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A Celebration Of Henry Purcell20200802In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

The centrepiece of this concert – introduced by Suzy Klein and originally presented to celebrate the 350th anniversary year of Purcell’s birth in 2009 – is an affecting tribute to the composer by his teacher and predecessor as organist of Westminster Abbey, John Blow. It sets Dryden’s poem of the same name, which describes how ‘the lark and linnet sing’ but then fall silent at the appearance of ‘the matchless man, our Orpheus’.

A sequence of Purcell’s solo songs and keyboard pieces and the deeply moving Evening Hymn complete this mix of mellifluous music, performed by English singers Iestyn Davies and Simon Wall. The duo are accompanied by members of the Academy of Ancient Music, led from the harpsichord by their Artistic Director Richard Egarr.

Purcell: Suite in G major – excerpts
Purcell: Hail, Bright Cecelia – ’Tis nature’s voice
Purcell: A New Ground
Purcell: Music for a while
Purcell: Suite in D major – excerpts
Purcell: Sweeter than roses
Blow: Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell
Purcell: Evening Hymn

Iestyn Davies (countertenor)
Simon Wall (tenor)
Members of the Academy of Ancient Music
Richard Egarr (harpsichord/director)

(From the BBC Proms, 7 September 2009)

Richard Egarr directs a concert marking the 350th anniversary of Henry Purcell's birth.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

A Recital By Pianist Pierre-laurent Aimard20200830In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: a Proms Chamber Music recital from 2008 typical of the ever-questing Pierre-Laurent Aimard, blending music from various periods. Schumann’s last piano work looks forward with its harmonically advanced language. Its mood is taken up by Elliott Carter’s classic Night Fantasies of 1980, a work described by its composer as ‘a piano piece of continuously changing moods, suggesting the fleeting thoughts and feelings that are passed through the mind during a period of wakefulness at night’.

Bartók is represented by his Out of Doors Suite, written very much with himself in mind as performer, and exploiting the piano’s percussive qualities to winning effect. And as a leading exponent of Messiaen’s piano music, Aimard offers a sketch of a night bird, ‘L’alouette lulu’ (The Woodlark).

Introduced by Christopher Cook.

Schumann: 5 Gesänge der Frühe, Op 133
Elliott Carter: Night Fantasies
Messiaen: Catalogue d’oiseaux – No 8: L’alouette lulu
Bartók: Out of Doors Suite

Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano)

(From BBC Proms, 21 July 2008)

Pierre-Laurent Aimard plays Schumann, Carter, Messiaen and Bart\u00f3k

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

A Solo Recital By Star Pianist Evgeny Kissin20200819In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Martin Handley introduces this 1997 recital – the first ever solo piano recital at the Proms – showcases the Russian phenomenon Evgeny Kissin in only his second Proms performance. At 26, his performances and recordings had already brought him the kind of attention reserved for the starriest virtuosos – such as Chopin and Liszt themselves, whose music he plays here alongside Haydn’s noble Sonata No 52.

Liszt’s fiendishly difficult Hungarian Rhapsody No 12 is the jewel in centre of this mammoth recital. With eight distinctive melodies, it is the most thematically rich of the 19 Rhapsodies – as well as one of the most popular. Supposedly closing the performance is the last of Chopin’s three piano sonatas - but there is an encore or two...

Haydn: Sonata No 52 in E flat
Liszt: Liebestraum No 3 in A flat
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No 12 in C sharp minor

c8.10pm Interval
Martin Handley talks to his guest, pianist and broadcaster Lucy Parham, about tonight's concert

Chopin: Nocturnes Ops 27 Nos 1 & 2
Chopin: Piano Sonata No 3 in B minor

Evgeny Kissin (piano)

(From the BBC Proms, 10 August 1997)

BBC Proms: Evgeny Kissin plays Haydn, Chopin and Liszt.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Martin Handley introduces this 1997 recital – the first-ever solo piano recital at the Proms – showcases the Russian phenomenon Evgeny Kissin in only his second Proms performance. At 26, his performances and recordings had already brought him the kind of attention reserved for the starriest virtuosos – such as Chopin and Liszt themselves, whose music he plays here alongside Haydn’s noble Sonata No 52.

Liszt’s fiendishly difficult Hungarian Rhapsody No 12 is the jewel in centre of this mammoth recital. With eight distinctive melodies, it is the most thematically rich of the 19 Rhapsodies – as well as one of the most popular. Closing the performance is the last of Chopin’s three piano sonatas.

Haydn: Sonata No 52 in E flat
Liszt: Liebesträum No 3 in A flat
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No 12 in C sharp minor
Chopin: Nocturnes Ops 27 Nos 1 & 2
Chopin: Piano Sonata No 3 in B minor

Evgeny Kissin (piano)
(From the BBC Proms, 10 August 1997)

Academy Of St Martin In The Fields At The Proms20200806In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Hannah French presents a highlight of the 1994 season.

Haydn’s Symphony No. 96 was written during the composer’s first visit to London and was premiered in Hannover Square, just two miles from where the Royal Albert Hall now stands. The lightest of the 12 symphonies he wrote in the city, its four movements perfectly capture the elegance and wit that brought Haydn such popularity in London society. His virtuosic First Violin Concerto, performed in this concert by the Japanese-born violinist Mayumi Seiler, was written two decades earlier, in the early years of his employment at the Esterházy court.

Sir Neville Marriner and his Academy of St Martin in the Fields conclude with a performance of the Fourth Symphony by Haydn’s frustrated pupil, Beethoven. Despite being written at the same time as his better-known Fifth, the symphony is classical in proportion, its bubbling finale imbued with the spirit of Beethoven’s teacher.
Haydn: Symphony No. 96 in D major, ‘Miracle’
Haydn: Violin Concerto No. 1 in C major
Beethoven: ‘Ah! pérfido’
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B flat major

Adrianne Pieczonka (soprano)
Mayumi Seiler (violin)
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Sir Neville Marriner (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 1994, 15 August)

Sir Neville Marriner conducts music by Beethoven and Haydn.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

American Dreams20200908California-born Ryan Bancroft makes his debut as Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and at the Proms, with this programme which has a focus on America and its music. Martinů’s Jazz Suite perfectly complements John Adams’s Chamber Symphony; the sound-world of which arose for the composer when he viewed his study of Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony through the lens of cartoon music coming from the next room. An exciting new commission by British composer Gavin Higgins entitled Rough Voices follows, before two American classics: Barber’s nostalgic evocation of a balmy Tennessee night and Copland’s exhilarating ballet suite inspired by early-19th-century pioneer settlers in Pennsylvania, in its less-heard original chamber version.

7.30pm Martinů: Jazz Suite
Adams: Chamber Symphony
Higgins: Rough Voices
Barber: Knoxville - Summer of 1915
Copland: Appalachian Spring

Ryan Bancroft (conductor)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Natalya Romaniw (soprano)

Ryan Bancroft conducts BBC NOW in a Prom which celebrates popular music from the USA

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Anoushka Shankar: New Explorations20200904Live from the BBC Proms:
Anoushka Shankar, Gold Panda and Manu Delago perform 'The Sitar and the Hang', with the Britten Sinfonia conducted by Jules Buckley.

Presented by Ian Skelly live from the Royal Albert Hall.

Anoushka Shankar sitar
Gold Panda live electronics
Manu Delago percussion
Britten Sinfonia
Jules Buckley conductor

Boundary-crossing, multi-Grammy-nominated sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar returns to the Proms, showcasing two of her most recent collaborations.

In the centenary year of her father Ravi Shankar’s birth and with the aim of presenting ‘ragas and the sitar in a new light’, she combines recordings of some of his works both with her own sitar improvisations and with live electronics by composer/producer Gold Panda.

Alongside conductor and arranger Jules Buckley, Anoushka Shankar has produced new arrangements of her own pieces for the Britten Sinfonia strings, who are joined by her regular collaborator percussionist Manu Delago. Among them are ‘Wandering Around’, ‘Voice of the Moon’, ‘Land of Gold’ and ‘Chasing Shadows’.

Live from the BBC Proms: Anoushka Shankar and Gold Panda perform 'The Sitar and the Hang'

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Live from the BBC Proms: Anoushka Shankar and Gold Panda perform 'The Sitar and the Hang'.

Bach's St Matthew Passion20200823In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: Phillipe Herreweghe’s expressive but fleet-footed Bach won praise at his Proms debut in 1996. Two years later, in this highlight from the archives, he turned to one of the peaks of Bach’s output: the telling of Matthew’s version of the Passion with the narration of Christ’s mission, his political fates, and our response in the meditative music of arias, all mingled to create one of the most original music dramas of any age. Ian Bostridge, then near the start of his career sings the role of the Evangelist.

Presented by Petroc Trelawny who between Parts 1 and 2 talks to Andreas Scholl about working with Herreweghe, and his approach to singing the music of JS Bach.

Bach: St Matthew Passion

Ian Bostridge (Evangelist)
Sibylla Rubens (soprano)
Andreas Scholl (counter-tenor)
Werner Güra (tenor)
Dietrich Henschel (bass)
Elisabeth Hermans (soprano)
Susan Hamilton (soprano)
Franz-Josef Selig (bass)
Frits Vanhule (bass)
Dominik Wörner (bass)
Schola Cantorum Cantate Domino
Chorus and Orchestra of Collegium Vocale Ghent

(From the BBC Proms 1998, 23 August)

Philippe Herreweghe conducts Bach's St Matthew Passion.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Baroque Classics From Anne Sofie Von Otter And Les Musiciens Du Louvre20200723In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

In this late-night concert from 2003, Anne Sofie von Otter joins French conductor Marc Minkowski and his period-instrument orchestra in a pair of arias from Handel’s mighty opera Ariodante – which they recorded together in 1997 – and one of Bach’s most beautiful and consoling solo cantatas, ‘Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust’.

Rounding off this all-Baroque affair is a colourful selection of dances by Jean-Philippe Rameau, a near-direct contemporary of Bach. The suite, which was compiled by Marc Minkowski, draws from a selection of the French composer’s operas.

Bach: Cantata No 170, ‘Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust’
Rameau: L'apothéose de la dance – suite
Handel: Ariodante: Scherza infida; Doppo notte

Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano)
Les Musiciens du Louvre
Marc Minkowski (conductor)

(From BBC Proms, 10 September 2003)

Anne Sofie von Otter sings Bach and Handel with Les Musiciens du Louvre.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Baroque Doubles: Nicola Benedetti With The Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment20200903The cavernous Royal Albert Hall auditorium is an ideal space to explore the clean harmonies and decorative melodies of the Baroque concerto. Period-instrument ensemble the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is joined by leading violinist Nicola Benedetti to perform double violin concertos by Vivaldi and Bach. In addition to one of only three concertos Vivaldi wrote for two oboes, we hear concerti grossi by Handel and Newcastle-born Charles Avison.

Presented by Martin Handley, live from the Royal Albert Hall.

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in D minor for two violins, RV 514
George Frideric Handel: Concerto grosso in B flat major, Op 3 No 2
Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in D major for two violins, RV 513
George Frideric Handel: Radamisto – Passacaglia
Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in A minor for two oboes, RV 536
Charles Avison: Concerto grosso No 5 in D minor (after Scarlatti)
Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto in D minor for two violins, BWV 1043

Nicola Benedetti (violin)
Kati Debretzeni (violin in Vivaldi, RV 514)
Rudolfo Richter (violin in Vivaldi, RV 513)
Matthew Truscott (violin in Bach)
Katharina Spreckelsen (oboe)
Sarah Humphrys (oboe)
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Jonathan Cohen (director/harpsichord)

Jonathan Cohen directs the OAE in music by Handel, Vivaldi, Bach and Avison.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Bbc Proms Chamber Music: The Jack Quartet And Colin Currie20200907In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

Xenakis: Rebonds B
Simon Holt: Quadriga
Suzanne Farrin: Hypersea
Xenakis: Tetras

JACK Quartet
Colin Currie (percussion)

(From BBC Proms 2018, 13 August)

BBC Proms: In this Proms lunchtime recital from 2018, award-winning British percussionist Colin Currie joined forces with dynamic contemporary music specialists, the JACK Quartet, for a programme of 20th- and 21st-century works, including world premieres by Simon Holt and Suzanne Farrin.

