Monday, April 28, 2003


The upcoming Proms season 2003 runs from 18 July to 13 February. Details of the full range of concerts in London (mostly, but not exclusively, at the Royal Alert Hall) will be available on-line on 30 April. Booking begins on 1 May. This truly is one of the (if not the) most encyclopaedic annual classical series in the world -- with both the staples of the repertoire from Baroque onwards, plus a good selection of newer music and contemporary commissions on view. Sometimes there is the odd surprise from the 'world' or jazz scenes, much more rarely avant rock (Soft Machine in 1966 springs to mind). Curator Nicholas Kenyon, late of BBC Radio 3, naturally has an impossible brief to fulfil. You just can't keep everyone happy all the time. NFE's main suggestion would be that the Proms is still bound rather too tightly in classicism, and could therefore do more to explore the shifts in perspective and boundary of what can rightly be called art-music these days. But ours is just the end of a long line of 'helpful suggestions', of that you can be sure...

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