Arts Channel's blog

ARTS CHANNEL – Fridays from 14 December, 7.30pm

Following the success of his internationally acclaimed biographical documentaries In Search of Mozart and In Search of Beethoven film-maker Phil Grabsky has embarked on a new search – to discover the real Haydn. In his lifetime Haydn achieved a degree of fame that easily surpassed that of Mozart and Beethoven. In Search of Haydn is an intricate portrait of Haydn’s life told through performances and interviews from today’s most admired classical musicians.

ARTS CHANNEL – Thursday 13 December, 8.30pm

He began with Nellie the Elephant, 633 Squadron and Peter Sellers, then came The Beatles and the golden age of rock. George Martin recorded the soundtrack of the second half of the 20th century. This rich and intimate portrait follows Sir George at 85 with his wife Judy, son Giles, Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Cilla Black, Michael Palin, Rolf Harris and Bernard Cribbins among the many contributors.

ARTS CHANNEL – Wednesday 12 December, 8.30pm

Esa-Pekka Salonen is particularly renowned for his expertise in music of the 20th century. In this concert, he conducts Debussy and Ravel, for the first time with the Orchestre de Paris. It is also a rare opportunity to hear the maestro conducting Classical repertoire, specifically Beethoven.

ARTS CHANNEL – Monday 10 December, 8.30pm

Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Hobbit) portrays Vincent Van Gogh to perfection in this powerful and critically acclaimed docudrama. Based on years of painstaking research, with every single word of dialogue sourced from his original writings, this is the artist’s story, in his own words. For 18 years from 1872, Van Gogh chronicled his eventful life through some 900 letters to his younger brother Theo. The correspondence documents in vivid detail his travels and various occupations in the Netherlands, Belgium, England and France; his obsessive religious zeal; his artistic calling; the evolution of his skills; the way he used art and literature to discover and define himself; and the periods of mental instability and depression that plagued him during the years preceding his suicide. Now, this film weaves together the painter’s recorded experiences into a compelling story. What emerges is a complex portrait of a sophisticated, civilised and yet tormented man.

ARTS CHANNEL – Sunday 9 December, 8.30pm

Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood: Square Garden captures the pair’s extraordinary reunion at Madison Square Garden. The rock legends took the stage together for just three concerts in a highly anticipated collaboration, performing a string of hits. Both Winwood and Clapton have long and prestigious musical careers with countless honours and awards to their names. Their musical paths connected in 1969 with the formation of Blind Faith, a group that pioneered the fusion of rock and blues into tremendous studio and stage success. Despite critical and popular acclaim, the band was short-lived with only one album and a brief 1969 tour that debuted July 12 at Madison Square Garden and ended August 24th in Hawaii.

ARTS CHANNEL – Sunday 9 December, 7.45pm

It was an opportunity too good to pass up, as an ‘extra’ episode to his series Rolling Stone Ronnie chats with Beatle Paul McCartney. This is a must not miss episode!

ARTS CHANNEL – Saturday 8 December, 10.30pm

Rising from the New York punk scene in the late 1970’s, Blondie made the crossover into the mainstream to become a commercially successful, international hit sensation that produced a string of classics. With this success came the backlash from the press, the intrusion into their personal lives and struggles, the in-band fighting and the break-ups. Decades on, the band is still a trailblazing force that ultimately stood the test of time.

ARTS CHANNEL – Friday 7 December, 8.30pm

The Amish first migrated to the United States more than 200 years ago and created a community built on the belief that worldliness not only prevents closeness to God, but also introduces influences that are destructive to their way of life. Living far outside the cultural mainstream, they have managed not only to survive, but to thrive. During the last century, their numbers have grown from 5,000 scattered across a handful of states, to more than 200,000 in 25 states, with less than five percent of those followers earning their income from farming. Drawing upon the success of The Mormons, The Amish will intercut historical analysis with contemporary footage to provide an unprecedented look at this highly private, little understood, and utterly unique community whose beliefs raise important questions about religious liberty in American life.

ARTS CHANNEL – Friday 7 December 7.30pm

The once in a lifetime premiere performance of Paul McCartney’s hit album, Kisses On The Bottom, filmed live at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles in February 2012. Paul is accompanied by Diana Krall and her band on a collection of songs that he grew up listening to, as well as his brand new composition ‘My Valentine’.

ARTS CHANNEL – Thursdays 6 & 13 December, 7.00pm

From working at the Sydney Opera House to serving as CEO of the Australian arts mecca Southbank Centre, Michael Lynch has established himself as a formidable force in the arts business world. Now, he’s using every facet of his extraordinary experience to help UK arts organizations overcome artistic and financial challenges in a period of enormous cultural change in the region. Over the course of a year, Lynch scrutinizes all aspects of each institution, from audience attendance to financial management to artistic decisions to funding strategies.