Those pieces are joined by two virtuosic Xenakis chamber works – the impossibly demanding Rebonds B for solo percussion and the 1983 string quartet Tetras with its eerie, woodwind-like sound manipulation and unsettling rhythmic patterning.

BBC Proms Chamber Music: The JACK Quartet and Colin Currie play Xenakis.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Bbc Scottish Symphony Orchestra With Stephen Hough20200905Live from BBC Proms

Presented by Kate Molleson, live from City Halls, Glasgow

Beethoven’s economically scored Second Piano Concerto – written before his First and among the earliest of his works performed in concert halls today – looks both backwards to Haydn and Mozart and forwards to Beethoven’s future innovation and rhythmic fascination.

Tonight’s BBC commission is from Glasgow-based composer Jay Capperauld. Expressed in the context of the recurring 24-hour process that regulates our sleeping patterns, Circadian Refrains (172 Days Until Dawn) is Capperauld’s response to the cyclical nature of lockdown, enforced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Continuing the theme of mass upheaval, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra closes with Strauss’s devastating Metamorphosen. Written for 23 solo strings during the final months of the Second World War (which Strauss described as ‘the most terrible period of mankind’), it quotes from the Funeral March of Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony (No. 3).

Walker Lyric for Strings
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2
Jay Capperauld Circadian Refrains (172 Days Until Dawn) (BBC commission: world premiere)
Strauss Metamorphosen

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Stephen Hough, piano
Alpesh Chauhan, conductor

Live from BBC Proms: Stephen Hough joins Alpesh Chauhan and the BBC SSO

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Beethoven And Schubert From Roger Norrington20200727Sir Roger Norrington conducts his period instrument London Classical Players in symphonies by Beethoven and Schubert.

Where some musicians follow trends, Roger Norrington has always led them, not least in his long collaboration with the London Classical Players, the orchestra he formed to explore the playing styles relating to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Berlioz. In this 1989 Prom, Schubert's monumental 'Great' symphony - once praised for its 'heavenly length'- is paired with early Beethoven.
Presented by Hannah French.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major

Schubert: Schubert: Symphony No. 9 in C major, ‘Great’

London Classical Players
Sir Roger Norrington (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 1989, 21 August)

Sir Roger Norrington's ‘Experiences’ were one of the defining features of the UK's musical life in the 1980s. In these hugely popular events, Sir Roger and his London Classical Players offered music, talk and provocative discussion and brought new insights into works from the Classical and Romantic periods, seen then as the preserve of the traditional symphony orchestras. It is no exaggeration to say that performance style of Beethoven and Schubert has not been the same since.

In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Sir Roger Norrington conducts Beethoven and Schubert - four decades of unmissable Proms.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Beethoven From Memory20200910Live at the BBC Proms from the Royal Albert Hall, London
Presented by Tom Service

Richard Ayres No. 52 (Three pieces about Ludwig van Beethoven: dreaming, hearing loss and saying goodbye)
BBC co-commission: world premiere

Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 7 in A major

Tom Service presenter
Aurora Orchestra
Nicholas Collon conductor

Beethoven’s hearing loss plunged the composer into isolation and despair, so it’s hard to believe him capable of producing a symphony such as his Seventh, which pulses with restless energy – and which the Aurora Orchestra plays from memory. It’s a work with a special place in Proms history, too: it was the last piece Proms founder-conductor Henry Wood directed before his death in 1944.

Richard Ayres opens the concert with a deeply personal new work inspired both by Beethoven’s journey into deafness and his own experience of hearing loss, a vivid soundscape in which clarity gradually gives way to confusion.

Radio 3’s Tom Service and Aurora Orchestra Principal Conductor Nicholas Collon guide us through the programme with their customary lively and expert introductions.

Aurora Orchestra perform Beethoven's Seventh Symphony from memory

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Beethoven, Barber And Copland From The 2007 Bbc Proms20200805In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts ant tonight martin Handley introduces a concert from the 2007 season featuring the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop in a programme including two American 20th-century classics.

Beethoven: Overture ‘Leonore’ No. 3
Barber: Violin Concerto
Copland: Symphony No. 3

James Ehnes (violin)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2007, 25 July)

New York-born Marin Alsop conducts a programme that reflects the substantial body of American works introduced to the BBC Proms during the 1940s and 1950s. Barber’s lushly romantic Violin Concerto – which received its UK premiere at the 1943 Proms – is heard alongside Copland’s iconic folk-influenced symphony, a work which helped define the sound of American orchestral music.

Opening the concert is Beethoven’s third attempt at a curtain raiser for his only opera, Leonore (later renamed Fidelio). Despite being rejected for a fourth and final iteration, this overture perfectly encapsulates the essence of Beethoven’s opera: a proud celebration of freedom and conjugal love.

Presented by Martin Handley

James Ehnes plays Barber's Violin Concerto.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Beethoven's \u2018eroica'20200828Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the first live Prom of the 2020 season. Beethoven’s epic Third Symphony sits alongside Copland’s Quiet City and a Basquiat-inspired world premiere from Hannah Kendall. The BBC Singers perform Eric Whitacre's Sleep.

Live from the Royal Albert Hall
Presented by Georgia Mann and Petroc Trelawny

Hannah Kendall: Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama (BBC commission: world premiere)

Eric Whitacre: Sleep*

Aaron Copland: Quiet City

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, ‘Eroica’

BBC Singers*
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo (conductor)

Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra kick off this season’s live offering with a specially-commissioned work by English composer Hannah Kendall. Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama takes as its title a quote from American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s matrix of hieroglyphs, symbols and words, and it launches a voyage across the Atlantic that takes us via Eric Whitacre’s tender Sleep, sung by the BBC Singers, to the expansive, desolate sound-world of Copland’s Quiet City.

For the concert’s climax we plunge into the stormy waters of Beethoven’s revolutionary ‘Eroica’ Symphony, noted by one early reviewer for its ‘strange modulations and violent transitions’ – a passionate musical vision of heroism.

Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the first live Prom of 2020.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Beethoven's Eroica20200828Sakari Oramo conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the first live Prom of the 2020 season. Beethoven’s epic Third Symphony sits alongside Copland’s Quiet City and a Basquiat-inspired world premiere from Hannah Kendall. The BBC Singers perform Eric Whitacre's Sleep.

Live from the Royal Albert Hall
Presented by Georgia Mann and Petroc Trelawny

Hannah Kendall: Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama (BBC commission: world premiere)

Eric Whitacre: Sleep*

Aaron Copland: Quiet City

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, ‘Eroica’

BBC Singers*
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Nicholas Chalmers (conductor)*
Sakari Oramo (conductor)

Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra kick off this season’s live offering with a specially-commissioned work by English composer Hannah Kendall. Tuxedo: Vasco ‘de’ Gama takes as its title a quote from American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s matrix of hieroglyphs, symbols and words, and it launches a voyage across the Atlantic that takes us via Eric Whitacre’s tender Sleep, sung by the BBC Singers, to the expansive, desolate sound-world of Copland’s Quiet City.

For the concert’s climax we plunge into the stormy waters of Beethoven’s revolutionary ‘Eroica’ Symphony, noted by one early reviewer for its ‘strange modulations and violent transitions’ – a passionate musical vision of heroism.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Beethoven's Leonore - A Landmark Performance20200718Beethoven: Leonore
(From BBC Proms 1996, 16 August)
Beethoven’s only opera is a passionate musical protest against political oppression that also celebrates the power of human love. This performance from 1996 of the opera’s first version (it was later revised as Fidelio) was only its second ever at the Proms, and the first featuring period instruments. Sir John Eliot Gardiner favoured this earlier version of the work, conceived at a time when Beethoven was fired up by the ideals of Napoleon and the social fragmentation of society in the wake of the French Revolution. This performance came soon after the experience of recording all of Beethoven's symphonies with his Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. The period instruments, he said, gave the music ‘greater transparency of texture, more sharply differentiated character of the instruments and an almost visceral struggle with the musical material.'

Presented by Martin Handley.

Leonore....Hillevi Martinpelto (soprano)
Florestan....Kim Begley (tenor)
Rocco....Franz Hawlata (bass)
Marzelline....Christiane Oelze (soprano)
Jaquino....Michael Schade (tenor)
Don Pizarro....Matthew Best (bass)
Don Fernando....Geert Smits (baritone)
First Prisoner....Robert Burt (tenor)
Second Prisoner....Colin Campbell (baritoner)
Monteverdi Choir
Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Sir John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Beethoven's opera Leonore, conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner at the 1996 Proms

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Beethoven's Missa Solemnis20200719Presented by Tom Service

Finding the terror alongside the spiritual awe, the questioning doubt as well as the faith, Beethoven’s mighty Missa solemnis is a work of visceral power – a public statement of intensely private belief. ‘From the heart – may it return to the heart!,’ the composer wrote at the top of a score that stretched the proportions and ambitions of the orchestral Mass to new limits.

A work close to Harnoncourt’s heart, the Missa solemnis was also the work he conducted in his final public performance before retiring in December 2015. Experience the raw intensity of his account here with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Arnold Schoenberg Choir at the 1998 BBC Proms.

Beethoven: Missa solemnis

Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Arnold Schoenberg Choir
Ruth Ziesak (soprano)
Bernarda Fink (alto)
Herbert Lippert (tenor)
Neal Davies (bass)
Nikolous Harnoncourt (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 1998, 11 September)

Nikolous Harnoncourt conducts Beethoven's Missa solemnis.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Carlo Maria Giulini Conducts Brahms20200818In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: Brahms’s development in the time between composing his First and Second Symphonies was remarkable. Despite finishing it less than a year after the premiere of his First, the Second Symphony belongs to an entirely different world. It is an expansive, full-bodied work, infused with the idyllic surroundings of the Austrian spa town in which it was written.

In this concert from the 1994 Proms, Italian maestro Carlo Maria Giulini and the European Union Youth Orchestra pair the symphony with Brahms’s final effort in the medium: his thrilling Fourth. Written at the height of his musical powers (again, within a year of its predecessor), it is the first symphony by any composer to incorporate a strict set of variations into one of its movements: the finale is based on a repeating bass melody from Bach’s Cantata 150, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich’.

Presented by Ian Skelly

Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major
Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in E minor

European Union Youth Orchestra
Carlo Maria Giulini (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 1994, 20 August)

Carlo Maria Giulini conducts a Brahms double bill.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Cbso, Mirga Gra\u017einyt\u0117-tyla, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony20200814In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Petroc Trelawny presents a highlight from the 2017 season.

Beethoven: Overture ‘Leonore’ No. 3
Stravinsky: Violin Concerto in D major
Gerald Barry: Canada (BBC commission: world premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor

Allan Clayton (tenor)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2017, 21 August)

The CBSO and Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla explore the theme of political and artistic freedom. Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, written for his rescue opera Fidelio, celebrates the triumph of truth over tyranny in music of radiant beauty, while his Fifth Symphony rewrites the rules for the classical symphony.

In his new work, maverick composer Gerald Barry sets a text from Fidelio’s Prisoners’ Chorus – including the lines ‘Speak softly! We are watched with eyes and ears’, suggesting a resonance with today’s concerns over public surveillance. And Leila Josefowicz amps up the drama in the fierce brilliance of Stravinsky’s neoclassical concerto.

