The Proms

The Proms is an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events held annually, predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall in central London. The Proms were founded in 1895, and are now organised and broadcast by the BBC. Each season consists of concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, chamber music concerts at Cadogan Hall, additional Proms in the Park events across the UK on the Last Night of the Proms, and associated educational and children's events. The season is a significant event in British culture. In classical music, Jiří Bělohlávek described the Proms as "the world's largest and most democratic musical festival".[1]

Prom is short for promenade concert, a term which originally referred to outdoor concerts in London's pleasure gardens, where the audience was free to stroll around while the orchestra was playing. In the context of the BBC Proms, promming refers to the use of the standing areas inside the hall (the Arena and Gallery) for which ticket prices are much lower than for the seating. Proms concert-goers, particularly those who stand, are sometimes referred to as "Prommers" or "Promenaders".

BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall -26July2008-2rpc
Outside the Royal Albert Hall during the BBC Proms season of 2008

History

Proms-albert-hall-04
A promenade concert in the Royal Albert Hall, 2004. The bust of Sir Henry Wood can be seen in front of the organ.

Origins and Sir Henry Wood

Promenade concerts had existed in London's pleasure gardens since the mid 18th century, and indoor proms became a feature of 19th century musical life in London from 1838, notably under the direction of Louis Antoine Jullien and Sir Arthur Sullivan.[2] The annual series of Proms continuing today had their roots in that movement. They were inaugurated on 10 August 1895 in the Queen's Hall in Langham Place by the impresario Robert Newman, who was fully experienced in running similar concerts at His Majesty's Theatre.[3] Newman wished to generate a wider audience for concert hall music by offering low ticket prices and an informal atmosphere, where eating, drinking and smoking were permitted to the promenaders. He stated his aim to Henry Wood in 1894[4] as follows:

I am going to run nightly concerts and train the public by easy stages. Popular at first, gradually raising the standard until I have created a public for classical and modern music.[5]

George Cathcart, an otolaryngologist, gave financial backing to Newman for the series (called "Mr Robert Newman's Promenade Concerts") on condition that Henry Wood be employed as the sole conductor.[6][7] Wood, aged 26, seized this opportunity and built the "Queen's Hall Orchestra" as the ensemble specially devoted to performing the promenade concerts.[8] Cathcart also stipulated (contrary to Newman's preference) the adoption of French or Open Diapason concert pitch, necessitating the acquisition of an entirely new set of wind instruments for the orchestra, and the re-tuning of the Queen's Hall organ. This coincided with the adoption of this lower pitch by other leading orchestras and concert series.[9] Although the concerts gained a popular following and reputation, Newman went bankrupt in 1902, and the banker Edgar Speyer took over the expense of funding them. Wood received a knighthood in 1911. In 1914 anti-German feeling led Speyer to surrender his role, and music publishers Chappell & Co. took control of the concerts.[10]

Although Newman remained involved in artistic planning, it was Wood's name which became most closely associated with the Proms.[11] As conductor from the first concert (which opened with Wagner's Rienzi overture) in 1895, Sir Henry was largely responsible for building the repertoire heard as the series continued from year to year. While including many popular and less demanding works, in the first season there were substantial nights devoted to Beethoven or Schubert, and a programme of new works was given in the final week. Distinguished singers including Sims Reeves and Signor Foli appeared. In the first two decades Wood firmly established the policy of introducing works by contemporary composers (both British and international) and of bringing fresh life to unperformed or under-performed works.[12] A bronze bust of Sir Henry Wood recovered from the ruins of the bombed-out Queen's Hall in 1941, and now belonging to the Royal Academy of Music,[13] is still placed in front of the organ for the whole Promenade season. Though the concerts are now called the BBC Proms, and are headlined with the BBC logo, the tickets are subtitled "BBC Music presents the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts".

In 1927, following Newman's sudden death in the previous year, the BBC – later based at Broadcasting House next to the hall – took over the running of the concerts. This arose because William Boosey, then managing director of Chappell & Co. (the Prom. proprietors), detested broadcasting and saw the BBC's far-reaching demands and intentions in the control of musical presentation as a danger to the future of public concerts altogether. He decided to disband the New Queen's Hall Orchestra, which played for the last time at a Symphony concert on 19 March 1927. He found it more expedient to let the Queen's Hall to the broadcasting powers, rather than to continue the Promenade concerts and other big series independently in an unequal competition with what was effectively the Government itself. So the Proms. were saved, but under a different kind of authority. The personnel of the New Queen's Hall Orchestra effectively continued until 1930 as 'Sir Henry J. Wood and his Symphony Orchestra.'[14] When the BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC SO) was formed in 1930, it became the main orchestra for the concerts. At this time the season consisted of nights dedicated to particular composers; Mondays were Wagner, Fridays were Beethoven, with other major composers being featured on other days. There were no Sunday performances.

During World War II

With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the BBC withdrew its support. However private sponsors stepped in to maintain the Proms, always under Sir Henry Wood's direction, until the Queen's Hall was devastated beyond repair during an air raid in May 1941. (The site is now occupied by the St George's Hotel and BBC Henry Wood House). The concerts then moved (until 1944) to their current home, the Royal Albert Hall, during the Promenade season presented by Keith Douglas in conjunction with the Royal Philharmonic Society (of which he was Secretary).[15][16]

The London Symphony Orchestra had sometimes assisted in the series since (after 1927) the New Queen's Hall Orchestra had ceased to function, and in 1942 Sir Henry Wood also invited the London Philharmonic Orchestra under its new leader Jean Pougnet to participate in this and subsequent seasons.[17] In this he was attempting to maintain vigour in the programme, under the renewal of its relationship with the BBC as promoters. Sir Henry Wood continued his work with the Proms through vicissitudes with the BBC until his death in 1944, the year of his Jubilee Season.[18] During that period Sir Adrian Boult, chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Basil Cameron also took on conducting duties for the series,[19] continuing them in 1944 when, under increased danger from bombing, they were moved again, this time to the Bedford Corn Exchange (home of the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 1941) which hosted them until the end of the War.

Post-war

Sir Adrian Boult and Basil Cameron continued as conductors of the Promenade Concerts after the War, on their return to the Royal Albert Hall, until the advent of Malcolm Sargent as Proms chief conductor in 1947. Sargent held this post until 1966; his associate conductor from 1949 to 1959 was John Hollingsworth. Sargent was noted for his immaculate appearance (evening dress, carnation) and his witty addresses where he good-naturedly chided the noisy Prommers. Sir Malcolm championed choral music and classical and British composers, especially Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. The charity founded in his name, CLIC Sargent, continues to hold a special Promenade Concert each year shortly after the main season ends. CLIC Sargent, the Musicians' Benevolent Fund and further musical charities (chosen each year) also benefit from thousands of pounds in donations from Prommers after most concerts. When asking for donations, Prommers from the Arena regularly announce to the audience the running donations total at concert intervals through the season, or before the concert when there is no interval.

After Wood's death, Julian Herbage acted as de facto principal administrator of the Proms for a number of years, as a freelance employee after his retirement from the BBC, with assistance from such staff as Edward Clark and Kenneth Wright.[20] During the tenure of William Glock as Controller of the Proms, from 1960 to 1973, the Proms repertory expanded both forwards in time, to encompass then contemporary and avant-garde composers such as Boulez, Berio, Carter, Dallapiccola, Peter Maxwell Davies, Gerhard, Henze, Ligeti, Lutosławski, Lutyens, Maw, Messiaen, Nono, Stockhausen, and Tippett, as well as backwards to include music by past composers such as Purcell, Cavalli, Monteverdi, Byrd, Palestrina, Dufay, Dunstaple, and Machaut, as well as less-often performed works of Johann Sebastian Bach and Joseph Haydn.[21] From the 1960s, the number of guest orchestras at the Proms also began to increase, with the first major international conductors (Leopold Stokowski, Georg Solti, and Carlo Maria Giulini) performing in 1963, and the first foreign orchestra, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, performing in 1966. Since that time, almost every major international orchestra, conductor and soloist has performed at the Proms. In 1970, Soft Machine's appearance led to press attention and comment as the first "pop" band to perform there.

