Simon Mayo to lead line-up as Bauer Media announces "modern" classical station Scala Radio

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by David Prior

Bauer Media has announced details of a new radio station that aims to "break the mould of classical music in the UK".

Launching on March 4th, Scala Radio will be available via national DAB digital radio and online and is aimed at those "that love classical music, and lead a modern life".

Leading the presenter line-up is Simon Mayo, who takes on the mid-morning show just weeks after leaving the BBC Radio 2 drivetime slot after eight years.

The new station - which Bauer describes as "the biggest launch in UK classical music radio in nearly 30 years - will feature Angellica Bell at weekends, a live Sunday brunch show from Chris Rogers and a show focusing on film scores from Mark Kermode.

The new station's branding

Music innovators Goldie and William Orbit will also launch their own series, ‘Goldie’s Classic Life’, featuring classical music mixes, alongside a narration of his own journey into classical music. ‘William Orbit in The Space’ will be a curation of well-known artists, unusual pieces and new composers, mixed with classical versions of songs from other genres.

Also on the line-up are presenters Charles Nove, Mark Forrest, Sam Hughes, Jamie Crick and 19-year-old composer Jack Pepper.

Mayo, who is keeping his film review show with Mark Kermode on BBC Radio 5 live, said: “There are hundreds of radi stations playing rock and pop, and only two classical music stations up until now.

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"We’re different because we’re going all out to entertain, laugh with the listeners, and have a good time. Some of it will be familiar, some new and exciting but all timeless, beautiful and all absolutely relevant to today.”

Steve Parkinson, Bauer Group Managing Director, National Radio, added: “We are launching new radio brands at great velocity and we believe that Scala is the most exciting new personality-led radio station launch in years.”

Bauer said listeners could expect "a broad and topical variety of the world’s most stunning music", with everything from Mozart and Holst to new works from living composers such as Karl Jenkins, Rebecca Dale and Thom Yorke (Radiohead).

The sound of the station has been created with modern bespoke scores recorded by The City of Prague Philharmonic.