Mirga Gra\u017einyt\u0117-Tyla returns to the Proms with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Christian Thielemann Conducts The Staatskapelle Dresden20200718Presented by Kate Molleson

The Staatskapelle Dresden and its Chief Conductor Christian Thielemann open with Beethoven’s most radiant, smiling work, his sublime Violin Concerto, in the sure hands of Nikolaj Znaider.

After the interval this famously rich-toned orchestra digs into Max Reger’s affectionate and beautifully orchestrated Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart and finally Richard Strauss’s witty and abrasive depiction of an impish figure from German folklore, his outlandish tone-poem telling of ‘Till Eulenspiegel’s merry pranks’.

Beethoven: Violin Concerto

Interval: Kate Molleson in conversation with Christian Thielemann.

Reger: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart
R. Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

Nikolaj Znaider (violin)
Staatskapelle Dresden
Christian Thielemann (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2016, 8 September)

Christian Thielemann conducts the Staatskapelle Dresden in works by Beethoven and Strauss.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Colin Davis Conducts Beethoven's 'pastoral' Symphony20200820In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony is surely the apogee of the pastoral. Here it is prefaced by Sibelius’s late tone-poem, which he premiered in the USA, and Michael Tippett’s shimmering evocation of a Senegalese lakeside view. The last orchestral piece Tippett wrote, The Rose Lake was commissioned jointly by the London Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the composer’s 90th birthday.

As with Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, Tippett's piece is concerned with expressions of feeling rather than description. The late Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra give free reign to that feeling in this thrilling concert from the 2001 Proms.

Presented by Martin Handley

Sibelius: The Oceanides, Op. 73
Tippett: The Rose Lake
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 in F major, ‘Pastoral’

London Symphony Orchestra
Colin Davis (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2001, 13 September)

Colin Davis conducts Sibelius, Tippett and Beethoven.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Colin Davis conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in Sibelius, Tippett and Beethoven.

Daniel Barenboim And His West-eastern Divan Orchestra20200803In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts. Tonight, a memorable concert from the 2016 season, when Daniel Barenboim paired his orchestra of young Arabs and Israelis with the iconic pianist Martha Argerich in a thundering performance of Liszt’s First Piano Concerto. The concert begins with a work by Jörg Widmann. Entitled Con brio, it harnesses the energy of Beethoven’s fast movements in an ‘exercise in fury and rhythmic insistence’. Barenboim – who conducted Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Proms in 2013 – concludes with powerful excerpts from three of the composer’s most popular works.

Presented by Petroc Trelawny

Jörg Widmann: Con brio
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E flat major

c. 8.10pm
Interval

c.8.25pm
Wagner: Tannhäuser – Overture
Wagner: Götterdämmerung – Dawn and Siegfried’s Rhine Journey
Wagner: Götterdämmerung – Siegfried's Death and Funeral March
Wagner: The Mastersingers of Nuremberg – Overture

Martha Argerich (piano)
West–Eastern Divan Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2016, 17 August)

Martha Argerich plays Liszt's First Piano Concerto.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Daniel Harding And The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen In Beethoven's Seventh Symphony20200824In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: In 2003 the distinguished Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen made its second visit to the Proms, with its then Music Director Daniel Harding – making his fifth Proms appearance at the age of just 27. A suite of dance music from Rameau’s celebrated first opera and the Beethoven symphony that Wagner declared ‘the apotheosis of dance’ framed Sibelius’s Violin Concerto, whose final movement was once famously described as ‘a polonaise for a polar bear’. The soloist was the acclaimed Russian-born Viktoria Mullova.

Presented by Tom Service.

Rameau: Hippolyte et Aricie – suite
Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A major

Viktoria Mullova (violin)
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
Daniel Harding (conductor)

Daniel Harding conducts the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Viktoria Mullova.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Elgar, Bax And Walton From The 2006 Bbc Proms20200802In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts and tonight Martin Handley presents an all-English programme from the 2006 season conducted by the much-missed Richard Hickox.

Elgar: In the South (Alassio)
Bliss: A Colour Symphony
Walton: Belshazzar's Feast
(From the BBC Proms 2006, 23 July)

Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)
BBC National Chorus of Wales
London Symphony Chorus
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
London Brass
Richard Hickox (conductor)

Ever the champion of British music, Richard Hickox conducts his final Prom at the helm of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, joined by Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and massed choirs from London and Cardiff in the Old Testament fire-and-brimstone tale of Belshazzar's Feast. Walton’s mighty cantata was commissioned by the BBC in 1929, originally as a small-scale choral work. It soon outgrew its conception, morphing into a musical behemoth for orchestra, eight-part choir, organ and two brass bands.

Commissioned at the behest of Elgar – whose own In the South (Alassio) opens this concert – Bliss’s A Colour Symphony explores the heraldic associations of the colours purple, red, blue and green. Hickox and BBC NOW would go on to record the work in 2006, alongside Bliss’s Violin Concerto.
Presented by Martin Handley.

Richard Hickox conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Belshazzar's Feast.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Elgar, Bliss And Walton From The 2006 Bbc Proms20200802
English Choral Music New And Old20200726In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s long association with the Proms is reflected in this concert from 2013, in which Nicholas Kok conducts the UK premiere of The Moth Requiem for women’s voices, alto flute and three harps, a dream-like incantation of the names of the dustier cousins of the sun-loving butterfly.

Before that, pre-Reformation motets by William Cornysh and Walter Lambe, preserved in the Eton Choirbook, intersperse with alluring works by Gustav Holst and his daughter Imogen, including the third set of Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda for female voices and harp,

Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

Gustav Holst: Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda – Group 3
William Cornysh: Ave Maria mater Dei
Imogen Holst: Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?
Walter Lambe: Stella caeli
Sir Harrison Birtwistle: The Moth Requiem (BBC co-commission with the Danish National Vocal Ensemble: UK premiere)

BBC Singers
Nash Ensemble
Nicholas Kok (conductor)

(From BBC Proms, 12 August 2013)

The BBC Singers perform English choral music spanning more than five centuries.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Esa-pekka Salonen Conducts The Philharmonia Orchestra20200909BBC Proms: Live from the Royal Albert Hall, London.

Benjamin Grosvenor performs Shostakovich’s First Piano Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra and its Principal Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, bookended by Ravel’s neo-Baroque masterpiece Le tombeau de Couperin and Mozart’s titanic Symphony No. 41.

The sophisticated, transfigured Baroque dances of Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin offset Shostakovich’s boisterous Piano Concerto No. 1, with its cheeky sprinkling of quotations from Classical giants Beethoven and Haydn among others.

These two works of neo-Baroque and neo-Classical influences are followed by Mozart’s final symphony, the ‘Jupiter’, a high point of the ‘true’ Classical-period canon. Nicknamed posthumously for its majestic first movement and epic finale, the work is a summation of Mozart’s entire symphonic output with its unique blend of grandeur and subtlety.

Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No 1

Mozart: Symphony No 41, K551 (Jupiter)

Benjamin Grosvenor (piano)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor)

Live from the Royal Albert Hall, orchestral music by Ravel, Shostakovich and Mozart.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

First Night Of The Bbc Proms 202020200717Tonight sees the launch of six weeks of highlights from the past three decades of the Proms, featuring memorable performances from an array of the world’s greatest soloists, orchestras and conductors.

Marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, we open with a mash-up of Beethoven’s nine symphonies – a First Night commission by Iain Farrington recorded in lockdown by a Grand Virtual Orchestra formed of around 320 players from across the BBC Performing Groups. The Beethoven celebrations continue with the dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3 performed at the 2017 First Night by Igor Levit, who has more recently reached a new audience through his live Twitter concerts streamed direct from his Berlin apartment during the coronavirus lockdown.
Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s riotous, hard-hitting Panic – for saxophone, drums and orchestra – won instant notoriety following its premiere at the Last Night of the 100th-anniversary Proms season in 1995.
Tonight’s selection concludes with Claudio Abbado’s final Proms appearance, in 2007, conducting the 127 players of his Lucerne Festival Orchestra in a rapturous performance of Mahler’s epic hymn to nature, his Third Symphony.

7.05pm
Ian Farrington: Beethoveniana (BBC commission: world premiere)
Grand Virtual Orchestra (BBC Performing Groups)

c.7.15pm
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor
Igor Levit, piano
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner, conductor
(From the First Night of the BBC Proms 2017, 14 July)

c.7.50pm
Sir Harrison Birtwistle: Panic
John Harle, saxophone
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
(From the Last Night of the BBC Proms 1995, 16 September)

c.8.20pm
Mahler: Symphony no 3
Anna Larsson, mezzo-soprano
Trinity Boys Choir
London Symphony Chorus
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Claudio Abbado, conductor
(From BBC Proms 2007, 22 August)

Petroc Trelawny and Georgia Mann introduce the First Night of the 2020 BBC Proms season.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

The world's greatest classical music festival.

Marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, we open with a mash-up of Beethoven’s nine symphonies – a First Night commission by Iain Farrington recorded in lockdown by a Grand Virtual Orchestra formed of around 350 players from across the BBC Performing Groups. The Beethoven celebrations continue with the dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3 performed at the 2017 First Night by Igor Levit, who has more recently reached a new audience through his live Twitter concerts streamed direct from his Berlin apartment during the coronavirus lockdown.
Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s riotous, hard-hitting Panic – for saxophone, drums and orchestra – won instant notoriety following its premiere at the Last Night of the 100th-anniversary Proms season in 1995.

7.30pm
Ian Farrington: Genius Never Dies (BBC commission: world premiere)
Grand Virtual Orchestra (BBC Performing Groups)

c.7.40pm
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor
Igor Levit, piano
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner, conductor
(From the First Night of the BBC Proms 2017, 14 July)

c.8.15pm
Sir Harrison Birtwistle: Panic
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor
(From the Last Night of the BBC Proms 1995, 16 September)

c.8.35pm
Mahler: Symphony no 3
Anna Larsson, mezzo-soprano
Trinity Boys Choir
London Symphony Chorus
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Claudio Abbado, conductor
(From BBC Proms 2007, 22 August)

French Baroque Gems From Les Talens Lyriques20200906In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: Christophe Rousset’s supremely elegant ensemble, which has been breathing new life into the rich legacy of the French Baroque for nearly 30 years, presented a programme at the 2011 Proms that fell squarely into the Gallic tradition but with influences from across the Alps. The programme includes music from Couperin’s colourful Les nations and Rameau’s delicately poised Pièces de clavecin en concerts.

Introduced by Catherine Bott.

Less familiar may be the eloquent cantata telling the story of Lucretia and her suicideby Michel Pignolet de Montéclair, an important musical figure in the period between Lully and Rameau, who counted Couperin’s daughters among his pupils.

Couperin: Les nations – La piemontaise
Lully; Les amours déguisés – ‘Ah Rinaldo, e dovè sei?’
Rameau: Pièces de clavecin en concerts – Premier concert
Montéclair: Cantata ‘Morte di Lucretia’

Eugénie Warnier (soprano)
Les Talens Lyriques
Christophe Rousset (harpsichord/director)

(From BBC Proms, 1 August 2011)

Jewels of the French Baroque with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Haitink And The Chicago Symphony Orchestra20200728In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Murray Perahia and Bernard Haitink have a musical rapport that has given us countless magnificent performances. This performance from the BBC Proms in 2008 saw Perahia return to the Proms, following a gap of 20 years, to perform one of Mozart's greatest piano concertos.

It was while writing his Fourth Symphony that Shostakovich was denounced in a newspaper article entitled ‘Muddle Instead of Music’. He continued composing the work in private, but it had to wait 25 years – beyond the death of Stalin – before it was first heard in public, in 1961.

