Everyone is familiar with the voice of Donald on BBC Radio 3’s Composer of the Week. Recently he has been tango-ing with Beethoven, presenting 125 programmes (5 per week, over 25 weeks) about that giant whose 250th anniversary we celebrate.
Donald’s musical education is fairly rudimentary: his piano teacher gave up on him at the age of 8, telling his parents that he was wasting their money. Listening to Radio 3 became a habit early on.
He began his career as a presenter in 1982 on BBC Radio 3. He subsequently worked for BBC1’s news and current affairs programme 60 minutes as a TV reporter and newsreader. Donald was Head of Presentation on Radio 3 for four years, and in May 1996 he took up the challenge of setting up and presenting Through the Night, Radio 3’s first 24-hour broadcasting service.
On Radio 3 he has presented more Proms than he cares to remember, and he’s covered the widest imaginable spectrum of music.
In the autumn of 1999 he landed what is undoubtedly one of the best jobs in broadcasting when he became the first person to present, single-handedly, Radio 3’s flagship programme Composer of the Week. Donald has won awards from The Voice of the Viewer and Listener for Excellence in Broadcasting for Best Music & Arts Programme.
Alongside his broadcasting work, he presents pre-concert talks and events and, with a passionate interest in the visual arts, you will find his voice guiding you round exhibitions at major national collections.
In June 2017, Donald was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music by St. Andrews University.