Since 1990

The Proms continue today, and still present newly commissioned music alongside pieces more central to the repertoire and early music. Innovations continue, with pre-Prom talks, lunchtime chamber concerts, children's Proms, Proms in the Park either appearing, or being featured more heavily over the past few years. In the UK, all concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3, an increasing number are televised on BBC Four with some also shown on BBC One and BBC Two. The theme tune that used to be played at the beginning of each programme broadcast on television (until the 2011 season) was an extract from the end of the "Red" movement of Arthur Bliss's A Colour Symphony. It is also possible to hear the concerts live from the BBC Proms website. The Last Night is also broadcast in many countries around the world.

In 1996, a related series of eight lunchtime chamber concerts was started, taking place on Mondays during the Proms season. In their first year these were held in the Britten Hall of the Royal College of Music (just across Prince Consort Road from the Albert Hall). The following year they moved slightly further afield, to the Henry Cole Lecture Theatre at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 2005, they moved further again, to the new Cadogan Hall, just off London's Sloane Square. These allow the Proms to include music which is not suitable for the vast spaces of the Albert Hall.

From 1998 to 2007, the Blue Peter Prom, in partnership with long-running BBC television programme Blue Peter, was an annual fixture.[22] Aimed at children and families, the Prom is informal, including audience participation, jokes, and popular classics.[23] High demand for tickets – which are among the lowest priced in the season – saw this Prom be split in 2004 into two Proms with identical content.[24] In 2008, the Blue Peter Prom was replaced with a Doctor Who Prom which was revived in both the 2010 and 2013 seasons.[25]

The 2004 season also featured the Hall's newly rebuilt pipe organ. It took two years to complete the task (2002–2004) and was the work of Noel Mander, Ltd., of London. It was the first complete restoration of the instrument since Harrison and Harrison's work in 1936.

The tradition of Promming remains an important aspect of the festival, with over 1000 standing places available for each concert, either in the central arena (rather like the groundlings in the pit at Shakespeare's Globe) or high in the hall's gallery. Promming tickets cost the same for all concerts (currently £6 as of 2018[26]), providing a considerably cheaper option for the more popular events. Since the tickets cannot be bought until 9am on the morning of the concert[27] (although there are full-season tickets, first weekend and weekly passes available), they provide a way of attending otherwise sold-out concerts.[28][29]

In 2010, the Proms Archive was introduced on the BBC Proms webpage, to allow for a systematic searching of all works that have been performed and all artists who have appeared at The Proms since their inception. On 1 September 2011, a Prom given by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was severely affected by interruptions from pro-Palestinian protesters.[30] While the Palestine Solidarity Campaign had urged a boycott, they denied being behind the disruption inside the Royal Albert Hall. For the first time ever, the BBC took a Prom concert off the air.[31]

Successive Controllers of The Proms after Glock have been Robert Ponsonby (1973–1985), John Drummond (1986–1995), Nicholas Kenyon (1996–2007), and Roger Wright (2007–2014). Between 1986 and 2014, the post of Director, BBC Proms had mostly been combined with the role of Controller, BBC Radio 3.

Edward Blakeman, editor of BBC Radio 3, became interim Proms Director upon Wright's departure in July 2014.[32] In May 2015, the BBC announced the appointment of David Pickard as the next Director of BBC Proms.[33][34]

Proms seasons

BBC Proms 31
The Proms 2005. Most people sit, while Promenaders stand in front of the orchestra. The Royal Albert Hall Organ is in the background.

2006

The 2006 season (the 112th) marked the 250th birthday celebrations of Mozart and the centenary of Shostakovich's birth. New initiatives included four Saturday matinee concerts at the Cadogan Hall and the chance for audience members to get involved with The Voice, a collaborative piece performed in two Proms on 29 July. On 3 September 2006, a concert was cancelled due to a fire.[35] The season saw the launch of a venture called the Proms Family Orchestra in which children and their extended families can make music with BBC musicians.[36]

2007

The 2007 season ran from 13 July to 8 September. Early press coverage focused heavily on the fact that musical theatre star Michael Ball would be the central performer in a concert on 27 August and a concert of British film music on 14 July. This led to media accusations of "dumbing down", despite Kenyon's defence of the programme.[37][38][39] Anniversaries marked in this Proms season included:

  • The 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Edward Elgar
  • The 100th anniversary of the death of Edvard Grieg
  • The 50th anniversary of the death of Jean Sibelius
  • 80 years since the first BBC sponsorship of the Proms.

The series also included an additional series of four Saturday matinee concerts at Cadogan Hall. The 2007 season was Kenyon's last season as controller of the BBC Proms, before he became managing director at the Barbican Centre.[40] Roger Wright became Controller of the Proms in October 2007, whilst retaining responsibility for BBC Radio 3 and taking up a broader role controlling the BBC's classical music output across all media.[41]

2008

The 2008 season ran from 18 July to 13 September 2008. The BBC released details of the season slightly earlier than usual, on 9 April 2008.[42] Composers whose anniversaries were marked include:

The celebration of Stockhausen was centred on two large-scale concerts on 2 August 2008, and complementing Vaughan Williams's interest in folk music, the first Sunday was given over to a celebration of various aspects of British folk, including free events in Kensington Gardens and the Albert Hall, and ending with the first-ever Proms céilidh in the Albert Hall itself.[43]

Other changes included additional pre-Prom talks and events. For the first time, there was a related talk or event before every Prom, held in the Royal College of Music. The popular family-oriented Prom this year became the Doctor Who Prom, (in place of the Blue Peter Prom of recent years).[44] The Doctor Who Prom included a mini-episode of Doctor Who, "Music of the Spheres".

Just over a month before the announcement of the season, Margaret Hodge, a Minister of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport suggested "that the Proms was one of several big cultural events that many people did not feel comfortable attending" and advocated an increase in multicultural works and an effort to broaden the audience. Her comments received wide criticism in the musical world and media as being a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the Proms, with the then UK prime minister Gordon Brown even distancing himself from her remarks.[45]

2009

In the 2009 season, which ran from 17 July to 12 September 2009, the total number of concerts reached 100 for the first time. The principal anniversary composers included:

Other composer anniversaries noted in the 2009 Proms included:

The humorist and music impresario Gerard Hoffnung was also remembered with the performance in the Last Night of Malcolm Arnold's A Grand Grand Overture, which was commissioned for the first Hoffnung Music Festival.[36] The 2009 Proms featured Bollywood music for the first time, as part of a day-long series of concerts and events also covering Indian classical music. Performers in the day included Ram Narayan, Rajan and Sajan Mishra, and Shaan.[46] Noted historical anniversaries covered in the 2009 Proms included the 75th anniversary of the MGM film musical, and the 10th year of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.[47][48][49] There was a child-oriented Prom to mark the Darwin bicentenary as well as a Free Family Prom including the Proms Family Orchestra.[36]

2010

The 2010 Proms season ran from 16 July to 11 September. The principal anniversary composers included:

Other anniversaries of composers featured at The Proms included:

In addition, Hubert Parry and Alexander Scriabin received particular focus.[50] One day was dedicated particularly to Sir Henry Wood, including a recreation of the 1910 Last Night.[51] For families, the Doctor Who Prom, first introduced in 2008, received new renditions hosted by the newest Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill).[52][53] The booking system was also revised with a new online system to allow ticket buyers to set up a personalised Proms plan in advance to speed up the booking process.[54]

2011

The 2011 Proms season began on 15 July 2011 and ran until 10 September 2011. The principal anniversary composers included:

Other anniversaries of composers featured at The Proms included:

The music of Frank Bridge also received a particular non-anniversary-related focus. Other notable performances included the first Proms performance of Havergal Brian's Symphony No. 1 ('The Gothic'), which was also the 6th live performance ever,[55] and subsequently released on a Hyperion commercial recording.[56] The 2011 Proms season also featured new works by Sally Beamish, Harrison Birtwistle, Peter Maxwell Davies, Pascal Dusapin, Graham Fitkin, Thomas Larcher, Kevin Volans, Judith Weir, and Stevie Wishart.