Presented by Ian Skelly

7.30pm
Mozart: Piano Concerto No 24 in C minor, K491

c.8.10pm
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 in C minor

Murray Perahia (piano)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Bernard Haitink (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2008, 9 September)

Murray Perahia joins Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Haitink Conducts Verdi's Don Carlos20200822In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts. First appearing at the festival in 1966, Bernard Haitink gave his final Proms performance – his 90th! – in September 2019, on his last week before retirement. In 1996 he brought to the Proms forces from the Royal Opera (Covent Garden) – of which he was Music Director at the time – for a performance of Verdi’s Don Carlos. Perhaps the composer’s greatest opera, its principal characters are entangled in a web cast by the Church and State. This Proms performance features a fine cast including Olga Borodina and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, as well as future Proms favourite Roderick Williams.

Presented by Petroc Trelawny

Verdi: Don Carlos (1886 version)

Roberto Scandiuzzi (King Philip II)
Richard Margison (Don Carlos)
Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Rodrigo)
Robert Lloyd (Grand Inquisitor)
Sylvie Valayre (Elisabeth de Valois)
Olga Borodina (Princess Eboli)
Susan Parry (Thibault)
Robin Leggate (Count of Lerma)
Sorin Coliban (Old Monk)
Mary Plazas (Voice from Heaven)
Roderick Williams (Royal Herald)
Royal Opera Chorus
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Bernard Haitink (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 1996, 20 July)

Bernard Haitink conducts forces from the Royal Opera in Verdi's Don Carlos.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Jan\u00e1\u010dek's The Makropulos Affair20200801In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.
Karita Mattila stars in a concert performance of Janáček’s opera The Makropulos Affair, a drama of immortality, death and the purpose of life, conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek with the BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Presented by Kate Molleson

Janáček: The Makropulos Affair (concert performance; sung in Czech)
Emilia Marty.... Karita Mattila (soprano)
Albert Gregor.... Aleš Briscein (tenor)
Dr Kolenatý.... Gustáv Beláček (bass)
Vítek.... Jan Vacík (tenor)
Kristina.... Eva Štěrbová (soprano)
Baron Jaroslav Prus.... Svatopluk Sem (baritone)
Janek.... Aleš Voráček (tenor)
Hauk-Šendorf.... Jan Ježek (tenor)
Stage Technician.... Jiří Klecker (bass)
Cleaning Woman.... Yvona Skvárová (mezzo-soprano)
Chambermaid.... Jana Hrochová (mezzo-soprano)
BBC Singers
BBC Symphony Orchestra

Jiří Bělohlávek (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2016, 19 August)

An all-star cast gathers for Janáček’s late, existential masterpiece, The Makropulos Affair. This tragic satire is powered by a score that contains some of the composer’s most extreme and alluring music, written as Janáček was approaching 70 – and aflame with desire for a married woman less than half his age. The opera’s heroine, Emilia Marty, is part-inspired by his reluctant muse, Kamila Stösslová.

The Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, acclaimed for her ‘electrifying’ portrayal of Marty in a 2012 production at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, is joined by native Czech musicians, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s former Conductor Laureate Jiří Bělohlávek. This is only the second performance of The Makropulos Affair at the Proms – the first being Glyndebourne Festival Opera’s 1995 production under Sir Andrew Davis.

Karita Mattila stars in a concert performance of Jan\u00e1\u010dek's opera The Makropulos Affair

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Jessye Norman At The 2000 Bbc Proms20200906In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts and tonight Andrew McGregor presents a very special concert centred around legendary soprano Jessye Norman.

Stravinsky: Concerto in E flat major, ‘Dumbarton Oaks’
Judith Weir: woman.life.song
Ravel: Introduction and Allegro
Schoenberg: 6 Brettl Lieder

Jessye Norman (soprano)
Helen Tunstall (harp)
Mark Markham (piano)
London Sinfonietta
David Robertson (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2000, 6 August)

BBC Proms: One of the greatest voices of the 20th century, Jessye Norman made a rare London appearance in the Prom in 2000, when she gave the first UK performance of Judith Weir’s song-cycle commissioned for her by Carnegie Hall. This major addition to the repertoire sets specially written texts by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and Clarissa Ping Estés depicting a woman’s life through youth, middle age and maturity.

Jessye Norman sings Judith Weir and Schoenberg

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Jonathan Scott Organ Recital At The Rah20200829Live from BBC Proms: Jonathan Scott organ recital.

Presented by Georgia Mann

In the vast space of the Royal Albert Hall, Manchester-born Jonathan Scott sits alone at the 70-foot-tall Henry Willis organ – an instrument Scott describes as ‘one of the greatest concert organs in the entire world’. Here he exploits the full possibilities of the musical beast’s four manuals, 147 stops and 9,999 pipes, to bring to life his own symphonic arrangements of colourful orchestral classics.

Scott’s selection opens with the overture to Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie, its famous snare drum exchanged for bellowing pedals. (Scott’s footwork has been said to put Gene Kelly to shame.)

After the serene, reflective Intermezzo from Mascagni’s opera Cavalleria rusticana comes Dukas’s mischievous trainee wizard, whose attempt to make light work of filling a cauldron with pails of water backfires, resulting in a rising tide of chaos. The concert’s climax is the ‘Organ’ Symphony by Saint-Saëns, commissioned by London’s Philharmonic Society and first performed at St James’s Hall, Piccadilly, a couple of miles from the Royal Albert Hall. With Scott taking on the roles of both solo organist and orchestra, it’s a fitting tribute to the French composer, who was himself was among the first to play the Royal Albert Hall’s mighty organ when it was completed in 1871.

Rossini: Overture to The Thieving Magpie
Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana - Intermezzo
Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Saint-Saens: Symphony No.3

Live from BBC Proms: Jonathan Scott live at the Royal Albert Hall's mighty organ.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Live BBC Proms. Jonathan Scott live at the Royal Albert Hall's mighty organ.

Julian Bliss And The Elias Quartet In Brahms's Clarinet Quintet20200831In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: A potent mix of old and new from the 2011 Proms, in which the youthful members of the Elias Quartet, at that time members of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme, were joined by young clarinettist Julian Bliss, by then already established on the world’s stages. After music from the English Baroque and the present day – the latter represented by new work from Sally Beamish based on a Celtic-inspired melody – Bliss joins the quartet for Brahms’s autumnal Clarinet Quintet.

Introduced by Catherine Bott.

Purcell: Fantasia No 6 in F major
Purcell: Fantasia No 7 in C minor
Sally Beamish: Reed Stanzas (String Quartet No. 3) (BBC commission: world premiere)
Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B minor

Julian Bliss (clarinet)
Elias Quartet

(From the BBC Proms, 25 July 2011)

Purcell, Brahms and Sally Beamish performed by the Elias Quartet with Julian Bliss.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Klaus Tennstedt Conducts Beethoven At The 1991 Bbc Proms20200911In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts and tonight Petroc Trelawny presents an unmissable occasion as the legendary German conductor Klaus Tennstedt leads a searingly intense performance of Beethoven's last symphony.

Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major, D485
Halle Orchestra
Sir John Barbirolli, conductor

c.7.55pm
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, ‘Choral’

Brighton Festival Chorus
London Philharmonic Choir
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Jane Eaglen (soprano)
Kathleen Kuhlmann (mezzo-soprano)
Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor)
John Tomlinson (bass)
Klaus Tennstedt (conductor)
Christopher Larkin (conductor)
(From BBC Proms 1991, 31 August)

c.9.05pm
Janacek: Taras Bulba
Bela Dekany (violin)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Gennady Rozhdestvensky, conductor

BBC Proms: A fixture of almost every Proms season, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony received a celebrated performance at the 1991 festival by Klaus Tennstedt, at that time Conductor Laureate of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Tennstedt led the orchestra alongside choirs from London and Brighton in Beethoven’s great hymn to humanity, whose last movement features the composer’s profoundly optimistic vocal and choral setting of Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy’.

Before we hear the Beethoven, Petroc Trelawny introduces a recording made at the BBC Proms on 9 August 1968, in which Sir John Barbirolli conducted the Halle Orchestra in Schubert's Fifth Symphony.
After the rousing performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, we've a chance to hear the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky at the BBC Proms in 1981 in a searing performance of Janacek's powerful and dramatic work, Taras Bulba.

Klaus Tennstedt conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Kokoroko - West African Afrobeat And Jazz20200907KOKOROKO – music from West Africa re-invented for our times.
With their captivating mix of Afrobeat and jazz, this promises to be a memorable night at the BBC Proms. The eight members of KOKOROKO bring a contemporary social and political commentary to the West African Rhythms heard in the 1940s London's Soho area. As they say: “We wanted the music to sound rough, like going out and hearing music pushed through speakers or the energy of people dancing at afrobeat parties: its music we’ve seen work on dance floors.”
Presented live from the Royal Albert Hall by Georgia Mann.

Tracks to include:

Abusey Junction
Carry Me Home
Baba AyoOla
Age of Ascent
Uman
Ti-De

Sheila Maurice-Grey - Trumpet
Cassie Kinoshi - Saxophone
Richie Seivewright Trombone
Tobi Adenaike-Johnson - Guitar
Yohan Kebede - Keys
Duane Atherley - Bass
Ayo Salawu - Drums
Onome Edgeworth - Percussion

Live from the BBC Proms: KOKOROKO - West African Afrobeat and jazz for our times.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Last Night Of The Proms 202020200912The BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor Dalia Stasevska makes her Last Night debut in the climax of a Proms season like no other. Tonight there’s no flag-waving at the Royal Albert Hall, but instead a musical feast in countless living rooms – and on countless mobile devices – across the country and around the world.

South-African soprano Golda Schultz sings a ravishing aria from Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro and the rapt, intimate song ‘Morgen!’ written by Richard Strauss as a wedding-day gift to his wife. The BBC Symphony Orchestras is also joined by Georgian-born German violinist Lisa Batiashvili – among the first crop of Radio 3’s New Generation Artists 21 years ago – for Vaughan Williams’s soaring The Lark Ascending.

In these unsettled times, a new commission by Swedish composer Andrea Tarrodi points to music’s bright future. And there's also the new alongside some Last NIght favourites.

Live from the Royal Albert Hall
Presented by Georgia Mann and Petroc Trelawny

Programme to include:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro - Overture and '‘Deh vieni, non tardar’

Richard Strauss: Morgen!

Andrea Tarrodi: new work (BBC commission: world premiere)

Stephen Sondheim: A Little Night Music – Night Waltz and 'The glamorous life'

Sibelius: Impromptu for Strings

Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

Trad. Romanian (arr. Stephan Koncz): The Skylark

arr. Henry Wood: Fantasia on British Sea-Songs
Edward Elgar (arr. Anne Dudley): Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major (‘Land of Hope and Glory’)
Hubert Parry (arr. Errolyn Wallen): Jerusalem

National Anthem arr. Henry Wood

Golda Schultz (soprano)
Lisa Batiashvili (violin)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Dalia Stasevska (conductor)

The BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dalia Stasevska, in a musical feast.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Laura Marling At The Proms20200906Featuring brand-new string arrangements performed by the London-based 12 Ensemble – whose collaborators include The National and Max Richter – this Prom journeys through the back catalogue of singer-songwriter Laura Marling, whose recent live performance the Guardian described as ‘like being dosed with a vitamin I had been leaving out of my diet’.

The Grammy and Mercury Prize winner takes the Royal Albert Hall stage for a one-off acoustic retrospective. Songs from her latest album including ‘Fortune’ and the album’s title-track, ‘Song for Our Daughter’, sit alongside those from earlier albums including Alas, I Cannot Swim – released when Marling was just 18.

Presented by Andrew McGregor, live from the Royal Albert Hall.

Featuring songs from her Mercury Prize-nominated album, Song for Our Daughter.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Laura Mvula And The Metropole Orkest20200903In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: Award-winning singer-songwriter Laura Mvula made her second Proms appearance in 2014 following her hugely successful debut in the Urban Classic Prom the previous year. The evening showcased Mvula’s talents in a new light, featuring the public premiere of Jules Buckley’s new orchestral remix of the singer’s album Sing to the Moon, with the Netherlands-based Metropole Orchestra making its Proms debut.

