Originally published in 2003, Hans Keller and the BBC is a vivid portrait of the changing face of British broadcasting seen through the work of one of its most significant personalities. Starting with an examination of Keller’s early psychological interests, and the evolution of his method of ‘functional analysis’ of music (with which the BBC was intimately concerned), the book charts the huge contribution Keller made to British music during his BBC years. Also explored in detail are the successive crises of the Third Programme and its replacement by Radio 3, together with Keller’s leading role in opposing the decline of the BBC’s cultural idealism. Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, much of which has never been previously examined, this study paints a striking picture of Keller’s personality in combination with the BBC’s turbulent inner workings, showing the effect of one remarkable individual on the most powerful musical institution in 20th-century Britain.
Alison Garnham was the initial archivist of the Hans Keller Archive when it was first established at Cambridge University Library in 1996. She has written extensively on Hans Keller and music broadcasting in Britain, including Hans Keller and Internment: the development of a musical émigré (2011) and Hans Keller 1919-1985: A musician in dialogue with his times (2019).