We’re delighted to announce that Zeb Soanes, our Thaxted Festival Patron, will be presenting Classic FM’s much-loved evening programme Smooth Classics at Seven from Monday 4 July. This will become a three-hour programme, 7.00-10.00pm Monday to Friday, during which Zeb will handpick the perfect blend of calming and soothing classical works to help listeners unwind and relax at the end of a busy day.
Zeb has been well known to BBC Radio listeners as one of the most familiar voices of the news on Radio 4, as well as his continuity announcing, and of course that perennial favourite the Shipping Forecast. He regularly presents concerts and live events for some of the UK’s leading orchestras, and has appeared at the Royal Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall. He is passionate about involving children in music and music making, and is patron of the charity Awards for Young Musicians. He has brought storytelling to young audiences with his own best-selling children’s books featuring Gaspard the Fox, which he presents in dramatized form with major orchestras.
We have been honoured to have Zeb as a Patron of Thaxted Festival since 2020. He has appeared regularly at the Festival as narrator with singers Opus Anglicanum, and performed Carnival of the Animals and Walton’s Façade with Selina Cadell in 2021. In 2022 he presents our Family Concert Wilde Tales in a programme he has devised with David Owen Norris. His activities as a broadcaster, writer and presenter are wide-ranging, and his deep involvement with classical and contemporary music are the perfect complement to our Festival ambitions. Zeb’s connections with the East of England are strong, as he grew up in Suffolk and attended the University of East Anglia.
Zeb says: ‘I am delighted to be joining Classic FM in its thirtieth birthday year. Performing with orchestras has become one the great pleasures of my life in recent years and I look forward to sharing their extraordinary talents and music with listeners every evening on Smooth Classics at Seven.’
We congratulate Zeb on his move to this role, and look forward to hearing him regularly on our airwaves, along with his personal choice of music for each evening.