L. Mvula: Like the Morning Dew
L. Mvula: Sing to the Moon
L. Mvula: Flying Without You
L. Mvula: She
L. Mvula: Can’t Live with the World
L. Mvula: Is There Anybody Out There?
L. Mvula: I Don’t Know What the Weather Will Be
L. Mvula: Diamonds
L. Mvula: Father, Father
E. Spalding: Cinnamon Tree
L. Mvula; Green Garden
George Houston Bass/Nina Simone: Seeline Woman
L. Mvula: That’s Alright

Laura Mvula (singer)
ElectricVocals
Metropole Orchestra
Jules Buckley (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2014, 19 August)

Singer-songwriter Laura Mvula with the Metropole Orkest.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Leif Ove Andsnes Plays Beethoven20200720In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

This evening we've another chance to hear a Prom from 2015 - Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra present Beethoven’s Second and Fifth piano concertos – the composer’s first and final experiments in the genre. In No 2, a spacious and gentle central adagio is framed with Mozartean grace in the outer movements, while the Fifth is the composer’s last word on the subject – a musical emancipation of the soloist that anticipates the Romantic concertos of Beethoven’s successors.

Opening tonight’s concert is Stravinsky’s Octet, written for wind ensemble. Looking to the musical past for inspiration once again, Stravinsky’s Neo-classical masterpiece pastiches the forms and textures of the 18th century, colouring them with a mood and mischief all his own.

Presented by Andrew McGregor, who chats to Leif Ove between the two piano concertos.

Stravinsky: Octet
c.7.55pm
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major
c.8.35pm
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, ‘Emperor’

Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano/conductor)
(From BBC Proms 2015, 26 July)

Two Beethoven concertos led from the piano by Leif Ove Andsnes

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Leonard Bernstein Conducts Mahler's Fifth Symphony20200826In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: Bernstein appeared only twice at the Proms. In tonight’s selection from the Proms archive, we hear the first of those appearances, from 1987. Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, with its sublime slow movement, is the composer at his sunniest and most mellow, despite the fact that he was to die two months after its completion. Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, a work especially associated with Bernstein, is by contrast the urgent work of a composer starting a new adventure, charged with new musical possibilities and a new love, expressed with impossible tenderness in its famous Adagietto.

Presented by Ian Skelly

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A major, K622
Mahler: Symphony No 5 in C sharp minor

Peter Schmidl (clarinet)
Vienna Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 1987, 10 September)

Leonard Bernstein conducts the Vienna Philharmonic in Mozart and Mahler.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

London Sinfonietta20200901Leading contemporary chamber ensemble the London Sinfonietta returns to the Royal Albert Hall for a showcase of Minimalist classics, including music by two giants of the 20th and 21st centuries, Steve Reich and Philip Glass.

Presented by Georgia Mann.

Philip Glass: Facades
Julia Wolfe: East Broadway
Nancarrow arr. Yvar Mikhashoff Player Piano Study No. 6
Nancarrow arr. Yvar Mikhashoff Player Piano Study No. 9
Tansy Davies: Neon
Edmund Finnis in situ
Meredith: Axeman
Steve Reich: City Life

London Sinfonietta
Geoffrey Paterson conductor

Contemporary chamber ensemble the London Sinfonietta returns to the Royal Albert Hall

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Mackerras And Brendel Play Mozart20200813In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and its then Conductor Laureate Charles Mackerras collaborated with Alfred Brendel on a series of performances and recordings of the piano concertos by Mozart, and they brought the grandest of them all to the Proms in 2001, along with an Italianate Symphony from the late 1770s. The classical strand continued with Schubert's rarely heard early Fourth Symphony, and Stravinsky's neoclassical string concerto.

Presented by Martin Handley

Mozart: Symphony No. 32, K318
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 25, K50
Stravinsky: Concerto in D
Schubert: Symphony No.4, ‘Tragic’

Alfred Brendel (piano)
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Sir Charles Mackerras (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2001, 5 September)

Sir Charles Mackerras conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Alfred Brendel.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Mahler's Seventh Symphony With The Bbc Philharmonic20200817In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

After almost a decade at the helm of the BBC Philharmonic, Gianandrea Noseda (who later became the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate) opened this 2012 Prom with Mozart’s famous overture to Don Giovanni – by turns solemn, impetuous and edgy. From dreaming sleep to a dawn awakening, Oliver Knussen’s Second Symphony then takes us through a landscape of iridescent colour, with a vocal line that soars to stratospheric heights.

One of British music’s great originals, Knussen found an individual voice while still in his teens. This performance – given on his 60th-birthday year – is a celebration of his unique contribution to UK music. Its nocturnal sequence finds a counterpart in the two ‘Night Music’ movements of Mahler’s Seventh Symphony – his own all-encompassing journey from darkness to light – which concludes the programme.

Presented by Petroc Trelawny

Mozart: Don Giovanni – overture
Knussen: Symphony No. 2
Mahler: Symphony No 7 in E minor

Gillian Keith (soprano)
BBC Philharmonic
Gianandrea Noseda (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2012, 7 July)

Gianandrea Noseda conducts Mahler's Seventh Symphony.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Mahler's Sixth Symphony20200729In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts. Tonight's prom finds two contrasting heroes sharing the limelight in an evening of musical drama from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its then new Chief Conductor, Andris Nelsons. Brett Dean’s trumpet concerto Dramatis personae, composed for tonight’s soloist, Swedish virtuoso Håkan Hardenberger, assigns all roles to the trumpet, casting him by turns as fallen superhero and accidental revolutionary. Mahler’s Sixth Symphony sees the composer himself as cursed hero – one, he explained, ‘on whom fall three blows of fate, the last of which fells him as a tree is felled’. The conclusion may be a tragic one but there are also scenes of beauty and joy in a work that includes a glowing theme associated with Mahler’s wife, Alma.

Presented by Hannah French

7.30pm
Brett Dean: Dramatis personae

c.8.05pm
Interval

c.8.20
Mahler: Symphony No. 6 in A minor

Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet)
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2015, 22 August)

Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform Brett Dean and Mahler.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Mariss Jansons Conducts Dvorak And Strauss20200723In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

The late, great Mariss Jansons and his Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra mark the centenary of Dvořák’s death in a 2004 Prom also featuring a popular tone poem by Richard Strauss. Presented by Petroc Trelawny

Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G major
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Mariss Jansons

(From BBC Proms 2004, 30 July)

The late Latvian maestro Mariss Jansons appeared at the Proms in 2004 with his renowned German orchestra, of which he was Chief Conductor from 2003 until the end of his life. Together they present Richard Strauss’s autobiographical showpiece, Ein Heldenleben.

Opening the programme is Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony. Written at his brother-in-law’s estate around 30 miles outside of Prague, the symphony reflects Dvořák’s pastoral surroundings, and gives a flavour of the profusion of ideas to come in his ‘New World’ Ninth.

The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons play Dvo\u0159\u00e1k and Strauss.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Mark Elder And The Halle20200730In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Works inspired by the sea and night-time, plus Beethoven’s barnstorming ‘Eroica’ Symphony - Mark Elder conducts the Hallé in a classic BBC Prom from August 2014.
The sunshine glitters on the waves in Berlioz’s overture Le corsaire, while the ocean ebbs and flows in Elgar’s Sea Pictures. Human rather than natural drama is what drives Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony, however – a stirring musical meditation on heroism and valour. Presented by Hannah French.

Berlioz: Overture ‘Le corsaire’
Elgar: Sea Pictures, Op. 37
with Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano)
Helen Grime: Near Midnight (London premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No 3 in E flat major, ‘Eroica'
Hallé
Sir Mark Elder

(From BBC Proms 2014, 9 August)

The sea lies the centre of tonight’s concert from Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé. Berlioz composed his swashbuckling overture Le corsaire on holiday by the Mediterranean Sea in Nice.

A celebrated Elgar champion, Elder is joined by British mezzo-soprano Alice Coote for Sea Pictures: Elgar’s only orchestral song-cycle, which explores the fascination and fear inspired by the sea. While Helen Grime’s Near Midnight explores a nocturnal theme, Beethoven created a storm of human drama in his ‘Eroica’ Symphony.

Works inspired by the sea and night-time, plus Beethoven's barnstorming \u2018Eroica' Symphony.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Minimalism To The Max20200901The London Sinfonietta performs Minimalist masterpieces.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Music Championed By, Or Written In Memory Of, Richard Hickox20200809In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Britten's Variations is one of many British pieces championed by the late Richard Hickox, two of whose distinguished vocal collaborators, Ian Bostridge and Roderick Williams, are featured in Colin Matthews's new work, which Hickox commissioned.

Mozart’s Requiem was left incomplete at the composer’s early death, its deathly tread and radiant hope adding to its symbolism as Mozart’s musical epitaph.

Presented by Martin Handley.

Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge
Colin Matthews: No Man’s Land (world premiere)
Mozart (compl. Sussmayr): Requiem in D minor

Emma Bell (soprano)
Renata Pokupić (mezzo-soprano)
Ian Bostridge (tenor)
Roderick Williams (baritone)
Henk Neven (bass)
Polyphony
City of London Sinfonia
Stephen Layton (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2011, 21 August)

Music championed by, or written in memory of, Richard Hickox (1948\u20132008)

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Music Of The Spheres20200821BBC Proms: In this Prom from the 2010 season, Thomas Dausgaard conducts his Danish forces in Tchaikovsky’s ever-captivating Violin Concerto – written for the composer’s young muse, the violinist Josef Kotek – and Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony, overwhelming in its nobly expansive final-movement ‘Swan Hymn’. Three short choral pieces by György Ligeti – including Lux aeterna, heard in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey – take us to ethereal heights, while Ligeti himself recognised the mesmeric, free-floating character of Rued Langgard’s 1918 Music of the Spheres as prefiguring his own style. Henning Kraggerud is the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, and previous winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, Inger Dam-Jensen, sings in Langgaard’s kaleidoscopic masterpiece. Audiences at this landmark UK premiere left the hall with the sound of "heavenly" music, angel choirs and the sound of harps in their ears.

Presented by Kate Molleson.

Ligeti: Night; Morning (Proms premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major
Ligeti: Lux aeterna
Langgaard: Music of the Spheres (UK premiere)
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E flat major

Henning Kraggerud (violin)
Inger Dam-Jensen (soprano)
Danish Radio Vocal Ensemble and Concert Chorus
Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Thomas Dausgaard (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2010, 11 August)

In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Thomas Dausgaard conducts the UK premiere of Rued Langgaard's Music of the Spheres.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Nicola Benedetti And Friends Play Brahms's First Piano Trio20200809In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

When not performing as a soloist, violinist Nicola Benedetti appears frequently as a chamber musician – most often with the trio she co-founded with pianist Alexei Grynyuk and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich. Here the three musicians pair Brahms’s first and stormiest piano trio – its darkness belying the work’s major key – with music composed in 2013 by American-born composer Arlene Sierra. Inspired by the migration patterns of butterflies, her Butterflies Remember a Mountain is a work of pointillist detail and shimmering harmonies, painted in a sequence of delicate textural gestures.

Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

Brahms: Piano Trio No 1 in B major
Arlene Sierra: Butterflies Remember a Mountain

Nicola Benedetti (violin)
Leonard Elschenbroich (cello)
Alexei Grynyuk (piano)

(From BBC Proms 7 September 2015)

Nicola Benedetti and friends perform works by Brahms and Arlene Sierra.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Organ Symphony20200823BBC Proms: Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris continue our series of highlights from the Proms archive, beginning with Arvo Pärt’s meditative Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten. Janine Jansen is the soloist in Britten’s Violin Concerto, written during the composer’s war-time years in New York. ‘I feel so deeply about this piece… one experiences the incredible strength of it,’ Jansen has said.
The Mediterranean verve of Berlioz’s overture Le Corsaire and the shimmering weight of full orchestra and organ in Saint-Saëns’s Third Symphony complete a programme of introspective reflection and extrovert display.
Presented by Hannah French.

