Radio 2 Piano Room month sees an abundance of world famous, award-winning artists each perform exclusively with the BBC Concert Orchestra from Monday 30th January to Friday 24th February 2023.
Each performance will be broadcast live from Maida Vale studios on Ken Bruce’s Radio 2 show (Monday to Friday, 9.30am-12pm) and on BBC Sounds, with each artist performing three tracks - a new song, one of their well-known tracks and a classic cover version from another artist - accompanied by members of the BBC Concert Orchestra. Following the live shows, each performance will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer and available for 30 days afterwards. An hour-long special will also be broadcast on Radio 2 each Sunday (7pm-8pm) featuring highlights from the previous week’s performances (Sunday 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th February).
The month of Piano Room performances will be followed by a P!nk Piano Room special on BBC Two, featuring more live songs from her.
Bill Chandler, Director BBC Concert Orchestra, says: “The BBC Concert Orchestra is delighted to collaborate with Radio 2 for Piano Room month and to perform alongside this star-studded line up of singers and musicians. Our versality as an orchestra means we can bring inspiring musical experiences to everyone, everywhere, and we relish the opportunity of working with such world-class artists for BBC audiences.”
Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2 and 6 Music says: “With over 16,000 different songs played every year, music continues to be at the core of Radio 2, so I’m excited for the return of our biggest ever celebration of live music - Piano Room month. Twenty days of live performances from a glittering line up of artists is just what we need to get us through these winter months!”
Ken says: “Piano Room in 2022 featured so many simply breath-taking performances and I can’t wait to return to Maida Vale for a month of Piano Room sessions featuring a truly stellar line-up of artists.”
Monday 30th January - Richard Marx, who will be covering a Hall & Oates track
Tuesday 31st January – Louise, who will be covering a Justin Timberlake track
Wednesday 1st February - Belinda Carlisle, who will be covering a track by The Carpenters
Thursday 2nd February - Michael Ball, who will be covering an Elvis Presley track
Friday 3rd February – Sugababes, who will be covering an artist and track to be revealed on the day
Monday 6th February – Ellie Goulding, who will be covering a Cara Dillon track
Tuesday 7th February – Tom Chaplin, who will be covering a Taylor Swift track
Wednesday 8th February – Raye, who will be covering a Bill Withers track
Thursday 9th February – Suzanne Vega, who will be covering a Blondie track
Friday 10th February – Lemar, who will be covering a Michael Kiwanuka track
Monday 13th February – Freya Ridings, who will be covering a Cyndi Lauper track
Tuesday 14th February – Simply Red, who will be covering a Paul McCartney track
Wednesday 15th February – P!nk, who will be covering an artist and track to be revealed on the day
Thursday 16th February – Haircut 100, who will be covering a Harry Styles track
Friday 17th February – Lady Blackbird, who will be covering an artist and track to be revealed on the day
Monday 20th – Jessie Ware, who will be covering a Cher track
Tuesday 21st February – Suede, who will be covering a Patti Smith track
Wednesday 22nd February – Sophie Ellis Bextor, who will be covering a Madonna track
Thursday 23rd February – Jake Shears, who will be covering a Pet Shop Boys track
Friday 24th February – Stormzy, who will be covering an Oleta Adams track (this session will be pre-recorded)
Louise says: “I am absolutely thrilled to be asked to be part of Radio 2’s Piano Room with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Getting to perform live is what I love and I have a few surprises up my sleeve, bring on Tuesday 31st!”
Belinda Carlisle says: “I am so looking forward to my performance for Radio 2’s Piano Room on February 1st, especially as it will be the first time I’ve ever performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra. It’s going to be really special, so please don’t forget to tune in.”
Sugababes say: “What an honour to be asked to perform with the BBC Concert Orchestra for the first time for the Radio 2 Piano Room. We can't wait to reimagine some Sugababes tunes old and new with them!”
Tom Chaplin says: “I’m absolutely delighted to be returning to the historic Maida Vale Studios to perform for Radio 2’s Piano Room – it’s such a cool and prestigious gig, so a huge thank you to Radio 2 for inviting me!”
