Was William Byrd the “Father of British Music” as claimed in 1607? How about the bravest man in Christendom, given that he never fully accepted the Protestant faith, despite receiving the support of Elizabeth I?

On the 400th anniversary of Byrd’s death, Clive Paget discusses the career of the subversive English composer with British conductor and musicologist David Skinner, who has recorded plenty of his music.

An undated etching of William Byrd
William Byrd in an undated etching by Gerard Vandergucht. Image © Wikimedia Commons

When people think of a composer sitting up at night dreading the knock at the door, it’s most likely Dmitri Shostakovich who springs to mind. But 300 years before the enigmatic Russian walked the fine line...