Arvo Pärt: Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten
Britten: Violin Concerto
Berlioz: Overture ‘Le corsaire’
Saint‐Saëns: Symphony No. 3 in C minor, ‘Organ’

Janine Jansen (violin)
Orchestre de Paris
Paavo Järvi (conductor)

In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

(From the BBC Proms 2013, 1 September)

BBC Proms: The Orchestre de Paris in works by Arvo Part, Britten, Berlioz and Saint-Saens.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

BBC Proms: Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris continue our series of highlights from the Proms archive, beginning with Arvo Pärt’s meditative Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten. Janine Jansen is the soloist in Britten’s Violin Concerto, written during the composer’s war-time years in New York. ‘I feel so deeply about this piece… one experiences the incredible strength of it,’ Jansen has said.
The Mediterranean verve of Berlioz’s overture Le corsaire and the shimmering weight of full orchestra and organ in Saint-Saëns’s Third Symphony complete a programme of introspective reflection and extrovert display.
Presented by Hanna French.

(From the BC Proms 2013, 1 September)

Paul Mccreesh Conducts Handel's Saul20200816In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts. The sole work in tonight's concert is one of Handel’s most dramatic and poignant biblical oratorios, Saul, performed complete by leading period-informed collective the Gabrieli Consort & Players, under Paul McCreesh. The cast is led by British bass Neal Davies as the mad king of Israel, with star German counter-tenor Andreas Scholl as his psalm-singing successor.

Davies, Scholl and McCreesh had recorded Saul with the Gabrieli Consort & Players in 2002, for a disc described by BBC Music Magazine as ‘overwhelming’. It was later made First Choice on BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library. Experience the work live in this exhilarating performance from the 2003 Proms season.

Presented by Martin Handley

Handel: Saul

Neal Davies (Saul)
Andreas Scholl (David)
Deborah York (Michal)
Susan Gritton (Merab)
Mark Padmore (Jonathan)
Paul Agnew (High Priest/Witch of Endor)
Jonathan Lemalu (Ghost of Samuel)
Gabrieli Consort & Players
Paul McCreesh (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2003, 24 August)

Neal Davies and Andreas Scholl star in Handel's Saul.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Playing Doubles: Benedetti And Ibragimova Perform Concertos For Two Violins20200903The cavernous Royal Albert Hall auditorium is an ideal space to explore the clean harmonies and decorative melodies of the Baroque concerto. Period-instrument ensemble the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is joined by leading violinists Nicola Benedetti and Alina Ibragimova (the latter a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist) to perform two-violin concertos by Vivaldi and Bachi. In addition to one of only three concertos Vivaldi wrote for two oboes, we hear concerti grossi by Handel and Newcastle-born Charles Avison, responding to the Italian style made fashionable in England by Alessandro Scarlatti.

Presented by Martin Handley, live from the Royal Albert Hall.

Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in D minor for two violins, RV 514
George Frideric Handel: Concerto grosso in B flat major, Op 3 No 2
Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in D major for two violins, RV 513
George Frideric Handel: Radamisto – Passacaglia
Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto in A minor for two oboes, RV 536
Charles Avison: Concerto grosso No 5 in D minor (after Scarlatti)
Johann Sebastian Bach: Concerto in D minor for two violins, BWV 1043

Nicola Benedetti (violin)
Alina Ibragimova (violin)
Alexandra Bellamy (oboe)
Katharina Spreckelsen (oboe)
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Jonathan Cohen (director/harpsichord)

Jonathan Cohen directs the OAE in music by Handel, Vivaldi, Bach and Avison.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Proms Chamber Music: Apollon Musag\u00e8te Quartet20200720In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Webern: Langsamer Satz
Colin Matthews: String Quartet No. 5 (European premiere)
Beethoven: String Quartet in D major, Op. 18 No. 3

Apollon Musagète Quartet

(From BBC Proms 2015, 3 August)

Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

Former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists the Apollon Musagète Quartet present the European premiere of the Fifth String Quartet by one of Britain’s foremost living composers, Colin Matthews. Commissioned for the 75th anniversary of the Tanglewood Festival in 2015, the piece remains the last work Matthews has written in the medium.

Bookending the Quartet are Webern’s youthful Langsamer Satz – an ecstatic piece that showcases the composer’s formal skill within a lyrical idiom – and Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18 No. 3. Of Beethoven’s six Op. 18 quartets, No. 3 is both the lightest and the hardest to pin down: the scherzo is fleeting, and even the framing movements have an unusual delicacy and wistfulness about them.

The Apollon Musagete Quartet perform Colin Matthews's Fifth String Quartet plus Beethoven.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Proms Chamber Music: Emmanuel Pahud20200727In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Martinů: Flute Sonata
Dutilleux: Sonatine
Prokofiev: Flute Sonata
Emmanuel Pahud (flute)
Eric Le Sage (piano)

(From BBC Proms 2011, 22 August)
Presented by Catherine Bott

Emmanuel Pahud – principal flute of the Berlin Philharmonic and a featured artist at the 2011 Proms – returned following a concerto appearance earlier the same Proms season for a recital of pieces composed in the 1940s.

Martinů's amiable Sonata plumbs unexpected depths in its central core, while the Prokofiev Sonata's delightfully sunny nature makes it an ideal vehicle for the brilliant sparkle of the flute.

In between comes the Sonatine by Dutilleux, here at his most pastoral and Debussyan, carrying the flag for the Paris Conservatoire tradition of commissioning new scores for its final examinations.

Former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists the Apollon Musagète Quartet present the European premiere of the Fifth String Quartet by one of Britain’s foremost living composers, Colin Matthews. Commissioned for the 75th anniversary of the Tanglewood Festival in 2015, the piece remains the last work Matthews has written in the medium.

Bookending the Quartet are Webern’s youthful Langsamer Satz – an ecstatic piece that showcases the composer’s formal skill within a lyrical idiom – and Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18 No. 3. Of Beethoven’s six Op. 18 quartets, No. 3 is both the lightest and the hardest to pin down: the scherzo is fleeting, and even the framing movements have an unusual delicacy and wistfulness about them.

Star flautist Emmanuel Pahud in recital with pianist Eric Le Sage.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Proms Chamber Music: Jeremy Denk20200719In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Bartók: Piano Sonata
Scriabin: Piano Sonata No. 9, 'Black Mass’
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111

Jeremy Denk (piano)

(From BBC Proms 2015, 24 August)

Jeremy Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists – a musician the New York Times hails as someone ‘you want to hear no matter what he performs’. In 2015 he put Beethoven’s final piano sonata at the core of his debut Proms recital. This majestic work – which he later recorded for a 2019 disc entitled ‘c.1300–c.2000’ – blends extrovert passion with a depth that characterises all of the composer’s late works.

Denk paired the Beethoven with Bartók’s only piano sonata – a piece strongly coloured by Hungarian folk melodies and rhythmic attack – and Scriabin’s ‘Black Mass’ Piano Sonata. His most famous work in the genre, Scriabin’s sonata is a disconcerting, phantasmagoric musical journey – and a gleeful vision of horror.

Jeremy Denk plays piano sonatas by Scriabin, Bart\u00f3k and Beethoven.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Proms Chamber Music: Khatia Buniatishvili20200803In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Liszt: Piano Sonata in B minor
Liszt: Liebesträum No. 3 in A flat major
Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 7 in B flat major
Chopin: Preludes, Op. 28 – No. 4 in E minor

Khatia Buniatishvili (piano)

(From the BBC Proms 2011, 8 August)
Presented by Catherine Bott

Former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Khatia Buniatishvili has for years been turning heads with her mesmerising stage presence and unique style of pianism, mixing uncanny sensitivity with old-school fireworks. In this recital she explores the different brands of virtuosity perfected by three composer-pianists, Chopin, Liszt and Prokofiev.

Liszt’s B minor Piano Sonata, dedicated to Schumann, is considered by many to be his finest work, whilst his Liebesträum No. 3 is one of his most popular – the quintessential Romantic piano miniature. Buniatishvili recorded both as part of her 2011 disc Liszt: Piano Works, which was released shortly before this chamber performance. Prokofiev’s Seventh Sonata, meanwhile, contains some of the most dynamic music ever devised by a composer renowned for his motoric piano style.

Proms chamber music from the archive: Khatia Buniatishvili plays Liszt and Prokofiev.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Rattle Conducts The Lso20200830Making his 75th appearance at the Proms, Sir Simon Rattle conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a programme that explores the ideas of dialogue and space, including a new work by Thomas Adès, Dawn, for piano and ensemble. Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro – written for an all-Elgar concert given by the LSO in 1905 – singles out a string quartet alongside the string orchestra, while the brass have a chance to shine in canzons by Giovanni Gabrieli, with the 12 players arranged around the hall in separate ‘choirs’, calling and answering each other.

Alone at the piano, Dame Mitsuko Uchida performs the famous first movement of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata, which merges into Kurtág’s …quasi una fantasia… Creating an extraordinary sound palette, Kurtág explores ‘instrumental groups dispersed in space’ around the piano.

In his Fifth Symphony Vaughan Williams deepened the dialogue in his music between the folk and the symphonic. After hearing the work’s first performance – conducted by the composer at the Proms in 1943 – Adrian Boult was prompted to write to Vaughan Williams: ‘Its serene loveliness is completely satisfying in these times and shows, as only music can, what we must work for when this madness is over’ – an observation as relevant today as it was then.

Presented by Ian Skelly, live from the Royal Albert Hall.

Giovanni Gabrieli (arr. Eric Crees): Sacrae symphoniae (1597) – Canzon septimi et octavi toni a 12
Edward Elgar: Introduction and Allegro
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2 ‘quasi una fantasia’ (‘Moonlight’) – 1st mvt
György Kurtág: … quasi una fantasia …
Giovanni Gabrieli (arr. Eric Crees): Sacrae symphoniae (1597) – Canzon noni toni a 12
Thomas Adès: Dawn (BBC commission: world premiere)
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 5 in D major

Dame Mitsuko Uchida (piano)
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle (conductor)

An eclectic programme with works by Elgar, Ad\u00e8s, Gabrieli, Kurt\u00e1g and Vaughan Williams

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Making his 75th appearance at the Proms, Sir Simon Rattle conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a programme that explores the ideas of dialogue and space, opening with Thomas Adès’s new work, Dawn, for piano and ensemble. Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro – written for an all-Elgar concert given by the LSO in 1905 – singles out a string quartet alongside the string orchestra, while the brass have a chance to shine in canzons by Giovanni Gabrieli, with the 12 players arranged around the hall in separate ‘choirs’, calling and answering each other.

Thomas Adès: Dawn (BBC commission: world premiere)
Edward Elgar: Introduction and Allegro
Giovanni Gabrieli (arr. Eric Crees): Sacrae symphoniae (1597) – Canzon septimi et octavi toni a 12
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 2 ‘quasi una fantasia’ (‘Moonlight’) – 1st mvt
György Kurtág: … quasi una fantasia …
Giovanni Gabrieli (arr. Eric Crees): Sacrae symphoniae (1597) – Canzon noni toni a 12
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 5 in D major

Renee Fleming's Proms Debut20200810In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

In this her Proms debut, star soprano Renée Fleming performed music by two composers with whom she has long been associated – a florid Mozart motet and Strauss’s ravishing final songs, which were given their premiere at the Royal Albert Hall.

Christoph Eschenbach also conducted Richard Strauss’s colourful tone poem inspired by the lothario Don Juan, and Brahms’s classically elegant variations on the ‘St Anthony Chorale’, a theme thought at the time to have been penned by Haydn.

