals to wrestle, debate and celebrate the theme of this year’s festival: The One and the Many. Whether it’s the impact of social media,...

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