Prom 62, featuring the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra on 1 September 2011, was taken off air by the BBC following vocal anti-Israeli protests from some members of the audience. This was the first time that the BBC had taken a Proms concert off air mid-broadcast.[57][58]

The 2011 Proms also featured the first ever 'Comedy Prom' hosted by comedian and pianist Tim Minchin, as well as the debut of the Spaghetti Western Orchestra. No other 'Comedy Prom' has taken place to date.

The children's prom of 2011 was based on the CBBC television series Horrible Histories and featured a number of songs from the show.

2012

The 2012 Proms was the 118th season, began on 13 July 2012 and ran until 8 September 2012. Notable aspects of the season included the first Beethoven symphony cycle by a single orchestra at The Proms since 1942, with Daniel Barenboim conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and various works and concerts that highlighted the 2012 London Olympic Games. Composer anniversaries included:

The season also noted the 70th anniversary of the BBC programme Desert Island Discs.

2013

The 2013 season celebrated several composer anniversaries:

The season featured concert performances of seven of Wagner's thirteen operas, including Der Ring des Nibelungen performed over the course of one week by the Staatskapelle Berlin, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, the first time the complete Ring cycle had been performed at The Proms in a single season.[59] BBC Radio 3 also collaborated with BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6.

In 2013 Marin Alsop became the first female conductor of The Last Night of the Proms.[60]

2014

The 2014 season had a number of pieces in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, including the premier of the violin concerto "1914" by Gabriel Prokofiev and "Requiem Fragments" by John Tavener. Also performed were "War Elegy" by Ivor Gurney, and Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem".

There were special proms for younger children (The Cbeebies prom), a staging of Kiss Me, Kate, and a concert inspired by the World War I-era War Horse, featuring puppets from the play. The late night proms season included performances by the Pet Shop Boys and Paloma Faith.

Composers having special attention included Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (both celebrating their 80th birthdays in 2014), William Walton, and Richard Strauss.

BBC Proms 2015 Panorama inside (1)
A panorama of the 2015 season of The Proms, with the seats behind the orchestra half-and-half with choral members and audience.

2015

Themes for the 2015 season included works by Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius, in commemoration of the 150th anniversaries of each composer.

The Late Night Proms included collaborations with BBC Asian Network (Prom 8), Radio 1 (Prom 16, featuring dance music hits from the past 20 years), Radio 6 Music (Prom 27) and Radio 1Xtra (Prom 37, which featured grime artists Stormzy, Wretch 32, Little Simz and others).

2016

The 2016 Proms season featured a new series of 'Proms at...' concerts which included performances at venues in London besides the Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall, specifically:

These concerts were offered in place of the previous Saturday Matinee concerts at Cadogan Hall.

2016 marked David Pickard’s first season as Director, BBC Proms. This marked the first time since the 1990s[61] when the posts of Controller, BBC Radio 3 and Director, BBC Proms were not combined.

2017

The 2017 Proms season featured a number of composer anniversaries:

The season also continued the 'Proms at...' series, with the following concerts:

In addition, Xian Zhang became the first female conductor ever to conduct the annual Prom which includes the Symphony No. 9 of Beethoven, on 30 July 2017.[62] The 2017 Proms season featured 7 female conductors,[63] the greatest number of female conductors in a single Proms season to that point.

2018

The 2018 season ran from 13 July to 8 September. It featured a number of composer anniversaries:

Women composers were also celebrated on the 100th anniversary of the extension of voting rights to some women in the UK. The 22 composers featured included Clara Schumann, Ethel Smyth, Amy Beach, Alma Mahler, Florence Price and Thea Musgrave.

Prom 3, on 15 July, marked the fortieth anniversary of the BBC Young Musician competition and featured performances from a number of the competition's previous and current winners and finalists.[64]

Last Night of the Proms

Proms in the Park 2
The Last Night of the Proms celebrates British tradition with patriotic music of the United Kingdom.[65][66]

Many people's perception of the Proms is based on the Last Night, although this is very different from the other concerts. It usually takes place on the second Saturday in September, and is broadcast in the UK on BBC Radio 3, and on television on BBC Two (first half) and BBC One (second half). The concert is traditionally in a lighter, 'winding-down' vein, with popular classics followed by a second half of British patriotic pieces. This sequence traditionally includes Edward Elgar's "Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1" (to part of which "Land of Hope and Glory" is sung) and Henry Wood's "Fantasia on British Sea Songs", followed by Thomas Arne's "Rule, Britannia!". The concert concludes with Hubert Parry's "Jerusalem", and the British national anthem, in recent years in an arrangement by Benjamin Britten. The repeat of the Elgar march at the Last Night can be traced to the spontaneous audience demand for a double encore after its premiere at a 1901 Proms concert.[67] The closing sequence of the second half became fully established in 1954 during Sargent's tenure as chief conductor.[68] The Prommers have made a tradition of singing "Auld Lang Syne" after the end of the concert, but this was not included in the programme until 2015. However, when James Loughran, a Scot, conducted the Last Night concert in the late 1970s and early 1980s he did include the piece within the programme.

Tickets are highly sought after. Promming tickets are priced the same as for that season's concerts, but seated tickets are more expensive. To pre-book a seat, it is necessary to have bought tickets for at least five other concerts in the season, and an advance booking for the Last Night must include those five concerts. Tickets can only be purchased in an equivalent (or lower) price band to that bought previously. After the advance booking period, there is no requirement to have booked for additional concerts, but by then the Last Night is usually sold out, although returns may be available. For standing places, a full season pass automatically includes admission to the Last Night; day Prommers must present five ticket stubs from previous concerts to qualify for a standing Last Night ticket, either in the Arena or Gallery (prior to 2009, the requirement was for six other concerts).

In recent years, some Arena standing tickets have been available for purchase on the day, with no requirement to have attended previous concerts. These are sold on a 'first-come first-served' basis to those prepared to queue.[69] In the post-war period, with the growing popularity of the Last Night, the only way to obtain tickets was through a postal ballot held well in advance. An annual ballot now exists for the chance to purchase a maximum of two tickets from a special allocation of 100 stalls seats.[69]

Prommers with tickets are likely to queue up much earlier than usual (many overnight, and in past years, some slept outside the hall for up to three weeks to guard their place – although this is no longer permitted) to ensure a good place to stand; the resulting camaraderie adds to the atmosphere. Some attend in fancy dress, from dinner jackets to patriotic T-shirts. Many use the occasion for an exuberant display of Britishness. Union Flags are waved by the Prommers, especially during "Rule, Britannia!". Flags, balloons and party poppers are all welcomed – although John Drummond famously discouraged this 'extraneous noise' during his tenure as Director.

Sir Henry Wood's bust is adorned with a laurel chaplet by representatives of the Promenaders, who often wipe an imaginary bead of sweat from his forehead or make some similar gentle visual joke. As with the rest of the season, the cost of promming tickets (standing tickets) is just £6. Many consider these to be the best tickets due to the atmosphere of standing in the hall for up to three hours, albeit with a twenty-minute interval.

Another tradition is that near the end of the concert the conductor makes a speech thanking the musicians and audiences, mentioning the main themes of the season, noting the cumulative donation collected for the Promenaders' musical charities over the season, and announcing the date of the First Night for the following year. This tradition dates from 1941, when Sir Henry Wood gave the first such speech at the close of that season, which was the first at the Royal Albert Hall, when he thanked colleagues and sponsors. Wood gave a similar speech at the 1942 Last Night, and a pre-recorded version was played at the 1943 Last Night. During his tenure as conductor, Sir Malcolm Sargent established the tone of making the Last Night speech more humorous. Subsequent conductors have generally continued this, although one exception was in 1997 when Sir Andrew Davis addressed the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, Mother Teresa, and Sir Georg Solti in 1997.[70].

