Emma Ayres leaving Classic FM breakfast

Emma Ayres has given notice to ABC Classic FM that she plans to leave the network’s breakfast show.

She is due to be a guest presenter on Radio National, then to take holidays, but will return to see out her breakfast show duties until the end of the year, giving the network time to choose a replacement.

British born Ayres is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, and various European music universities.She was a member of the English String Orchestra and joined the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in 1992.

Ayres left the orchestra in 1999 and cycled on her own from England to Hong Kong, raising money for music therapy. On her back for this whole year, and all 16,000 kilometres, was a violin and Bach’s Sonatas. Emma played for French farmers, Greek schoolchildren (and goats), Iranian police and Pakistani border guards; she cycled over the Karakorum Mountains, along the most westerly part of the Great Wall of China and is one of the few people to have cycled across the Taklamakan Desert.

She turned to radio in 2001, feeling glad to finally sit down, and began working at RTHK. She immigrated to Australia in 2003 and after the character-building new immigrant job of dish washer, gradually started working for ABC Classic FM. Ayers still plays the viola and has recently played with Bombay Chamber Orchestra and the Afghan Youth Orchestra, about which she has made two radio documentaries. She has introduced the idea of adventure viola playing to the world.

An ABC spokesperson has told radioinfo:

“On Tuesday morning this week Emma Ayres announced on air she will be leaving the Classic FM breakfast program at the end of the broadcast year.

“We acknowledge Emma’s decision and know that Breakfast audiences may be saddened at the announcement. She will be guest presenting Life Matters on RN from 14 to 18 July, before taking two weeks leave. Emma will return to Classic Breakfast on Monday 4 August.”

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