Hannah French and Alexander Armstrong join the RPS Council

22 Mar 2024

We are pleased to welcome two new members to the RPS advisory Council.

Dr Hannah French presents BBC Radio 3’s The Early Music Show and other broadcasts, and is renowned for her writing, talks and lectures on a range of musical matters. She studied Baroque flute and has taught at educational institutions including the Royal Academy of Music. Alexander Armstrong has been a popular Classic FM presenter for a decade, currently hosting its flagship weekday morning and Saturday afternoon programmes. A classically-trained bass-baritone with a background in choral singing, he is an ardent ambassador for the Cathedral Music Trust. Hannah and Alexander are both RPS Members, and we look forward to working with them to raise greater awareness of the charity and all it does to support, protect and celebrate classical music nationally.

The RPS Council comprises figures from across the music profession and other fields related to the charity whom we approach for insights and advice in fulfilling our charitable objects. Annually, its members join forces with the charity’s Board of Trustees to review and decide recipients for our historic honours – the RPS Gold Medal and RPS Honorary Membership – and for the RPS Gamechanger Award.

As per our Articles of Association, Hannah and Alexander have been co-opted to the Council by our Trustees until our next AGM when RPS Members are invited to vote on them proceeding to fulfil a three-year term.


Yorkshire-born Dr Hannah French is a broadcaster and author. She presents BBC Radio 3's The Early Music Show, Breakfast, and live concerts from Wigmore Hall and the BBC Proms. Her book Sir Henry Wood Champion of J.S. Bach (Boydell Press, 2019) has been described as ‘utterly absorbing’, and ‘a fascinating contribution to the emerging history of the early music revival’. She is currently writing a book on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (for publication in 2025).

Hannah has given pre-concert talks for a variety of music organisations (Kings Place, Oxford International Song Festival, Tafelmusik), hosted literary events (Hay Festival, Folkestone Literary Festival) and presented the 2023 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards with Petroc Trelawny at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. She has served on a variety of panels (including REMA and BBC Music Magazine) and presented and appeared as a music expert on TV (BBC2, BBC 4, Sky Arts).

Hannah graduated from Birmingham University before studying baroque flute at the Royal Academy of Music and completing her PhD at the University of Leeds. For 12 years, she was a Lecturer and Tutor at the Royal Academy of Music, during which time she also served as External Examiner and Advisor at the University of Chichester; and whilst living in Canada taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto.

A former founder trustee of Continuo Foundation, Hannah serves on the Advisory Board for Haringey Young Musicians and is honorary president of the Yorkshire-based Leodis Consort. She has hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and advocates for greater accessibility in the arts.


Alexander Armstrong has been the host of Classic FM’s flagship weekday programme since 2020, and part of its permanent line-up since 2014. One of the nation’s best-loved broadcasters and comedians, he is the host of TV’s Pointless and was co-star of Armstrong and Miller (1997-2001) and the BAFTA-winning The Armstrong and Miller Show (2007-2010).

He is a classically trained bass-baritone singer with three studio recordings, and an appearance as narrator on the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2017 recording of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. His love of music was nurtured at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, where he was a chorister, and at Durham School and Trinity College, Cambridge where he received music scholarships. In 2021, he became an ambassador for Cathedral Music Trust; that year, he set a musical world record by performing 24 concerts in 24 hours for Classic FM’s charity, Global’s Make Some Noise.

Alexander is a panel show regular, with appearances on Have I Got News For You and others, and has made numerous other presenting and acting appearances on TV and radio, including voiceover work in children’s favourites Peppa Pig, Danger Mouse and Hey Duggee. He featured in Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans alongside Nick Frost and Kim Cattrall, and the same year he toured his solo comedy show, All Mouth and Some Trousers. He has presented two seasons of Channel 5 series Alexander Armstrong in…, focusing on travels to Iceland (2021) and Sri Lanka (2023). This year, he debuts his venture into children’s books with The Golden Linnet, the first novel in the Evenfall book series.