Presented by Ian Skelly

Dvořák: Carnival Overture
Brahms: Variations on the St Anthony Chorale
Mozart: Exsultate, jubilate
R. Strauss: Don Juan
R. Strauss: Four Last Songs

Renée Fleming (soprano)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Christoph Eschenbach (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2001, 1 August)

Ren\u00e9e Fleming sings Mozart and Strauss.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Richard Strauss: Salome20200815In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

The crushing, five-note dissonance at the grizzly climax of Richard Strauss’s operatic masterpiece – when Salome kisses the severed head of John the Baptist – is one of the most influential moments in 20th-century music. Overnight Strauss redefined the scope of opera, paving the way for modernists such as Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg, both of whom were present at the 1906 Austrian premiere.

In this concert performance from the 2014 Proms, Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles leads the Deutsche Oper Berlin orchestra and a cast that includes Nina Stemme in the title role. Fresh from acclaimed productions in Stockholm and Zurich, the Swedish soprano gives a thrilling account of this blood-curdling tale.

Presented by Kate Molleson

Nina Stemme (Salome)
Samuel Youn (Jokanaan)
Burkhard Ulrich (Herod)
Doris Soffel (Herodias)
Thomas Blondelle (Narraboth)
Ronnita Miller (Herodias's Page)
Paul Kaufmann (1st Jew)
Gideon Poppe (2nd Jew)
Jörg Schörner (3rd Jew)
Clemens Bieber (4th Jew)
Andrew Harris (5th Jew)
Noel Bouley (1st Narazene)
Carlton Ford (2nd Nazarene)
Marko Mimica (1st Soldier)
Tobias Kehrer (2nd Soldier)
Seth Carico (Cappadocian)
Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin
Donald Runnicles (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2014, 30 August)

Donald Runnicles conducts a concert performance of Salome.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Sarah Connolly Sings Purcell's Dido20200813In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts. In a profoundly moving late-night performance from the 2003 season, British mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly led an all-star cast in Purcell's most popular opera. The drama portrays the tragedy of human relationships torn apart by fate and divine intervention, while the music - including one of the most heartfelt laments in all opera - powerfully and poignantly expresses the characters' emotions.

Presented by Hannah French

11pm
Purcell: Dido and Aeneas

Christopher Purves (Aeneas)
Sarah Connolly (Dido)
Carolyn Sampson (Belinda)
D’Arcy Bleiker (Sorcerer)
Elizabeth Cragg (Second Woman)
Matthew Beale (Sailor)
Lucy Crowe (Spirit)
Choir of the Enlightenment
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Richard Egarr (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2003, 2 September)

Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, featuring Sarah Connolly and Christopher Purves.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Sheku Kanneh-mason And Isata Kanneh-mason20200906Star British cellist-of-the-moment Sheku-Kanneh Mason and his sister, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, perform sonatas by Beethoven, Barber and Rachmaninov.

Specially recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in August and presented by Martin Handley.

Beethoven: Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 102 No. 1
Samuel Barber: Cello Sonata
Rachmaninov: Cello Sonata in G minor

Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello)
Isata Kanneh-Mason (piano)

At only 21 Sheku Kanneh-Mason is already one of the most sought-after cellists, having won BBC Young Musician in 2016 and performed two years later to a worldwide audience of over 35 million at the wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle.

For this specially pre-recorded Proms recital he is joined by 24-year-old Isata Kanneh-Mason, the eldest of the family’s seven musical siblings, who released her first solo CD last year to great acclaim.

Continuing our 250th-anniversary celebrations of Beethoven’s birth, his C major Cello Sonata reflects the concentration of expression and form typical of his late period. By contrast, Barber’s sonata, though written in 1932, looks backwards, its drama and lyricism rooted in the Romantic era.

Rachmaninov’s post-Romantic sonata is a full-blooded cornerstone of the cello/piano repertoire whose macabre scherzo movement and joyously ebullient finale contrast with a slow movement of melting bittersweet indulgence.

Cellist Sheku-Kanneh Mason performs Beethoven, Barber, Bridge and Rachmaninov.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Sibelius's Epic Kalevala20200804In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

This evening, Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo pairs two of Sibelius’s most engagingly descriptive works as part of a Proms season that marked 150 years since the composer’s birth. The folk hero Kullervo was the inspiration behind a powerful national statement for a country struggling to overthrow Russian rule. This massive musical hybrid – part cantata, part symphony, part suite – is a vivid work, richly melodic but looking ahead to modernism in some striking musical gestures.

The opening work, En saga, is a fairy tale without a plot, whose contrasting movements suggest many possible stories, but never commit to just one. Sibelius began working on the piece in 1891, soon after returning from musical studies in Vienna and Berlin. It wasn’t until 1902, however, that he completed the version we know today.

Presented by Ian Skelly.

Sibelius: En saga
Sibelius: Kullervo

Johanna Rusanen (soprano)
Waltteri Torikka (baritone)
Polyteknikkojen Kuoro
BBC Symphony Chorus (men's voices)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo (conductor)
(From the BBC Proms 2015, 29 August)

An all-Sibelius programme from Sakari Oramo and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Sir Simon Rattle Conducts Rachmaninov And Stravinsky20200807In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Georgia Mann presents this concert from 2014, Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic perform an all-Russian programme inspired by dance. Opening the concert is Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances – the composer’s blazing ‘final spark’ and, for many, his finest orchestral work. Embracing jazz, plainchant and the waltz, it is a mercurial showcase of dramatic skill.

In the second half we enter the Russian fairy-tale world of Stravinsky’s The Firebird, the vivid, folk-infused ballet score for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes that established the young composer as a rising star.

Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances
Stravinsky: The Firebird

Berlin Philharmonic
Sir Simon Rattle
(From the BBC Proms, 5 September 2014)

Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Stephen Sondheim 80th Birthday Prom20200731In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Marking the 80th birthday in 2010 of one of Broadway's great innovators, this first ever Sondheim Prom drew together leading figures of the opera and theatre worlds, plus an array of special guests. Bryn Terfel had previously proved himself a magnetic Sweeney Todd in performances at London’s Royal Festival Hall in 2007.

Terfel led a strong cast, joined by aspiring young performers supported by the BBC Performing Arts Fund. On the bill were excerpts from horror musical Sweeney Todd, the Ingmar Bergman-inspired A Little Night Music and the fairy-tale compendium of Into the Woods, as well as excerpts from Company, Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George.

Presented by Georgia Mann

Simon Russell Beale (vocalist)
Dame Judi Dench (vocalist)
Daniel Evans (vocalist)
Maria Friedman (vocalist)
Caroline O'Connor (vocalist)
Julian Ovenden (vocalist)
Jenna Russell (vocalist)
Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone)
Proms Sondheim Ensemble

BBC Performing Arts Fund Singers
BBC Concert Orchestra
David Charles Abell (conductor)

A special Prom marking the 80th birthday in 2010 of composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Terfel led a strong cast, joined by aspiring young performers supported by the BBC Performing Arts fund. On the bill were excerpts from for horror opera Sweeney Todd, the Ingmar Bergman-inspired. A Little Night Music and the fairy-tale compendium of Into the Woods, as well as excerpts from Company, Pacific Overtures and Sunday in the Park with George.

Presented by Georgian Mann

Bryn Terfel and Dame Judi Dench mark the 80th birthday of Stephen Sondheim.

Stile Antico And Fretwork Celebrate A Shakespearean Anniversary20200816In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Today's concert, introduced by Petroc Trelawny, comes from 2016, when vocal ensemble Stile Antico and viol consort Fretwork combined to celebrate the 400th anniversary year of the death of England’s great bard, William Shakespeare. Their programme contrasts music by Shakespeare’s contemporaries with new settings from Nico Muhly and Composer in Association with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Huw Watkins. In the words of Shakespeare himself, ‘How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music creep in our ears …’

Morley: It was a lover and his lass
Byrd: O Lord, make thy servant Elizabeth
Byrd: Why do I use my paper, ink and pen?
Huw Watkins: The Phoenix and the Turtle
Byrd: Fantasia a 5, 'Two parts in one in the fourth above’
Tomkins: Be strong and of a good courage
Ramsey: Sleep, fleshly birth
Byrd: Browning a 5, 'The leaves be green’
Johnson: Full fathom five
Nico Muhly: Gentle sleep
Gibbons: In nomine No 1
Wilbye: Draw on, sweet night

Fretwork
Stile Antico

(From the BBC Proms, 15 August 2016)

Stile Antico and viol consort Fretwork celebrate a Shakespearean anniversary.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Susan Graham Sings French Song20200823In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

In today's chamber music concert given in Cadogan Hall in 2009, American mezzo-soprano Susan Graham performs repertoire close to her heart with pianist Malcolm Martineau: a sampler of 19th- and 20th-century French song.

Introduced by Louise Fryer.

Bizet: Chanson d'avril
Franck: Nocturne
Chabrier: Les cigales
Bachelet: Chere nuit
Duparc: Au pays ou se fait la guerre

Ravel: La paon
Caplet: Le corbeau et le renard
Roussel: Reponse d'une epouse sage
Debussy: Colloque sentimental
Honegger: Three Songs from 'The Little Mermaid'
Rosenthal: La souris d'Angleterre

Poulenc: La Dame de Monte Carlo

(From the BBC Proms, 27 July 2009)

Songs by Bizet, Chabrier, Duparc, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, Honegger and more.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Tchaikovsky's Queen Of Spades20200808In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Presented by Andrew McGregor.

Tchaikovsky: The Queen of Spades

Yuri Marusin (Hermann)
Sergei Leiferkus (Tomsky)
Dimitri Kharitonov (Prince Yeletsky)
Felicity Palmer (Countess)
Nancy Gustafson (Lisa)
Enid Hartle (Governess)
Anne Dawson (Chloe)
Glyndebourne Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 1992, 26 July)

At the time Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as Music Director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, newly knighted Sir Andrew Davis brought his distinguished East Sussex opera company to the Royal Albert Hall in 1992 for the Proms premiere of Tchaikovsky’s chilling supernatural tale of obsession and revenge, based on Pushkin. Nancy Gustafson, who made a memorable Proms appearance (alongside Felicity Palmer) two years earlier as Janáček’s Katya, sings Lisa to the Hermann of leading Russian tenor Yuri Marusin; while Palmer – who was created DBE the following year – added Tchaikovsky’s Countess to her long list of distinguished roles.

A season of archive Proms: Glyndebourne's production of Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

The Bbc Philharmonic - With Strings Attached20200902John Storgards, the BBC Philharmonic's Chief Guest Conductor, joins the orchestra for a programme which begins with a Haydn rarity; the overture to his puppet opera Philemon und Baucis, written for entertainment at Esterhazy. Britten's Nocturne - one of the treasured song-cycles he wrote for his partner, Peter Pears - explores a rich world of night-time images and dreams, drawing on an anthology of poems including words by Shakespeare, Tennyson and Keats. The soloist this evening is leading British tenor and former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Allan Clayton. The spotlight falls on the strings of the BBC Philharmonic for Tchaikovsky's jewelled Serenade for Strings and another short gem by Tchaikovsky, the Entr'acte from his incidental music to 'Hamlet' in which the King and Queen express bewilderment at their son's descent into madness.

Live from MediaCityUK, Salford, presented by Tom McKinney

Haydn: Overture, Philemon und Baucis
Britten: Nocturne
Tchaikovsky: Hamlet - Entr'acte (Act IV)
Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings

Allan Clayton (tenor)
BBC Philharmonic
John Storgards (conductor)

The BBC Philharmonic and John Storgards in music by Haydn, Britten and Tchaikovsky.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Omer Meir Wellber, the BBC Philharmonic's Chief Conductor, is a keen fan of Haydn. 'Apart from period-instrument ensembles, hardly anyone plays him much these days and bigger orchestras need to be able to play his music,' he says. I'm going to be conducting a lot of his music with the BBC Philharmonic.'

