TV and radio presenter Suzy Klein has been appointed as the BBC’s head of arts and classical music TV, the broadcaster has announced.
Klein will lead the BBC’s arts and classical music output, focusing on TV, iPlayer and arts digital content, but also collaborating with radio and BBC Sounds to drive reach and impact across the country for all audiences.
She has become a familiar face and voice of BBC culture shows, with her hosting credits including the BBC Proms, The Culture Show and BBC Young Musician Of The Year.
She has also written and presented several BBC TV series, including A History Of Black Classical Composers with Sir Lenny Henry, and she is co-presenter of BBC Radio 3’s popular show, Essential Classics, as well as a regular guest presenter of Radio 4’s Saturday Live.
Klein, who will begin her role on October 4, 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.”
After winning the William Hardcastle Award for journalism, she began her professional career as a presenter on radio and TV with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
On returning to the UK, she produced BBC Radio 4 programmes, including Start the Week and Loose Ends, before moving to television as a director and producer.
She has also produced live events, such as BBC Proms, and drama documentaries on Mozart and Beethoven and documentary films on Ted Hughes, Martin Amis, Steve Reich and John Adams.
This newly-created position is part of the broadcasters aim to fully integrate arts and classical music TV commissioning into BBC content.
The BBC hopes this will bring “specialist depth, modern storytelling and enhanced ambition to the genres”, alongside “new opportunities for collaboration and programming of scale”.
Patrick Holland, director of BBC factual, arts & classical music, said: “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.”