Every summer, the Royal Albert Hall in London and other venues across the UK, are filled with the excitement, the thrill and the anticipation of the world’s biggest classical music and culture festival, the BBC Proms. For 2 months spectators will come from near and far to see some of the best performers from across the UK and around the world. Yet, this particular season is one to look forward to, for 2015 marks the 120th season of this cultural event, which began in 1895, as Sir Henry Wood sought to find a way music can be enjoyed and accessed by all.
— BBC Proms Team (@bbcproms) April 24, 2015
The legacy of Sir Henry lives on now, as this season is one in particular to look forward to. Once again, an eclectic offering is guaranteed, with the organisers once again thinking outside the box, and going beyond the curation of signature classical music performances.
A summer of highlights
The festivities begin on Friday 17 July with the traditional First Night of the Proms, featuring Mozart’s Piano Concerto number 20 with the soloist Lars Vogt, and the first of 32 premiere compositions – 21 of them world exclusives, and 13 of them BBC commissions.
Yet, Vogt’s solo performance barely scratches the surface of one of the most signature contributions to British culture, for, as the days and weeks commence, we will all surely notice and admire the diversity of performances, with something for everyone right through to the middle of September.
The Proms also involve many of the BBC’s radio networks, including Radio 1 on 29 July, where Pete Tong will curate an Ibiza dance music Prom to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the station’s broadcasts from the island.
— R1Dance (@R1Dance) April 23, 2015
Its sister station, 1Xtra, will also present an urban music Prom on 12 August, presented by MistaJam and Sian Anderson, featuring acts including Wretch 32. Alongside this, digital station 6 Music will present its second ever Prom on 5 August, and further collaborations include Jarvis Cocker appearing at a Prom based on the Radio 4 programme Wireless Nights, to be held on 10 September.
Providing a summer to remember
Other highlights include a Sherlock Holmes Prom on 16 August, a tribute to British composers of the 20th century on 5 August, a performance of Fiddler on the Roof featuring the Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel on 25 July, and an appearance by the creator of hit TV programme Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane, performing songs made famous by the American singer Frank Sinatra to mark the occasion of his 100th birthday on 7 August.
Alongside these offerings are numerous classical music pieces, featuring a number of renowned performers, including late night sessions of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, notably featuring renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
In addition, the Royal Albert Hall will play host to numerous orchestras from around the world, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
Then, on 12 September, the Proms season comes to a close with its traditional fanfare, with Proms in the Park from Hyde Park in London and other locations across the UK, as well as the Last Night of the Proms, home to many traditional favourites.
— BBC Proms Team (@bbcproms) April 23, 2015
Tickets go on sale to the general public at 9am on Saturday, 16 May.
Even if you can’t make it in person, the Proms are still available to listen to live in HD sound on Radio 3, and to listen back on iPlayer for 30 days after they are broadcast. Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, Radio 4, 6 Music and the BBC Asian Network will also be broadcasting the Proms during the 2 month season. You can also watch the Proms live on BBC Four, with the First Night of the Proms (and the magazine programme Proms Extra) broadcasting on BBC Two, and the second half on BBC One.
The BBC Proms is the world’s most famous festival for music and culture, and this year they have outdone themselves. So make the Proms a part of your summer—you’ll be glad you did.
Details on ticket booking and a complete schedule of events can be seen here. What are you looking forward to the most about the Proms? Have you seen a Proms performance? Have your say in the comments section below.