Your Guide to This Year’s BBC Proms

By

The BBC Proms are a celebration of music and culture in the heart of London bringing some of the most influential performers and groups onto the London stages. My earliest memories of going to the Proms is from when I attended a Jazz prom with my dad. We were promming (meaning that you queue and get cheaper standing tickets!), yet the majesty of the Royal Albert Hall has stayed with me even when I have performed on the stage myself.

When attending the Proms, you have many options about where to sit and how much you would like to spend. Seats can range in price, with seats in a “Box” being the most expensive.

On a budget?

No worries! The amazing thing about the Proms is how accessible they are. No Prom is ever sold-out. On the day of a prom you can queue at the Royal Albert Hall for a standing ticket in the Arena or Gallery which only cost £6! But beware, some very popular proms will go quickly, so make sure to get there early to get a ticket.

More information on how to Prom can be found here.

This year’s line-up will not disappoint, with a programme jam-packed with some fantastic (and affordable) concerts. Here are my suggestions for the must-see concerts:

Prom 4: The Planets

  1. When: 7.30pm on Sunday 21st July 2019
  2. Where: Auditorium, Royal Albert Hall
  3. Why: This prom is part of the series of concerts celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing mission on the moon. Featuring John Adams’ thrilling “Short Ride in a Fast Machine”, Barber’s “Violin Concerto” and the infamous “Planets”, this is great for entry-level classical listeners but also part of the essential repertoire for even the most seasoned prommer. The conductor is Kirill Karabits, both young and fiery, it will be interesting to hear his interpretation of Holst’s “The Planets”.
  4. Link: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms/bbc-proms-2019/prom-4-the-planets/

Prom 10: Public Service Broadcasting

  1. When: 10.15pm on Thursday 25th July 2019
  2. Where: Auditorium, Royal Albert Hall
  3. Why: The first of the late-night proms, and another in the Moon series, this concert looks interesting. ‘Cult London band’ Public Service Broadcasting is joined by one of The Multi-Story Orchestra. They will be performing orchestrated version of their album “The Race for Space”, which explores the events of the 1960s Space Race. I’m really intrigued by this concert as I have been a long-time admirer of the ethos and projects of The Multi-Story Orchestra, so I’m excited to see the product of this collaboration.
  4. Link: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms/bbc-proms-2019/prom-10-public-service-broadcasting/
Image: Public Service Broadcasting at the National Space Centre, Creative Commons, Flickr, Paul Hudson

Prom 24: Relaxed Prom

  1. When: 11:30am on Tuesday 6th August 2019
  2. Where: Auditorium, Royal Albert Hall
  3. Why: One of the key modern ideals of music is that it is something that everyone should be able to enjoy. For those who don’t enjoy the rigidity of a concert but still want to enjoy the music, this is for you as it is a ‘more relaxed environment – suitable for children and adults with autism, sensory and communication impairments and learning disabilities, as well as individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind and partially sighted.’ Featuring music by two of the Russian greats, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, this a concert for everyone.
  4. Link: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms/bbc-proms-2019/prom-24-relaxed-prom/

Prom 29/30: The Warner Brothers Story

  1. When: Two Showings- 3.00/7:30pm on 9th August 2019
  2. Where: Auditorium, Royal Albert Hall
  3. Why: The John Wilson Prom is one of the highlights each year. This conductor and orchestra have won over audiences each year for 10 years. This year Wilson will present some of the most iconic soundtracks for the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood cinema’. I cannot recommend this Prom enough but get tickets fast as it will sell out fast (there’s a reason they’re doing two showings…).
  4. Link: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms/bbc-proms-2019/prom-30-john-wilson-orchestra/

Prom 36: Late-Night Mixtape

  1. When: 10.15pm on 13th August 2019
  2. Where: Auditorium, Royal Albert Hall
  3. Why: A concert featuring the choral group Tenebrae should be enough to sell it to you but in case it doesn’t… This is another of the late-night proms but featuring the infamous minimalistic and tintinnabular style of Arvo Part and designed to help you unwind. Also featuring music for meditation, this should be a really amazing evening.
  4. Link: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms/bbc-proms-2019/prom-36-late-night-mixtape/

Prom 37: L’Enfance Du Christ

  1. When: 7.00pm on 14th August 2019
  2. Where: Auditorium, Royal Albert Hall
  3. Why: If you are a boff like me you can’t get a better line-up than this. With huge names like Dame Sarah Connolly, Allan Clayton, Roddie Williams and Neal Davies, all under the baton of the awe-inspiring Sir Mark Elder, it really doesn’t get better than this. Berlioz’s grand oratorio is quite something to behold as it tells the story of Jesus’ birth and how he, Joseph and Mary fled Bethlehem for Egypt. It is one of my favourite romantic works and Natalie Houlston (St. Chad’s Fresher) will be singing as part of the Genesis Sixteen chorus.
  4. Link: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms/bbc-proms-2019/prom-37-lenfance-du-christ/

Prom 49: The Lost Words Prom

  1. When: 5.30pm on 25th August 2019
  2. Where: Auditorium, Royal Albert Hall
  3. Why: This unique concert plays on the musical sounds of the natural world as inspired by the book “The Lost Words”. Again, this is a fairly accessible prom but I was struck by it because of its hugely broad incorporation of many musical and artistic styles. Featuring beatboxing, the up-and-coming violinist Stephanie Childress and Jessica Cottis, I’m excited to see what the result of this collaboration will be. There is also another Durham link, many of the singers from Durham University Chamber Choir and the Chapel Choir of University College, Durham will be singing as part of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain.
  4. Link: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms/bbc-proms-2019/prom-49-the-lost-words-prom/

Prom 72/73: Symphonie Fantastique

  1. When: Two Showings- 7.00/10.15pm on 12th September 2019
  2. Where: Auditorium, Royal Albert Hall
  3. Why: Yet another of Berlioz’s prolific works, you cannot miss this Prom. Featuring the Aurora Orchestra and their conductor Nicholas Collon, this theatrical extravaganza will be incredible. I’m a huge fan of this orchestra as they are always s a delight to watch. They all perform totally from memory, which is quite an incredible feat baring in mind that this work is 80 minutes long! The concert will feature choreography etc which will completely immerse you in the passionate work.
  4. Link: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms/bbc-proms-2019/prom-73-symphonie-fantastique/

The Proms really are open to everyone and whatever your tastes you will most definitely find something. For a full listing of all the concerts have a look here: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/proms/bbc-proms-2019/

Photography: Creative Commons, Flickr, Jacek.NL, Prom 59, Royal Albert Hall, London

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.