Classical Passions: Robert Rinder hopes classical music series will shed new light on LGBT composers

TV judge Robert Rinder said he hopes his new series about LGBT classical music figures will offer a more complete picture of their lives.

The broadcaster and barrister will present Classical Passions on Classic FM.

It will explore the lives of some of the genre’s biggest names, including Tchaikovsky and Benjamin Britten, who as well as being titans of music were also gay.

Hide Ad

The six-part series is described as being very personal for Rinder, who has a love of classical music.

Handout photo supplied by Classic FM showing Robert Rinder who will be hosting a six-part series called Classical Passions on Classic FM.
Hide Ad
Read More
Wimbledon 2021: Was this Andy Murray's bravest performance ever?

Rinder, who is gay, said delving into the composers’ personal lives will give the audience a greater understanding of their work.

Hide Ad

He told the PA news agency: “They weren’t composers or performers or conductors because they were gay, but they are gay performers.

“And by talking about that, what we’re doing is shining a light on that and giving them a completeness of their whole story.”

Hide Ad

Rinder said the passion often expressed in music is a shared experience “that can breathe and sing in classical music”.

“And it’s a shared experience, regardless of to whom that’s expressed,” he said. “But for many of the performers, composers and conductors, they have to live their lives in a hidden way. So now we can free that story up. And I think it’s a really kind of joyous thing to do.”

Hide Ad

Rinder, who said he firmly believes classical music should be for everyone rather than an elite pastime, addressed potential listeners who may question why a composer’s sexuality is worthy of exploration.

“It matters insofar as we know their full story,” he told PA. “So when you feel loved, perhaps if you’re straight, you know that I have a shared feeling with you. You know when you feel delight and joy, that delight and joy I share with you.

Hide Ad

“And for somebody that didn’t grow up around classical music, and also grew around an environment where being gay wasn’t such an acceptable thing, before the world changed so happily and joyously for me, music was that expression.”

In the first episode of Classical Passions, Rinder, 43, marks American Independence Day.

Hide Ad

Reporting by PA – Kerri-Ann Roper and Keiran Southern

A message from the Editor:

Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.