Leonard Slatkin, chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2004, expressed a desire to tone down the nationalism of the Last Night, and during the seasons from 2002 until 2007 "Rule Britannia" was only heard as part of Henry Wood's '"Fantasia on British Sea Songs" (another piece traditional to the Last Night) rather than separately. Slatkin, an American and the first non-Commonwealth citizen to lead the Last Night, conducted his first in 2001, just days after the 9/11 attacks. The atmosphere was more restrained and less festive than normal, with a heavily revised programme where the finale of Beethoven's 9th Symphony replaced the "Sea Songs", and Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" was performed in tribute to 9/11 victims.[71]

On the day of the 2005 Last Night, the hall management received word of a bomb threat, which led to a thorough search of the Albert Hall for 5 hours, but the concert took place after a short delay. This has led to increased security concerns, given the stature of the Last Night in British culture, which Jacqui Kelly of the Royal Albert Hall staff noted:

That was quite a nerve-wracker – our biggest event, the one everybody knows the Albert Hall for, and we were in real danger of losing it. We're an iconic thing, up there in the public eye, so we have to expect that.[72]

2008 also contained some departures from the traditional programme. "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1" was moved to after the conductor's speech. In addition, most of Wood's "Fantasia on British Sea Songs" was replaced by Vaughan Williams's Sea Songs as a final tribute in his anniversary year. However, Wood's arrangements of naval bugle calls from the start of the "Fantasia" were retained, and Sargent's arrangement of "Rule Britannia" returned with Bryn Terfel as soloist. As on his 1994 Last Night appearance,[73] he sang one verse in a Welsh translation, with the chorus also translated into Welsh. Additionally, 2008 saw the inclusion of Scottish composer Anna Meredith to the programme for her Proms premiere, froms, which involved five different groups of musicians telecasting in from around Britain.[74]

2009 saw the continued absence of Wood's Sea Songs, this time replaced by specially commissioned fanfares, and extracts from Handel's "Music for the Royal Fireworks".[75][76] In 2009, for the first time, the Last Night was shown live in several cinemas across Asia and in Canada and Australia.[77]

The 2014 Last Night saw soprano Elizabeth Watts wearing a dress by Vivienne Westwood, which was auctioned in aid of Streetwise Opera. The online auction ran from 8 September to 18 September.[78]

Last Night conductors

The following table lists by year the conductors of the Last Night of the Proms. In general, since the tenure of Sargent, the Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra has led this concert, but guest conductors have directed the Last Night on several occasions. Additionally, the tradition until 1980 was for a British conductor. Charles Mackerras was the first non-British-born conductor to lead the Last Night, in 1980. Leonard Slatkin was the first American conductor of the Last Night in 2001. Jiří Bělohlávek was the first non-native English speaker to conduct the Last Night, in 2007. Marin Alsop was the Last Night's first female conductor in 2013.[79]

Conductor Last Night(s) ...2
19th c.–1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s
Henry Wood 3 1895–1938, 1941–1943 2
Sir Adrian Boult 1945, 1946 1 7
Basil Cameron 1945 7
Constant Lambert
Sir Malcolm Sargent 1947–1966
Colin Davis 4 1967–1972
Norman Del Mar 1973, 1975 19831
Sir Charles Groves 1974, 1976, 19781
James Loughran 1977, 1979 1981, 1982, 19841
Sir Charles Mackerras 19801
Vernon Handley 19851
Raymond Leppard 19861
Mark Elder 5 19871 20061
Andrew Davis 6 19881 19908–1992, 1994–1999 20001 201810
Sir John Pritchard 1989
Barry Wordsworth 19931
Leonard Slatkin 2001–2004
Paul Daniel 20051
Jiří Bělohlávek 2007 2010, 2012
Sir Roger Norrington 20081
David Robertson 20091 9
Edward Gardner 20111
Marin Alsop 2013, 20151
Sakari Oramo[80] 2014, 2016, 2017
  • ^1 Duties undertaken as Guest Conductor, rather than as resident Chief Conductor, BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • ^2 The 1939 season was curtailed by the outbreak of war, and the 1940 season by German bombing, meaning that there was no official "Last Night". Only the first few concerts were held in public in 1944 due to renewed bombing. Wood died shortly before what should have been the end of the 1944 season.[81]
  • ^3 Sir Henry from 1911 onwards
  • ^4 Later Sir Colin
  • ^5 Later Sir Mark
  • ^6 Sir Andrew from 1999 onwards[82]
  • ^7 Constant Lambert, Basil Cameron and Sir Adrian Boult jointly undertook proceedings upon the return in 1945
  • ^8 replacing Mark Elder
  • ^9 Robertson was Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC SO from 2005 to 2012
  • ^10 Davis is currently Conductor Laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, having served as Chief Conductor from 1989-2000.

Proms in the Park

The Royal Albert Hall could be filled many times over with people who would wish to attend. To involve extra people, and to cater for those who are not near London, the Proms in the Park concerts were started in 1996. Initially there was one, in Hyde Park adjacent to the Hall, which was a simple video relay of the concert at the Royal Albert Hall. As audiences grew, Proms in the Park started to have musical acts of their own on stage, including the BBC Concert Orchestra[83].

In the 2000s, Proms in the Park started to be held in other locations across the UK, usually with the input of one of the BBC’s orchestra. In 2005, Belfast, Glasgow, Swansea and Manchester hosted a Last Night Prom in the Park, broadcast live from each venue. 2007 saw Manchester's prom being replaced by one in Middlesbrough. 2008 featured a reduction from five to four, in Hyde Park, Belfast, Glasgow and Swansea. 2009 returned to a total of five, in Hyde Park, Glasgow, Swansea, County Down and Salford. Each location has its own live concert, typically playing the countries' respective national anthem, before joining in a live big screen video link up with the Royal Albert Hall for the traditional finale.

In recent years Proms in the Park has become a series of established events in their own right, with an event at Hyde Park and an event held in a location in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, managed by BBC Scotland, BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Northern Ireland respectively, in conjunction with the host local authority. Each event has a presenting team, a live orchestra, a video link to the Last Night of the Proms in London, and guest soloists and choirs. Events tend to move to different cities to cover a wider geographical area within the host nations.

All of these events are incorporated within BBC One’s live coverage of the Last Night of the Proms, with live link-ups between each of the venues. However, some more traditional elements of the Last Night of the Proms (such as Jerusalem, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory) have been removed on some years depending on local politics[84][85].

As the popularity of Proms in the Park grew, many communities across the UK decided to hold their own "Proms in the Park" events that were not affiliated with the BBC.

Year BBC Concert Orchestra BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Ulster Orchestra BBC Philharmonic (Halle Orchestra in 2004) Northern Sinfonia
1996[86] Hyde Park, London
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001 Music Centre Gateshead[87]
2002[88] Belfast[89]
2003[90] Singleton Park, Swansea Pacific Quay, Glasgow Donegal Square, Belfast
2004[91] Cathedral Gardens, Manchester (Halle)
2005 Glasgow Green Belfast City Hall Heaton Park, Manchester[92]
2006
2007[93] Carrickfergus Castle Centre Square, Middlesbrough
2008[94] Belfast City Hall[95]
2009[96] Hillsborough Castle, County Down[97] Buile Hill Park, Salford[98][99]
2010 Caird Hall, Dundee[100][101]
2011 Caerphilly Castle Castle Park, Bangor[102]
2012[103] Glasgow City Halls Titanic Slipways, Belfast
2013 Glasgow Green
2014 Singleton Park, Swansea
2015[104]
2016 Colwyn Bay
2017 Singleton Park, Swansea Castle Coole, Enniskillen[105]
2018 Colwyn Bay[106] Titanic Slipways, Belfast

The first live relays outside of London were to Swansea and Birmingham in 1999.[107]

In 2001, there were also live link-ups to Cornwall and Liverpool.

