The latest Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research) figures show that Choral Evensong is reaching its largest audience to date.

The programme, which presents live broadcasts of Evensong from around the country, has reached 308,000 listeners in its 90th anniversary year – an increase of 41% year on year.

Radio 3’s reach for the most recent quarter was 2.12m – the station’s highest for this quarter in six years. The station also saw its highest reach for Breakfast in this period since 2011: 647,000 listeners, and an increase of 20% year on year. This increase can be attributed to Matthew Kaner’s 70-day residency, during which he created contemporary classical works each week.

The figures also reveal an  increase in time spent listening to Radio 3, with the station recording the highest average hours per listener in over a year at 6 hours, 47 minutes, and the highest reaches for Essential Classics and Radio 3 in Concert since 2007 and 2011 respectively.

Radio 3 controller Alan Davey said: ‘It’s fantastic to have such a  strong performance during Radio 3’s celebration of seven decades of pioneering music and culture.

‘We’ve always been proud to be the most significant and regular commissioner of contemporary classical music and it’s great to know that our 70-strong commissions and day-to-day schedule connected with audiences of 2.12 million people.

‘All round, we’re thrilled to connect so many people with our distinctive blend of remarkable music and culture.’