The BBC is to broadcast a live radio performance of an orchestra playing four-and-a-half minutes of silence.
John Cage’s seminal work 4’33” will be the highlight of a concert on Radio 3.
The piece consists of four minutes and 33 seconds’ worth of nothing.
In readiness for the performance, Radio 3 bosses will have to switch off their emergency back-up system – designed to cut in when there is an unexpected silence on air.
The work has never been performed by an orchestra or broadcast on national radio in the UK before.
The BBC describe Cage’s piece, written in 1953, as “ambient silence”.
It will be broadcast as part of the station’s annual Composer Weekend at the Barbican on Friday.
TV viewers will be able to tune into BBC Four an hour later and watch the orchestra “performing” the piece.