In 2011, Caerphilly’s Proms in the Park was cancelled before the concert started due to heavy rainfall[108]

Proms seasons

No Season Start date (1st night) End date (Last night) Location No of Proms
1 1895 Saturday 10 August Saturday 5 October Queen's Hall, London 49
2 1896 Saturday 29 August Saturday 10 October Queen's Hall, London 37
3 1897 Saturday 28 August Saturday 9 October Queen's Hall, London 43
4 1898 Saturday 27 August Saturday 15 October Queen's Hall, London 43
5 1899 Saturday 26 August Saturday 21 October Queen's Hall, London 49
6 1900 Saturday 25 August Saturday 10 October Queen's Hall, London 67
7 Summer 1901 Saturday 24 August Saturday 9 October Queen's Hall, London 67
7a Winter 1901/02 Saturday 26 December Saturday 1 February Queen's Hall, London 33
8 1902 Saturday 23 August Saturday 8 November Queen's Hall, London 67
9 1903 Saturday 22 August Friday 23 October Queen's Hall, London 54
10 1904 Saturday 6 August Friday 21 October Queen's Hall, London 66
11 1905 Saturday 19 August Friday 27 October Queen's Hall, London 60
12 1906 Saturday 18 August Friday 26 October Queen's Hall, London 60
13 1907 Saturday 17 August Saturday 26 October Queen's Hall, London 61
14 1908 Saturday 15 August Saturday 24 October Queen's Hall, London 61
15 1909 Saturday 14 August Saturday 23 October Queen's Hall, London 61
16 1910 Saturday 13 August Saturday 22 October Queen's Hall, London 61
17 1911 Saturday 12 August Saturday 21 October Queen's Hall, London 61
18 1912 Saturday 17 August Saturday 26 October Queen's Hall, London 61
19 1913 Saturday 16 August Saturday 25 October Queen's Hall, London 61
20 1914 Saturday 15 August Saturday 24 October Queen's Hall, London 61
21 1915 Saturday 14 August Saturday 23 October Queen's Hall, London 61
22 1916 Saturday 26 August Saturday 21 October Queen's Hall, London 49
23 1917 Saturday 25 August Saturday 20 October Queen's Hall, London 49
24 1918 Saturday 11 August Saturday 19 October Queen's Hall, London 61
25 1919 Saturday 16 August Saturday 25 October Queen's Hall, London 61
26 1920 Saturday 14 August Saturday 23 October Queen's Hall, London 61
27 1921 Saturday 13 August Saturday 22 October Queen's Hall, London 61
28 1922 Saturday 12 August Saturday 21 October Queen's Hall, London 61
29 1923 Saturday 11 August Saturday 20 October Queen's Hall, London 61
30 1924 Saturday 9 August Saturday 18 October Queen's Hall, London 61
31 1925 Saturday 8 August Saturday 17 October Queen's Hall, London 61
32 1926 Saturday 14 August Saturday 16 October Queen's Hall, London 55
33 1927 Saturday 13 August Saturday 24 October Queen's Hall, London 37
34 1928 Saturday 11 August Saturday 6 October Queen's Hall, London 49
35 1929 Saturday 10 August Saturday 5 October Queen's Hall, London 49
36 1930 (Northern) Monday 26 May Saturday 21 June Free Trade Hall, Manchester
Philharmonic, Liverpool
Town Hall, Leeds
24
36a 1930 (London) Saturday 9 August Saturday 4 October Queen's Hall, London 49
37 1931 Saturday 8 August Saturday 3 October Queen's Hall, London 48
38 Summer 1932 Saturday 6 August Saturday 1 October Queen's Hall, London 49
38a Winter 1932/33 Saturday 31 December Saturday 14 February Queen's Hall, London 13
39 1933 Saturday 12 August Saturday 7 October Queen's Hall, London 49
40 Summer 1934 Saturday 11 August Saturday 6 October Queen's Hall, London 49
40a Winter 1934/35 Monday 31 December Saturday 12 January Queen's Hall, London 12
41 Summer 1935 Saturday 10 August Saturday 5 October Queen's Hall, London 49
41a Winter 1935/36 Monday 30 December Saturday 11 January Queen's Hall, London 12
42 1936 Saturday 8 August Saturday 3 October Queen's Hall, London 49
43 1937 Saturday 7 August Saturday 2 October Queen's Hall, London 49
44 1938 Saturday 6 August Saturday 1 October Queen's Hall, London 49
45 1939 Saturday 12 August Saturday 1 September[1] Queen's Hall, London 17.5[1]
46 1940 Saturday 10 August Saturday 7 September[2] Queen's Hall, London 25[2]
47 1941 Saturday 12 July Saturday 23 August Royal Albert Hall, London 37
48 1942 Saturday 27 June Saturday 22 August Royal Albert Hall, London 49
49 1943 Saturday 19 June Saturday 21 August Royal Albert Hall, London 55
50 1944 Saturday 10 June Thursday 29 June[3] Royal Albert Hall, London 17[3]
51 1945 Saturday 21 July Saturday 15 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
52 1946 Saturday 27 July Saturday 21 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
52a Winter 1947 Monday 6 January Saturday 18 January Royal Albert Hall, London 12
53 Summer 1947 Saturday 19 July Saturday 13 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
53a Winter 1948 Monday 5 January Saturday 17 January Royal Albert Hall, London 12
54 Summer 1948 Saturday 24 July Saturday 18 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
54a Winter 1949 Monday 10 January Saturday 22 January Royal Albert Hall, London 12
55 Summer 1949 Saturday 23 July Saturday 17 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
55a Winter 1950 Monday 9 January Saturday 21 January Royal Albert Hall, London 12
56 Summer 1950 Saturday 22 July Saturday 16 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
56a Winter 1951 Monday 8 January Saturday 20 January Royal Albert Hall, London 12
57 Summer 1951 Saturday 28 July Saturday 22 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
58 Winter 1952 Monday 7 January Saturday 19 January Royal Albert Hall, London 12
58a 1952 Saturday 26 July Saturday 20 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
59 1953 Saturday 25 July Saturday 19 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
60 1954 Saturday 24 July Saturday 18 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
61 1955 Saturday 23 July Saturday 17 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
62 1956 Saturday 21 July Saturday 15 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
63 1957 Saturday 20 July Saturday 14 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
64 1958 Saturday 26 July Saturday 20 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
65 1959 Saturday 25 July Saturday 19 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
66 1960 Saturday 23 July Saturday 17 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
67 1961 Saturday 22 July Saturday 16 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
68 1962 Saturday 21 July Saturday 15 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
69 1963 Saturday 20 July Saturday 14 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
70 1964 Saturday 25 July Saturday 19 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
71 1965 Saturday 17 July Saturday 11 September Royal Albert Hall, London 49
72 1966 Saturday 23 July Saturday 17 September Royal Albert Hall, London 50
73 1967 Saturday 22 July Saturday 16 September Royal Albert Hall, London 51
74 1968 Friday 19 July Saturday 14 September Royal Albert Hall, London 52
75 1969 Friday 18 July Saturday 13 September Royal Albert Hall, London 52
76 1970 Friday 17 July Saturday 12 September Royal Albert Hall, London 53
77 1971 Friday 23 July Saturday 18 September Royal Albert Hall, London 54
78 1972 Friday 21 July Saturday 16 September Royal Albert Hall, London 57
78a Winter 1972/73 Friday 29 December Friday 5 January Royal Albert Hall, London 8
79 1973 Friday 20 July Saturday 15 September Royal Albert Hall, London 55
80 1974 Friday 19 July Saturday 14 September Royal Albert Hall, London 55
81 1975 Friday 25 July Saturday 20 September Royal Albert Hall, London 57
82 1976 Friday 16 July Saturday 11 September Royal Albert Hall, London 56
83 1977 Friday 22 July Saturday 17 September Royal Albert Hall, London 55
84 1978 Friday 21 July Saturday 16 September Royal Albert Hall, London 55
85 1979 Friday 20 July Saturday 15 September Royal Albert Hall, London 54
86 1980 Friday 18 July Saturday 13 September Royal Albert Hall, London 57
87 1981 Friday 17 July Saturday 12 September Royal Albert Hall, London 56
88 1982 Friday 16 July Saturday 11 September Royal Albert Hall, London 57
89 1983 Friday 22 July Saturday 17 September Royal Albert Hall, London 57
90 1984 Friday 20 July Saturday 15 September Royal Albert Hall, London 59
91 1985 Friday 19 July Saturday 14 September Royal Albert Hall, London 60
92 1986 Friday 18 July Saturday 13 September Royal Albert Hall, London 60
93 1987 Friday 17 July Saturday 12 September Royal Albert Hall, London 66
94 1988 Friday 22 July Saturday 17 September Royal Albert Hall, London 69
95 1989 Friday 21 July Saturday 16 September Royal Albert Hall, London 68
96 1990 Friday 20 July Saturday 15 September Royal Albert Hall, London 66
97 1991 Friday 19 July Saturday 14 September Royal Albert Hall, London 67
98 1992 Friday 17 July Saturday 12 September Royal Albert Hall, London 66
99 1993 Friday 16 July Saturday 11 September Royal Albert Hall, London 67
100 1994 Friday 15 July Saturday 10 September Royal Albert Hall, London 68
101 1995 Friday 21 July Saturday 16 September Royal Albert Hall, London 70
102 1996 Friday 19 July Saturday 14 September Royal Albert Hall, London 72
103 1997 Friday 18 July Saturday 13 September Royal Albert Hall, London 73
104 1998 Friday 17 July Saturday 12 September Royal Albert Hall, London 73
105 1999 Friday 16 July Saturday 11 September Royal Albert Hall, London 72
106 2000 Friday 14 July Saturday 9 September Royal Albert Hall, London 72
107 2001 Friday 20 July Saturday 15 September Royal Albert Hall, London 73
108 2002 Friday 19 July Saturday 14 September Royal Albert Hall, London 73
109 2003 Friday 18 July Saturday 13 September Royal Albert Hall, London 73
110 2004 Friday 16 July Saturday 11 September Royal Albert Hall, London 74
111 2005 Friday 15 July Saturday 10 September Royal Albert Hall, London 74
112 2006 Friday 14 July Saturday 9 September Royal Albert Hall, London 73
113 2007 Friday 13 July Saturday 8 September Royal Albert Hall, London 72
114 2008 Friday 18 July Saturday 13 September Royal Albert Hall, London 76
115 2009 Friday 17 July Saturday 12 September Royal Albert Hall, London 76
116 2010 Friday 16 July Saturday 11 September Royal Albert Hall, London 76
117 2011 Friday 15 July Saturday 10 September Royal Albert Hall, London 74
118 2012 Friday 13 July Saturday 8 September Royal Albert Hall, London 76
119 2013 Friday 12 July Saturday 7 September Royal Albert Hall, London 75
120 2014 Friday 18 July Saturday 13 September Royal Albert Hall, London 76
121 2015 Friday 17 July Saturday 12 September Royal Albert Hall, London 76
122 2016 Friday 15 July Saturday 10 September Royal Albert Hall, London 75
123 2017 Friday 14 July Saturday 9 September Royal Albert Hall, London 75
124 2018 Friday 13 July Saturday 8 September Royal Albert Hall, London 75
125 2019 Friday 19 July Saturday 14 September Royal Albert Hall, London 75

