This looks like it'll be a really good series for anybody wanting to get to grips with some of the core works of classical music. If Simon Russell Beale's previous programmes on sacred music are anything to go by, it'll really capture the sense of composers pushing boundaries in their own place and time.
"Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), known as Joseph Haydn, was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms. He was also instrumental in the development of the piano trio and in the evolution of sonata form. A lifelong resident of Austria, Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterházy family on their remote estate. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, "forced to become original". At the time of his death, he was one of the most celebrated composers in Europe. He was also a close friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a teacher of Ludwig van Beethoven." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haydn