Suzanne Vega says: “I’m looking forward to performing for Radio 2’s Piano Room. I can’t wait to return to the Maida Vale studios since it has been more than a decade since I did Mastertapes there on Radio 4 with John Wilson!”
Lemar says: “I’m both excited and quite nervous getting to be a part of Radio 2’s Piano Room. It’s been a while since I’ve performed at Maida Vale, but I’m sure I’ll be as inspired as always in that space with some very talented musicians. Looking forward to it!”
Freya Ridings says: “I am thrilled to be a part of the Piano Room sessions and I’m so excited to be able to play with the amazing BBC Concert Orchestra.”
Mick Hucknall of Simply Red says: “We’re very happy to be performing on Ken Bruce’s Piano Room on Valentine’s Day. We look forward to creating something special and unique with the BBC Concert Orchestra, and we’re particularly excited to share some new music too.”
P!nk says: “I am so looking forward to being back in the UK soon and performing for Radio 2’s Piano Room! It’s been six years since I last performed at BBC’s iconic Maida Vale studios, and I can’t wait to do it again!”
Jessie Ware says: “I am so thrilled to be returning to perform for Radio 2’s Piano Room sessions playing alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra. Performing with an orchestra is always the biggest treat and I absolutely cannot wait.”
Haircut 100 says: "It’s not just the 40th anniversary of Pelican West, it’s also 40 years since we’ve played at Maida Vale Studios. So, we’re really looking forward to the BBC Radio 2 Piano Room session. We can’t wait!"
Lady Blackbird said: “I could not be more excited and thrilled to be performing on Ken Bruce’s show for Piano Room accompanied by members of the BBC Concert Orchestra at Maida Vale, where so many other brilliant artists have performed.”
Suede’s Brett Anderson said: “We’re delighted to be involved with Radio 2’s Piano Room. It’s so, so exciting to be able to freshly explore our songs old and new with the esteemed accompaniment of the BBC Concert Orchestra. Can’t wait.”
Sophie Ellis-Bextor said: “I’m thrilled to be performing for Radio 2’s Piano Room and can’t wait to return to the BBC’s Maida Vale studios. I’ve been there for other Radio 2 sessions, which are all very happy memories of mine so I’m very much looking forward to creating a new one!”
Jake Shears says: “I’m over the moon to be performing for Radio 2’s Piano Room. I have a busy exciting year ahead and it's brilliant to kick things off with Radio 2 and the fabulous BBC Concert Orchestra".
Last year’s Piano Room included performances from Anne-Marie, James Blunt, Clean Bandit, Joy Crookes, Craig David, Rebecca Ferguson, David Gray, Ella Henderson, Jamie Cullum, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, Katie Melua, Emeli Sandé, Stereophonics, Ed Sheeran, Simple Minds, Jack Savoretti and Tears For Fears. And in Piano Room sessions late last year Sam Smith covered Des’ree’s I’m Kissing You, Olly Murs covered Coldplay’s Adventures of a Lifetime, and on 22nd December Mimi Webb performed a cover of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.
BBC Radio 2 is the UK’s most listened to radio station, with a weekly audience of 14.46 million (RAJAR Q3, 2022), and won Station Of The Year at the Music Week 2021 awards. The network’s presenters include Michael Ball, Zoe Ball, Rob Beckett, Tony Blackburn, OJ Borg, Rev. Kate Bottley, Ken Bruce, Rylan, Fearne Cotton, Sara Cox, Jamie Cullum, Gary Davies, Paul Gambaccini, Angela Griffin, Bob Harris, Cerys Matthews, Scott Mills, Jason Mohammad, Trevor Nelson, Dermot O’Leary, Elaine Paige, Mark Radcliffe, DJ Spoony, Liza Tarbuck, Jeremy Vine, Michelle Visage, Johnnie Walker, Jo Whiley, Claudia Winkleman and Steve Wright.