BBC hosts first live performance at new music studios in East London

The BBC celebrated the topping out of its new music studios with a live musical performance by singer-songwriter Hak Baker and BBC Symphony Orchestra solo trombone Helen Vollam.

Scheduled to open in 2025, the new BBC Music Studios are located on the East Bank, the new cultural and educational precinct in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

As part of the ceremony marking the completion of the concrete structure, East London-born BBC introducing singer Baker and trombonist Vollam performed a collaborative rendition of Baker’s latest single “Bricks in the Wall”.

Hak Baker and Helen Vollam celebrate the topping out of the BBC’s new music studios on the East Bank, in the first live performance (Mark Allen/BBC/PA)

The performance saw a fusion of rap, pop and classical and reflected the ambition of the new music studios to be a home for the BBC singers, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Choir, rock and pop sessions, BBC music education and outreach are used as a library with an extensive collection of sheet music.

The studios will also host music sessions from the Radio 1 Live Lounge to BBC Proms rehearsals, Radio 3 concerts and special performances from the BBC’s popular music channels, with the public invited to experience many of these live.

Along with Baker and Vollam, guests at the ceremony included Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries Justine Simons, Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz, Chief Executive of London Legacy Development Corporation Lyn Garner, and the BBC’s Alan Davey, Controller of Radio 3 and BBC Proms and Ahmed Hussain, Head of BBC Asian Network.

Commenting on the topping out ceremony and the development of the new studios, Davey said: “We are delighted to celebrate the next chapter in the BBC’s history with the topping out ceremony for the BBC Music Studios.

“Making amazing, world-class music for our entire audience is our mission across all genres, and to celebrate the occasion with the first live performance at the studios in our centenary feels very special indeed.

“Hak Baker and Helen Vollam’s musical collaboration is emblematic of the diversity of our musical offering and the new studios will be an excellent opportunity for artists, the public and the local community to work together and create a new musical legacy in the heart of the East Bank .”

Helen Vollam, Rokhsana Fiaz, Lyn Garner, Hak Baker, Ahmed Hussain, Alan Davey and Justine Simons celebrate the topping out of the BBC’s new music studios (Mark Allan/BBC/PA)

As part of the BBC’s move to the East Bank, the company has sought to engage the local community through music education and outreach, as well as taking part in apprenticeships to help local East London talent break into the music industry.

The move of BBC Music Studios from Maida Vale to Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is also part of a wider partnership with the V&A, Sadler’s Wells, University College London and the University of the Arts London’s London College of Fashion to create a new creative district in the capital, East Bank, which is supported by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

Mr Khan said: “Over the past decade we have seen the area in and around the East Bank grow as a hub for creativity and innovation and an exciting destination not just for Londoners but for people across the country and across the world whole world has become.

“We are proud to support the new BBC Music Studios as well as the broader East Bank partners who continue to work with local cultural partners and community groups to inspire the next generation of talented young musicians.”

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