Alex Woolf

Composer

The NHS Symphony

for: SATB, piano (radio broadcast)
duration: 30 minutes
composed:
2018
first broadcast:
June 30, 2018 | BBC Radio 3

note

The NHS Symphony is a half-hour portrait in music and sound of the National Health Service as it celebrates its 70th anniversary. The work is in four movements, focusing in turn on maternity, cardiology, and A&E; it is a collaboration between Alex and producer Laurence Grissell of the BBC Radio Documentaries Unit. Alex’s music was recorded by The Bach Choir, the NHS Lewisham & Greenwich Choir, Barts Choir, and NHS staff at BBC New Broadcasting House, conducted by Mark Austin with the composer at the piano.

The work was broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Between the Ears, and was featured widely across the BBC as part of its NHS at 70 celebrations: this included features on Newsnight, The Today Programme and The World Tonight. It received widespread critical acclaim, praised as ‘groundbreaking’ (The Times) and ‘haunting’ (Metro). In October 2018 it was nominated for an ARIAS Award (the BAFTAs of UK Radio), in the Factual Storytelling category.

listen

Listen to an excerpt of The NHS Symphony here:

Listen in full on BBC iPlayer here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b86s0j

The programme is recorded in binaural stereo, simulating how the human ear hears. For a fully immersive experience, it is best to listen on headphones.

 Recording  The NHS Symphony  at BBC New Broadcasting House, London | June 2018

Recording The NHS Symphony at BBC New Broadcasting House, London | June 2018