Daniel Snowman Broadcasts

For many years Daniel Snowman worked at the BBC where, as Chief Producer (Features), he was responsible for a wide variety of radio series on cultural and historical subjects, specialising in ambitious, multi-programme projects.

Broadcasting highlights have included:

  • Northern Lights – a Radio 4 Festival about the people, economics, science and politics of the Arctic
  • Fin de Siècle, which attempted to enter and recreate the sound world of the final years of each of the past six centuries, and which later appeared as a book edited by Daniel Snowman and Asa Briggs
  • The Culture Carriers – an evening on BBC Radio 3, which he presented, to mark the launch of his book The Hitler Emigrés
  • In 2007 he presented a 6-part feature series on Radio 3 about the social history of opera

Principal BBC Radio productions (presenter &/or producer) have included

  • The Gilded Stage: series about the social and cultural history of opera: 2007
  • Spitalfields: 2002; Vaughan Williams’ London: 2003 (both with Dan Cruickshank)
  • Culture Carriers: An evening on Radio 3 about the work of the Hitler Emigrés: 2002
  • Victoria’s Children: 2001; Living with Glorious John (Barbirolli centenary): 1999
  • 5-part series on Puccini; Spirit of the Age series; cultural history of Vienna: 1998
  • Rebuilding the (Opera) House: 1997
  • Singing Verdi:1995; Conducting Verdi:1996; Directing Verdi: 1997
  • History Now and Then (history series with Roy Porter and others): 1994-6
  • Pretty Witty Nell (Nell Gwyn); The D-Drunken P-Poet (Durfey): 1995
  • Donizetti’s Final Mad Scene and Legacy of Liszt: 1994
  • Curtain Up (opera introductions, with Aled Jones): 1993-5
  • Fin de Siècle (the ends of the past six centuries in British history): 1994
  • On the Road for a Song (traditional music of Britain’s regions, with Lucie Skeaping): 1993
  • Northern Lights (5-week multi-programme Arctic Festival): 1992
  • Maps of the Mind: 1991
  • Pastime With Good Company (Portrait of Henry VIII): 1991
  • The Making of the “Vixen” (with Simon Rattle): 1990
  • Songs My Mother Taught Me (music of Britain’s ethnic groups with Lucie Skeaping): 1990
  • Beyond the Tunnel of History (Reith Lectures with Jacques Darras): 1989
  • Songs of Sepharad (Music of Medieval Jewish Spain, with Lucie Skeaping): 1989
  • Encounters in Australia: 1988
  • South of Sixty (Antarctica): 1988
  • The Age of Chivalry: 1987
  • The Making of Medee (Sydney Opera): 1987
  • Paco Pena in Cordoba: 1986
  • Inside Castro’s Cuba: 1986
  • The Making of a Quartet (William Mathias and the Medici Quartet): 1986
  • The Vatican: 1985
  • The Making of Chagall 1985
  • War and Peace in Our Time: 1984
  • Enjoying Opera: 1983
  • Conversations with Domingo: 1984
  • NY Metropolitan Opera at 100: 1983
  • A World In Common (world development issues): 1982
  • Morality: 1981
  • Folktales: 1980
  • The Sexes: 1980
  • World Powers in the 20th Century (26-part educational series): 1978
  • Malraux: 1976
  • New York and Chicago – Two Bicentennial Portraits: 1976
  • Whatever Happened to Equality?  1976
  • Words…”: 1974-6
  • The Long March of Everyman (26-part history of the British people): 1971
  • The Publishing Business:  1971
  • Britain in the Sixties: 1970
  • What Is News? 1970
  • Winifred Wagner: 1969
  • Music from the Dead Composers (with Rosemary Brown): 1969
  • The Conductor and the Orchestra (with Atherton, Bliss, Barbirolli, Boulez, Boult, Haitink, Menuhin et al): 1969
  • The Great Powers and the Middle East: 1969
  • Black Power: 1969
  • Grave New World’: American Society in Election Year:  1968 
  • ‘I Have a Dream’: Portrait of Martin Luther King: 1968

"Daniel Snowman has brought zest and boundless curiosity to every aspect of his very wide and always impressive professional life. These pages reflect all that in joyful abundance."


"Daniel says somewhere that he doesn’t want to judge people. And he doesn’t. He writes candidly about his orthodox Jewish background, the benefits brought by German refugees, the evils of McCarthyism, the racism of the American South. He has been everywhere. As a musician and broadcaster, he has interviewed politicians like Crossman, luminaries like Barbirolli, and befriended singers like Domingo. He has even calmly discussed ‘the bomb’ with Harry Truman. He is a writer, producer, performer, historian and human being all in one and this book deserves to be read widely."

11th Earl of Sandwich and former President of the Pepys Club

"Daniel Snowman’s well-lived life – as broadcaster, historian, singer, lecturer, opera-buff – has taken him around the world and brought him in contact with many of the cultural and  political greats of the modern world. His warmly empathetic, intelligent and open-minded personality informs every page of this insightful and civilised memoir."

Editor of History Today, 1997–2008

"I have known Daniel over 70 years, but had no idea what a rich and full life he has led. I found it so impressive how he has managed to combine his two loves, history and music, largely through his world-wide travels and research, and his fascinating interviews (about some of which I would have liked to have learned more!). The book is beautifully presented, easy to read and well illustrated. I particularly appreciated the shortish chapters.

I would happily award Daniel the alpha star he apparently always wanted!"

Historian, Educationalist - and Daniel's first history teacher 70 years ago

"A masterpiece by a profound thinker: wonder and wisdom, grace and beauty, sprinkled with the human condition, dazzle the senses."