[1] The second half of concert 18 and the remaining 31 concerts (19–49) of the 1940 season (Saturday 2 September to Saturday 7 October) were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II.

[2] Concerts 26–49 of the 1941 season (Saturday 8 September to Saturday 5 October) were cancelled due to intensified nightly air raids during World War II.

[3] Concerts 18–55 (Friday 30 June to Saturday 12 August) of the 1944 season were cancelled due to V-1 flying bombs ("Doodle Bugs") which had started to fall on London during World War II.

Proms Controllers

See also

References

  1. ^ 2007 Last Night of the Proms speech, Jiří Bělohlávek, 8 September 2007. Daily Kos, 3 November 2007.
  2. ^ Robert Elkin, Queen's Hall, 1893–1941 (Rider & Co, London 1944), pp. 25–6.
  3. ^ Henry J. Wood, My Life of Music (Victor Gollancz, London, First edition 1938, cheap edition 1946), 1946, p. 68.
  4. ^ Wood, 1946, p. 68.
  5. ^ Ivan Hewett (12 July 2007). "The Proms and the Promenerders". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 20 July 2008.
  6. ^ Peter Mullen. "Everyone knows Henry Wood set up the Proms. But who remembers the man who hired him to do it?". The Independent. London. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  7. ^ John Smith. "Encore for the Proms". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  8. ^ Wood 1946, pp. 68–84.
  9. ^ Wood 1946, pp. 69–71, 73.
  10. ^ Jacobs, Arthur (2004). "Wood, Sir Henry Joseph (1869–1944)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/37001. Retrieved 2000-01-10. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  11. ^ In a B.B.C. Interview recorded on 23 August 1941, introducing Sir Henry Wood, W.W. Thompson, the orchestral manager, remarked, 'There's only one man to speak for the Proms, for he is the Proms. That's Sir Henry Wood. Would you live them over again, Sir Henry?' (Henry Wood): 'Every day and every hour.' (Thompson): 'All those five thousand concerts?' (Henry Wood): 'Every one of them.' R. Elkin, Queen's Hall 1893–1941 (Rider & Co., London 1944), Transcript pp. 138–46, at p. 143.
  12. ^ For a list of Wood's principal 'novelties' from 1895 to 1937, see Wood 1946, pp. 353–372.
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  15. ^ Thomas Russell, Philharmonic Decade (Hutchinson & Co, London, New York, Melbourne & Sydney [1944]), pp. 97–8.
  16. ^ Further details of Wood's sometimes difficult relations with Keith Douglas and with the BBC are given in Reginald Pound, Sir Henry Wood: A Biography (Cassell, London 1969).
  17. ^ Russell, Philharmonic Decade, pp. 97–8, 112.
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External links

BBC Radio 3

BBC Radio 3 is a British radio station operated by the BBC. Its output centres on classical music and opera, but jazz, world music, drama, culture and the arts also feature. The station describes itself as 'the world's most significant commissioner of new music', and through its New Generation Artists scheme promotes young musicians of all nationalities. The station broadcasts the BBC Proms concerts, live and in full, each summer in addition to performances by the BBC Orchestras and Singers. There are regular productions of both classic plays and newly commissioned drama.

Radio 3 won the Sony Radio Academy UK Station of the Year Gold Award for 2009 and was nominated again in 2011.

BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC SO) is a British orchestra based in London. Founded in 1930, it was the first permanent salaried orchestra in London, and is the only one of the city's five major symphony orchestras not to be self-governing. The BBC SO is the principal broadcast orchestra of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

The orchestra was originally conceived in 1928 as a joint enterprise by the BBC and the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, but the latter withdrew the next year; and the task of assembling and training the orchestra fell to the BBC's director of music, Adrian Boult. Among its guest conductors in its first years was Arturo Toscanini, who judged it the finest orchestra he had ever conducted. During and after the Second World War, Boult strove to maintain standards, but the senior management of the post-war BBC did not allocate the orchestra the resources to meet competition from new and well-funded rivals.

After Boult's retirement from the BBC in 1950, the orchestra went through a fallow period. Boult's successor, Sir Malcolm Sargent, was popular with the public but had poor rapport with his players, and orchestral morale dropped. Sargent's successor, Rudolf Schwarz, made little public impact, and although the BBC appointed high-profile chief conductors in the 1960s and 1970s – Antal Doráti, Colin Davis, Pierre Boulez and Gennady Rozhdestvensky – the BBC SO remained underfunded and could not attract enough good players to rival the leading London orchestras.

As a result of initiatives begun in the 1960s by the BBC controller of music William Glock, performing standards gradually began to rise. Under Andrew Davis in the 1990s and Jiří Bělohlávek in the 2000s the orchestra prospered. By the second decade of the 21st century the BBC SO was once again regarded by critics as of first-class status. From the outset the orchestra has been known for pioneering new music, and it continues to do so, at the Proms, in concerts at the Barbican Centre, and in studio concerts from its base at BBC Maida Vale studios.

