Monday, July 16, 2007


The BBC Proms classical music festival (sadly still best known for its jingoistic last night - but hugely brader in scope, not least in popularising new music) has kicked off the 12th and final BBC season curated by outgoing director Nicholas Kenyon.

It is being described as a celebratory season that marks the 80th anniversary of the partnership between the Proms and the BBC. While referencing the past, it looks to creating the music and performers of the future through concerts and broadcasting.

There are many new works (including 12 BBC commissions), and what the BBC calls "unparalleled opportunities for talented young performers as well as more ways than ever for a new generation to get involved."

In just two months the season spans eight centuries of music in 90 concerts. From the 13th-century Icelandic sagas that inspired Wagner, to the rediscovery of a lost Renaissance Mass, through the Baroque genius of Handel, Bach and Rameau, to the great orchestral repertory from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries (including new commissions), the music is performed by leading artists from across the globe.

Nicholas Kenyon says: "I hope that BBC Proms 2007, 80 years after the BBC took over this great concert series, is as exciting and innovative a season as it has ever been.

"In my final season I am especially pleased at the huge range of major orchestras and events, the new works, and the unequalled opportunities to hear the very best of young musicians.

"From an extraordinary Venezuelan youth orchestra to our own National Youth Orchestra, young brass players making music alongside the BBC Philharmonic on Brass Day, and talented young singers – found in a nationwide talent search – singing Rachel Portman's dramatic new piece about climate change. The future of classical music is right here at the BBC Proms."

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