TV judge Robert Rinder said he hopes his new series about LGBT classical music personalities will provide a fuller picture of their lives.
he broadcaster and lawyer will present Classical Passions on Classic FM.
It will explore the lives of some of the biggest names in the genre, including Tchaikovsky and Benjamin Britten, who as well as being titans of music were also gay.
The six-part series is described as being very personal to Rinder, who loves classical music.
Rinder, who is gay, said delving into the composers’ personal lives would give audiences a better understanding of their work.
He told the PA news agency: “They weren’t composers, performers or conductors because they were gay, but they are gay performers.
“And speaking of that, what we’re doing is bringing that to light and giving them an integrality to their whole story.”
Rinder said the passion often expressed in music is a shared experience
“who can breathe and sing in classical music”.
“And it’s a shared experience, no matter who it’s for,” he said. “But for many performers, composers and conductors, they have to live their lives in a hidden way. So now we can release this story. And I think that’s a really joyful thing to do.
But for many performers, composers and conductors, they have to live their lives in a hidden way. So now we can release this story. And I think it’s really kind of a joyful thing to doRobert Rinder
Rinder, who said he firmly believes that classical music should be for everyone rather than an elite pastime, addressed potential listeners who might wonder why a composer’s sexuality deserves to be explored.
“It’s important as we know their whole story,” he told PA. “So when you feel loved, maybe if you’re straight, you know I have a shared feeling with you. You know when you feel pleasure and joy, that pleasure and joy that I share with you .
“And for someone who didn’t grow up around classical music, and also grew up in an environment where being gay wasn’t such an acceptable thing, before the world changed so happily and happily for me , the music was that expression.”
In the first episode of Classical Passions, Rinder, 43, marks American Independence Day.
It begins with composer Aaron Copland, credited by some with founding the classic American sound of the 20th century.
Explaining his love for classical music, Rinder said the series was “the best gig I’ve ever had”, adding that the genre belongs to everyone.
“When it comes to culture, and especially music, there is no way to stay,” he said. “And that’s why I’m really passionate about classical music.”
Robert Rinder’s Classical Passions airs every Sunday (9-10 p.m.), July 4 through August 8 on Classic FM.