Cadogan Hall

Cadogan Hall is a 950-seat capacity concert hall in Sloane Terrace in Chelsea / Belgravia in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England.

The resident music ensemble at Cadogan Hall is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), the first London orchestra to have a permanent home. Cadogan Estates offered the RPO the use of the hall as its principal venue in late 2001. The RPO gave its first concert as the resident ensemble of Cadogan Hall in November 2004. Since 2005, Cadogan Hall has also served as the venue for The Proms' chamber music concerts during Monday lunchtimes and Proms Saturday matinees; it is also one of the two main London venues of the Orpheus Sinfonia.

Cadogan Hall has also been used as a recording venue. In February 2006, a recording of Mozart symphonies with John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists was produced and made available immediately after the performances. In 2009, art rock band Marillion recorded a concert there which was released on the album Live from Cadogan in 2011.

Clarence Öfwerman

Clarence Öfwerman, born 22 November 1957, is best known as the longtime producer of Roxette, having been with the band from their debut album Pearls of Passion in 1986 through to 2016's Good Karma, Roxette's latest studio album. He is the big brother of Roxette percussionist, keyboardist and vocalist Staffan Öfwerman. Öfwerman also joins Per Gessle and Roxette as a live musician on various tours, most recently during the 2009 Night of the Proms series in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. and a mini European tour in 2010. He also joined Roxette for their first world tour in 16 years in 2011.

Doctor Who Prom (2008)

Prom 13: Doctor Who Prom was a concert showcasing incidental music from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, along with classical music, performed on 27 July 2008 in the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of the BBC's annual Proms series of concerts. The Doctor Who Prom was the thirteenth concert in the 2008 Proms season, and was intended to introduce young children to the Proms.The Doctor Who Prom showcased the work of Murray Gold, who has composed the incidental music for Doctor Who since its return in 2005. Other classical pieces were also played. The concert was conducted by Ben Foster and Stephen Bell, and performed by the BBC Philharmonic. It was presented by actress Freema Agyeman, who played companion Martha Jones on Doctor Who. Other Doctor Who actors and performers dressed as Doctor Who monsters also made appearances on stage and in the audience. The concert included video montages of scenes from Doctor Who and a specially filmed "mini-episode" of Doctor Who called "Music of the Spheres", which was presented on a screen above the orchestra and included live interactive elements.The Doctor Who Prom was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and recorded for subsequent television broadcast on BBC One on 1 January 2009. It was positively reviewed in several newspapers.

The success of the 2008 Prom led to more Doctor Who Proms for the 2010 and 2013 Proms seasons.

Emily Bear

Emily Jordan Bear (born August 30, 2001) is an American composer, pianist, songwriter and singer who has received notice at an early age. After beginning to play the piano and compose music as a small child, Bear made her professional piano debut at the Ravinia Festival at the age of five, the youngest performer ever to play there. She gained wider notice from a series of appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show beginning at the age of six. She has since played her own compositions and other works with orchestras and ensembles in North America, Europe and Asia, including appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Montreux Jazz Festival and Jazz Open Stuttgart. She has won two Morton Gould Young Composer Awards and was the youngest person ever to win the award. She has also won two Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Awards.

In 2013, Bear released her first studio album, Diversity, containing her own jazz compositions, produced by her mentor, Quincy Jones. She composes and plays both classical and jazz music, studies film scoring and is heard on the 2015 Broadway cast recording of the musical Doctor Zhivago. She leads her own jazz trio, with which she recorded an EP, Into the Blue, released in 2017. Later in 2017, Bear became the youngest performer in the history of the Night of the Proms tour.

Henry Wood

Sir Henry Joseph Wood (3 March 1869 – 19 August 1944) was an English conductor best known for his association with London's annual series of promenade concerts, known as the Proms. He conducted them for nearly half a century, introducing hundreds of new works to British audiences. After his death, the concerts were officially renamed in his honour as the "Henry Wood Promenade Concerts", although they continued to be generally referred to as "the Proms".

Born in modest circumstances to parents who encouraged his musical talent, Wood started his career as an organist. During his studies at the Royal Academy of Music, he came under the influence of the voice teacher Manuel Garcia and became his accompanist. After similar work for Richard D'Oyly Carte's opera companies on the works of Arthur Sullivan and others, Wood became the conductor of a small operatic touring company. He was soon engaged by the larger Carl Rosa Opera Company. One notable event in his operatic career was conducting the British premiere of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin in 1892.

From the mid-1890s until his death, Wood focused on concert conducting. He was engaged by the impresario Robert Newman to conduct a series of promenade concerts at the Queen's Hall, offering a mixture of classical and popular music at low prices. The series was successful, and Wood conducted annual promenade series until his death in 1944. By the 1920s, Wood had steered the repertoire entirely to classical music. When the Queen's Hall was destroyed by bombing in 1941, the Proms moved to the Royal Albert Hall.

Wood declined the chief conductorships of the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestras, believing it his duty to serve music in the United Kingdom. In addition to the Proms, he conducted concerts and festivals throughout the country and also trained the student orchestra at the Royal Academy of Music. He had an enormous influence on the musical life of Britain over his long career: he and Newman greatly improved access to classical music, and Wood raised the standard of orchestral playing and nurtured the taste of the public, presenting a vast repertoire of music spanning four centuries.

Malcolm Sargent

Sir Harold Malcolm Watts Sargent (29 April 1895 – 3 October 1967) was an English conductor, organist and composer widely regarded as Britain's leading conductor of choral works. The musical ensembles with which he was associated included the Ballets Russes, the Huddersfield Choral Society, the Royal Choral Society, the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, and the London Philharmonic, Hallé, Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and Royal Philharmonic orchestras. Sargent was held in high esteem by choirs and instrumental soloists, but because of his high standards and a statement that he made in a 1936 interview disputing musicians' rights to tenure, his relationship with orchestral players was often uneasy. Despite this, he was co-founder of the London Philharmonic, was the first conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic as a full-time ensemble, and played an important part in saving the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from disbandment in the 1960s.

As chief conductor of London's internationally famous summer music festival the Proms from 1948 to 1967, Sargent was one of the best-known English conductors. When he took over the Proms from their founder, Sir Henry Wood, he and two assistants conducted the two-month season between them. By the time he died, he was assisted by a large international roster of guest conductors.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Sargent turned down an offer of a major musical directorship in Australia and returned to the UK to bring music to as many people as possible as his contribution to national morale. His fame extended beyond the concert hall: to the British public, he was a familiar broadcaster in BBC radio talk shows, and generations of Gilbert and Sullivan devotees have known his recordings of the most popular Savoy Operas. He toured widely throughout the world and was noted for his skill as a conductor, his championship of British composers, and his debonair appearance, which won him the nickname "Flash Harry."

Mike Oldfield concert tours

This article is a list of Mike Oldfield concert tours. The larger of the tours have separate articles. Oldfield has performed in concerts since his youth, and most recently performed in 2012.

Night of the Proms

Night of the Proms is a series of concerts held annually in Belgium (since 1985), the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. Regularly there are also shows in France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Denmark, the United States and Sweden. The concerts consist of pop music and popular classical music (often combined) and various well-known musicians and groups usually participate (see below).

Night of the Proms is the biggest annually organised indoor event in Europe.Night of the Proms is based on the Last Night of the Proms, the last concert of the BBC Proms, a series of seventy or so classical concerts held yearly in the Royal Albert Hall in London, but it is organised independently. Though its inclusion of large portions of pop music does not match its British counterpart and originator, it did share certain elements for a time, such as the tradition of ending the performance with the British patriotic song Land of Hope and Glory. The closing song has varied every year since 2011.

