The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to musicians, singers and dancers across the UK who have had to deal with the “heartbreaking” cancellation of performances due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Charles dedicated a Classic FM show which he recorded, to be aired on Tuesday evening, to orchestral performers, saying he hoped they could emerge from the lockdown with their talents “possibly shining all the brighter” when live shows are allowed again.
The programme, entitled A Royal Appointment, is the second of two which celebrate Charles’s long-time support and enjoyment of classical music.
Ending Tuesday’s recording, he said: “It is heartbreaking to think of all the hard work that has gone into planning this year’s concert seasons, the summer music festivals, the opera and ballet productions around the country, all of which have had to be cancelled.
“You can imagine the effect on the lives and livelihoods of all those incredibly gifted musicians, singers and dancers whom we are so fortunate to have in large numbers in this country. My heart goes out to them in these anxious times.
“Now I have no doubt when we are finally allowed to enjoy concerts and theatrical performances once again, our brilliant orchestral players, singers and dancers will be ready to thrill us all, their talents possibly shining all the brighter because of their enforced silence and absence.
“I’m sure they know how deeply they touch people’s lives, so this entire programme is dedicated to them as a tribute to the sheer joy and solace they bring us all.”
Among the music chosen by Charles during the recording is one he commissioned in memory of his grandmother, the Queen Mother, which he said reflects her “smile, the love and the sense of duty”.
The Concerto for piano and orchestra by Nigel Hess is “very dear to my heart”, he said.
Charles, who is patron of 12 orchestras, opera companies and choirs, also spoke of his belief in the importance of musical education, which he said can have a “profound” effect on young people’s lives.
He said: “It teaches self-discipline, it can help strengthen people’s self-esteem and it can open up all kinds of doors on to history.”
In the first programme on Monday evening, Charles was interviewed by Classic FM presenter Alan Titchmarsh and discussed his love of classical music and live performances.
– A Royal Appointment will air at 8pm on Tuesday on Classic FM.