Suzy Klein will take on the newly created position of BBC head of arts and classical music TV from October 2021.
Klein will lead the BBC’s arts and classical music output on TV. While her remit focuses on TV, iPlayer and arts digital, she’ll be collaborating with radio and BBC Sounds to make the most of the BBC’s arts and classical content for all audiences.
The position was created to see arts and classical music TV commissioning fully integrated into BBC Content as part of a new commissioning powerhouse under the leadership of Patrick Holland (director of factual, arts & classical music).
According to the announcement, the restructuring of TV arts and music commissioning aims to “bring specialist depth, modern storytelling and enhanced ambition to the genres”, and bring new opportunities for collaboration and programming of scale to help grow BBC iPlayer.
Suzy Klein is well known as a journalist and broadcaster and has spent her career championing culture and classical music – as a producer in BBC TV and radio production and latterly as a writer and presenter working across the UK’s cultural sector.
Her production credits range from live events, such as BBC Proms, to producing drama documentaries on Mozart and Beethoven and making documentary films on Ted Hughes, Martin Amis, Steve Reich and John Adams.
On radio, she is the co-presenter of BBC Radio 3’s most listened-to show, Essential Classics. From October 2021, Klein will move aside from presenting to focus on her new senior leadership role.
Suzy Klein said: “I could not be more thrilled to be taking on this exciting new role, flying the flag for the best of arts, culture and classical music at the BBC. I joined the Corporation almost 25 years ago, first as an arts and music researcher, then assistant producer, director and series producer, eventually going on to present some of the programmes I most cherish. If my appointment represents something, it is a long-term commitment to the transformative power, inspiration and joy that the arts bring. That’s something I can’t wait to share with my brilliant commissioning team, as we work together to create the most compelling, unmissable programmes for audiences across the UK.”
Patrick Holland, director BBC Factual, Arts & Classical Music, said: “I am so excited to be announcing Suzy Klein as our new head of Arts and Classical Music. Suzy combines deep subject knowledge with a proselytising passion for great arts and classical music broadcasting. Her vision for the future development of the genres on television and iPlayer made her the stand-out candidate for this most important of roles. She is an unrivalled communicator with brilliant relationships across the arts and classical music sectors and has a strong track-record in production. She will be leading an exceptional team of commissioners in the genre, and we can’t wait for her to start.”