Oboe Concerto (Martinů)

Bohuslav Martinů's Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra, H. 353, was written in 1955 for the Czech-born Australian oboist Jiří Tancibudek. Tancibudek had been performing oboe recitals in Australia following his emigration there, and had been often asked to play more Czech music. Although he had never met Martinů, they had both played in the Czech Philharmonic (albeit 30 years apart). When Tancibudek wrote to the composer in the early 1950s asking for such a piece, he was initially rebuffed. But Martinů wrote again in 1954, saying he would write the work and asked Tancibudek to introduce it to the world.It was sponsored by the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper in celebration of the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. Tancibudek gave the world premiere in August 1956 in Sydney, with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt.Tancibudek also gave European premieres in London (27 February 1958 in the BBC Studio in Maida Vale), Hamburg (March 1958), and Vienna, and the North American premiere in Vancouver, Canada. He was due to play the public British premiere at the Proms but time constraints prevented this; instead it was performed at the Proms on 24 August 1959, four days after the composer's death, by Tancibudek's friend Evelyn Rothwell, with her husband Sir John Barbirolli conducting. The Czech premiere took place in 1960, with František Hanták as the soloist.The three movements are marked:

Moderato

Poco andante

Poco allegro.The score reveals the influence of Igor Stravinsky, including a quotation of a motif from Petrushka in the second movement.

The score contains a prominent part for an orchestral piano. It takes about 16 minutes to play.

Prom at the Palace

The Prom at the Palace was a British classical music concert held in London in 2002. The event was in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II. It was held at Buckingham Palace Garden on 1 June 2002 forming part of the Golden Jubilee Weekend. It was the classical equivalent of the Party at the Palace, a pop/rock music event. Its name reflects the popular season of classical concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall, The Proms.

Queen's Hall

The Queen's Hall was a concert hall in Langham Place, London, opened in 1893. Designed by the architect Thomas Knightley, it had room for an audience of about 2,500 people. It became London's principal concert venue. From 1895 until 1941, it was the home of the promenade concerts ("The Proms") founded by Robert Newman together with Henry Wood. The hall had drab decor and cramped seating but superb acoustics. It became known as the "musical centre of the [British] Empire", and several of the leading musicians and composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries performed there, including Claude Debussy, Edward Elgar, Maurice Ravel and Richard Strauss.

In the 1930s, the hall became the main London base of two new orchestras, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. These two ensembles raised the standards of orchestral playing in London to new heights, and the hall's resident orchestra, founded in 1893, was eclipsed and it disbanded in 1930. The new orchestras attracted another generation of musicians from Europe and the United States, including Serge Koussevitzky, Willem Mengelberg, Arturo Toscanini, Bruno Walter and Felix Weingartner.

In 1941, during the Second World War, the building was destroyed by an incendiary bomb in the London Blitz. Despite much lobbying for the hall to be rebuilt, the government decided against doing so. The main musical functions of the Queen's Hall were taken over by the Royal Albert Hall for the Proms, and the new Royal Festival Hall for the general concert season.

Rule, Britannia!

"Rule, Britannia!" is a British patriotic song, originating from the poem "Rule, Britannia" by James Thomson and set to music by Thomas Arne in 1740. It is strongly associated with the Royal Navy, but also used by the British Army.

Staatskapelle Berlin

The Staatskapelle Berlin (German: [ˈʃtaːtskaˌpɛlə bɛɐ̯ˈliːn]) is a German orchestra and the resident orchestra of the Berlin State Opera. Until the fall of the German Empire in 1918 the orchestra's name was "Königliche Kapelle", i.e. Royal Orchestra.

The orchestra traces its roots to 1570, when Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg established the rules for an orchestra at his court which had been constituted, at an unknown date. In 1701, the affiliation of the Electors of Brandenburg to the position of King of Prussia led to the description of the orchestra as Königlich Preußische Hofkapelle ("Royal Prussian Court Orchestra"), which consisted of about 30 musicians. The orchestra became affiliated with the Royal Court Opera, established in 1742 by Frederick the Great. Noted musicians associated with the orchestra have included Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Franz Benda, and Johann Joachim Quantz

The first concert by the ensemble for a wider audience outside of the royal courts was on 1 March 1783 at the Hotel Paris, led by Johann Friedrich Reichardt, the ensemble's Kapellmeister. After the advent of Giacomo Meyerbeer as Kapellmeister, from 1842, the role of the orchestra expanded and a first annual concert series for subscribers was launched. The orchestra gave a number of world and German premieres of works by Richard Wagner, Felix Mendelssohn, and Otto Nicolai.

The orchestra's music director, the Staatskapellmeister, holds the same post with the Berlin State Opera. The orchestra was in the eastern part of Berlin, and thus was part of East Germany from 1945 to 1990.

The current Staatskapellmeister of the orchestra and the opera has been Daniel Barenboim since 1992. Barenboim has had the title of "conductor for life" for the ensemble since 2000. In July 2013, the orchestra made its first-ever appearances at The Proms, performing the four operas of Der Ring des Nibelungen, the first complete Ring cycle to be given in a single Proms season. In January 2017, the orchestra and Barenboim performed the complete symphonies of Anton Bruckner at Carnegie Hall, the first live Bruckner symphony cycle ever performed in the USA. In July 2017, the orchestra was the first non-UK orchestra to perform the two completed symphonies of Edward Elgar at The Proms in a single season.Barenboim and the orchestra have made several recordings for the Teldec and Decca labels.

The Alan Parsons Project

The Alan Parsons Project were an English rock band active between 1975 and 1990, whose core membership consisted of Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson. They were accompanied by a varying number of session musicians and some relatively consistent band members such as guitarist Ian Bairnson, arranger Andrew Powell, bassist and vocalist David Paton, drummer Stuart Elliott, and vocalists Lenny Zakatek and Chris Rainbow. Parsons was an audio engineer and producer by profession, but also a musician and a composer. A songwriter by profession, Woolfson was also a composer, a pianist, and a singer. Almost all the songs on the Project's albums are credited to "Woolfson/Parsons".

The Best of Simple Minds

The Best of Simple Minds is the second greatest hits album by Simple Minds, released in 2001. New versions of the "Theme for Great Cities" were released, and some copies (such as the US version), included the remixes by Raven Maize.

A new edition was released in November 2007 with an extra DVD of the Verona concert film.

Raven Maize's track "The Real Life"—which samples both Simple Minds' "Theme for Great Cities" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"—was a hit single in 2001 and was included on this album, at the end of the second disc.

Tom Service

Tom Service (born 8 March 1976) is a British writer, music journalist and television and radio presenter, who has written regularly for The Guardian since 1999 and presented on BBC Radio 3 since 2001. He is a regular presenter of The Proms for Radio 3 and has presented several documentaries on the subject of classical music. Since 2018, he has been Professor of Music at Gresham College.

Toto (band)

Toto is an American rock band formed in 1977 in Los Angeles. The band's current lineup consists of Joseph Williams (lead vocals), David Paich (keyboards, vocals), Steve Porcaro (keyboards), Steve Lukather (guitars, vocals), plus touring members Lenny Castro (percussion), Warren Ham (saxophone), Shem von Schroeck (bass) and Shannon Forrest (drums). Toto is known for a musical style that combines elements of pop, rock, soul, funk, progressive rock, hard rock, R&B, blues, and jazz.

Paich and Jeff Porcaro had played together as session musicians on several albums and decided to form a band. David Hungate, Lukather, Porcaro, and Bobby Kimball were recruited before the first album release. The band enjoyed great commercial success in the late 1970s and 1980s, beginning with the band's eponymous debut released in 1978. With the release of the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Toto IV (1982), Toto became one of the best-selling music groups of their era.

Widely known for the Top 5 hits "Hold the Line", "Rosanna", and "Africa", the makeup of the group continues to evolve. Hungate left in 1982; Kimball left in 1984, but rejoined the band in 1998, leaving again in 2008. Jeff Porcaro died in 1992 of a heart attack. Hungate rejoined Toto as a touring musician and later a band member. In 2008, Lukather announced his departure from the band, and the remaining band members later went their separate ways. In the summer of 2010, Toto reformed and went on a short European tour, with a new lineup, to benefit Mike Porcaro, who had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and was no longer an active member of the band. He died in 2015.The band has released 14 studio albums, and has sold over 40 million records worldwide. The group has been honored with several Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.

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