Two of Haydn's works frame tonight's programme - the overture to Philemon und Baucis, a puppet opera written in 1773 for the Esterhazy court; and the powerful D minor Symphony, No 80, written in the following decade as Haydn stood at the crossroads of a story that parachuted him from local composer in Esterhaza to the height of international fame.

Marionettes, a commission from Uzbek-born, Berlin-based Aziza Sadikova, continues the puppet-play theme, while Britten's Nocturne - one of the treasured song-cycles he wrote for his partner, Peter Pears - explores a rich world of night-time images and dreams, setting words by poets including Shakespeare, Tennyson and Keats. The soloist this evening is leading British tenor and former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Allan Clayton.

Haydn: Overture, Philemon und Baucis
Aziza Sadikova: Marionettes (BBC commission, first performance)
Britten: Nocturne
Haydn: Symphony No 80 in D minor

Allan Clayton (tenor)
BBC Philharmonic
Omer Meir Wellber (conductor)

The BBC Philharmonic and Omer Meir Wellber in music by Haydn, Britten and Aziza Sadikova.

The Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra20200825BBC Proms: In this concert from the Proms archives, British conductor Jonathan Nott conducted the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in a programme framed by a pair of works famously used on the soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey – Ligeti’s nebulous Atmosphères and Strauss’s visionary Also sprach Zarathustra. Leading German baritone Matthias Goerner sings Mahler’s harrowing set of meditations on infant mortality. Premiered at the 1912 Proms by Henry Wood, Schoenberg’s Five Orchestral Pieces contain the composer’s first painterly experiments in shaping melodies based on instrumental colours, as opposed to pitches.
Presented by Tom Service.

Ligeti: Atmosphères
Mahler: Kindertotenlieder
Schoenberg: Five Orchestral Pieces
R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra

Matthias Goerne (baritone)
Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester
Jonathan Nott (conductor)

In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

(From the BBC Proms 2009, 4 September)

The Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in works by Mahler, Strauss, Schoenberg and Ligeti.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

The Manchester Camerata20200827In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: Our series exploring the Proms archives continues with a performance from 2005 marking the Manchester Camerata’s debut at the festival. Kate Royal returned for her third Proms visit to sing a pair of Mozart arias, having won the Kathleen Ferrier Award the previous summer. Michael Tippett’s Divertimento on Sellinger’s Round, which draws on British music from across the centuries, was an apt inclusion in the centenary year of the composer’s birth. Beethoven’s sparkling Eighth Symphony contrasts with his ballet overture in praise of the Greek-mythical creator of mankind.

Beethoven: Overture: The Creatures of Prometheus;
Tippett: Divertimento on Sellinger’s Round
Mozart: ‘Bella mia fiamma … Resta, o cara’, K528
Mozart: ‘Chi sà, chi sà, qual sia’, K582
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F major

Kate Royal (soprano)
Manchester Camerata
Douglas Boyd (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2005, 27 July)

Douglas Boyd conducts the Manchester Camerata in Mozart, Beethoven and Tippett.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

The National Youth Orchestra Of Great Britain20200811In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Messiaen’s ecstatic, Eastern-influenced celebration of love is framed by a BBC commission from American talent Nico Muhly and British composer Anna Meredith’s acclaimed tour de force of clapping, stamping, singing and body percussion, first performed earlier the same year by NYO members.

Varèse’s Tuning Up is a tongue-in-cheek parody based on the familiar orchestral strains usually heard on stage only before the conductor arrives.

Presented by Georgia Mann.

Edgard Varèse: Tuning Up
Nico Muhly: Gait (BBC commission: London premiere)
Messiaen: Turangalîla Symphony
Anna Meredith: HandsFree

Cynthia Millar (ondes martenot)
Joanna MacGregor (piano)
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Vassily Petrenko (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2012, 4 August)

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain perform Messiaen's Turangal\u00eela Symphony.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra At The Proms20200722In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

The sparkling overture from Rossini’s opera Semiramide opens this Prom given by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, led by Italian maestro Riccardo Chailly. Flexing his Beethoven muscles, Chailly gives his unique reading of the composer’s First Symphony – a work later captured as part of a complete cycle, recorded with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester from 2007 to 2009.

Rounding off the programme is Prokofiev’s striking Third Symphony. Written in 1928, it was a direct and spirited reaction to the disappointment Prokofiev experienced with his opera The Fiery Angel, whose first performance, accepted by Bruno Walter for Berlin, had been summarily and indefinitely postponed. Though the second act was given in a concert in Paris conducted by Koussevitzky in June 1928, the opera as a whole was not seen until 1954. Prokofiev rescued some of the material by developing it symphonically; the result is a work of great drama and intensity.

Presented by Ian Skelly

Rossini: Semiramide – overture
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 3 in C minor
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 1990, 11 September)

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra performs symphonies by Beethoven and Prokofiev.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

The World Premiere Of John Tavener's 20th-century Classic, The Protecting Veil20200721In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

Kate Molleson introduces a Prom from 1989 conducted by the late Oliver Knussen, one of the most respected figures in British contemporary music. She is also joined by the soloist in tonight's concert, cellist Steven Isserlis.

Knussen composed his Flourish with Fireworks for American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, to reflect a shared admiration for the music of Stravinsky, here represented in the symphonic poem he made in 1917 from his opera The Nightingale. Song of the Nightingale later became a successful ballet, with choreography by Massine and later Balanchine.

Also premiered were two other works by British composers: the Symphony by Minna Keal; and John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil for cello and orchestra, a radiant expression of Tavener’s faith which, in his own words, attempted to ‘capture some of the almost cosmic power of the Mother of God’. Commissioned by the BBC, it has since become a contemporary classic, having received over a dozen recordings.

Knussen: Flourish with Fireworks
Debussy: Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Keal: Symphony, Op. 3 (first concert performance of complete work)
Tavener: The Protecting Veil (world premiere)
Mussorgsky: Intermezzo in modo classico (orchestral version)
Stravinsky: Song of the Nightingale

Steven Isserlis (cello)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Oliver Knussen (conductor)

(From BBC Proms, 4 September 1989)

Oliver Knussen conducts works by three 20th-century British composers.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Vasily Petrenko Conducts Rachmaninov And Shostakovich20200827In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts.

BBC Proms: ‘A composer’s music should express his love affairs, his religion, the books that have influenced him, the pictures he loves.’ So said Rachmaninov, whose Third Symphony does just that through irrepressible yearning and longing. It forms the culmination of this performance from the 2016 Proms archive, in which the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and its Russian Chief Conductor performed Shostakovich’s disquieting First Cello Concerto, joined by cellist Alexey Stadler. The concert opens with Liverpool-born Emily Howard’s Torus, inspired by the doughnut-shaped form of ‘the whole with a hole’.

Presented by Andrew McGregor

Emily Howard: Torus (Concerto for Orchestra) (world premiere)
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 3

Alexey Stadler (cello)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko (conductor)

(From the BBC Proms 2016, 8 September)

Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO perform works by Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Emily Howard.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Vaughan Williams Symphonies Nos 4, 5 And 620200812In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts. At the 2012 season Andrew Manze tackled three very different, powerful symphonies by Vaughan Williams which, whatever their own emotional back-stories, may still be seen as chronicling our national life in troubled times. While he was Associate Guest Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Manze conducted all nine Vaughan Williams symphonies, commenting: "Vaughan Williams is one of those composers some people have fixed ideas about… I’m on a bit of a mission to rehabilitate him in people’s minds as an important figure in the music-making of this country".

Presented by Hannah French

7.30pm
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 4 in F minor
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5 in D major

c.8.50pm
Interval

c.9.05pm
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 6 in E minor

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Andrew Manze (conductor)

(From BBC Proms 2012, 16 August)

A Vaughan Williams triple bill. Andrew Manze conducts Symphonies No s 4, 5 and 6.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Viennese Night20200831Live at BBC Proms: BBC Concert Orchestra, conductor Bramwell Tovey.

Live from the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

Marking 150 years since the birth of Franz Lehár – and recalling the long-running Proms tradition of the ‘Viennese Night’ begun in the 1950s – the BBC Concert Orchestra and Bramwell Tovey step into the gilded ballroom of operetta, evoking the glamour and sophistication of turn-of-the-century Vienna.

The concert features some of Lehár’s most popular titles such as The Merry Widow, The Land of Smiles and Giuditta, as well as music by some of his contemporaries. Nathaniel Anderson-Frank, leader of the BBC Concert Orchestra, takes the role of Paganini with a solo from Lehar’s operetta of the same name, and the evening also includes excerpts from the most enduring and popular operetta of them all, Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus.

Lehar: Overture (The Merry Widow)
Oscar Straus: Don’t eat them all, you greedy man (from The Chocolate Soldier)
Lehar: Meine lippen sie Küssen so heiss (from Giuditta)
Kalman: Gruss mir mein Wien (from Gräfin Mariza)
Johann Strauss II: Overture (Die Fledermaus)
Lehar, arr Dexter: Prelude and Violin solo (from Paganini)
Heuberger: Im Chambre separée (from Opera Ball)
Lehar: Gold and Silver Waltz
Lehar: Es lebt eine Vilja (from The Merry Widow)
Lehar: You are my heart’s delight (from The Land of Smiles)
Johann Strauss II and Josef Strauss: Pizzicato Polka
Johann Strauss II: The Watch Duet (from Die Fledermaus)

Sophie Bevan (soprano)
Robert Murray (tenor)
BBC Concert Orchestra
Bramwell Tovey (conductor)

A celebration of Viennese operetta with the BBC Concert Orchestra and Bramwell Tovey.

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music

Wagner's Die Walk\u00fcre From The 2013 Bbc Proms20200725In 2020, BBC Radio 3 is bringing together musical greats, from the past and the present, in one extraordinary Proms season. Radio 3 is broadcasting the best of four decades of unmissable Proms concerts. This evening, Kate Molleson introduces a performance from the 2013 BBC Proms when Daniel Barenboim conducted the Staatskapelle Berlin and a starry cast in Wagner's Die Walküre, as part of the first complete Ring cycle in a single Proms season.

It was an event which drew unanimous critical and audience acclaim for conductor cast and, not least, the orchestra. As one critic put it: 'there's surely no other ensemble in the world that has this music more deeply ingrained in its collective psyche than the Berlin Staatskapelle. Even with some of the greatest Wagner singers of the present day onstage here, it was the orchestral playing that regularly demanded the attention, whether it was the effortless depth of tone in the strings, the sheer solidity and easy assertiveness of the brass, the perfectly defined pianissimos or the immaculate articulation of every solo detail.'

Wagner: Die Walküre

7.30pm: Act 2

9.15pm: Act 3

Bryn Terfel (Wotan)
Simon O'Neill (Siegmund)
Anja Kampe (Sieglinde)
Eric Halfvarson (Hunding)
Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde)
Ekaterina Gubanova (Fricka)
Sonja Mühleck (Gerhilde)
Carola Höhn (Ortlinde)
Ivonne Fuchs (Waltraute)
Anaïk Morel (Schwertleite)
Susan Foster (Helmwige)
Leann Sandel-Pantaleo (Siegrune)
Anna Lapkovskaja (Grimgerde)
Simone Schröder (Rossweisse)
Staatskapelle Berlin
Daniel Barenboim (conductor)

Die Walküre, the second instalment of Wagner's epic four-opera cycle The Ring, opens with a terrible storm presaging the devastating events which are about to unfold, as the gods fall prey to all too-human flaws. Siegmund, who has been asked by his father Wotan to help him acquire the Ring, meets and falls in love with his long-lost twin sister Sieglinde. Fricka, Wotan's consort, is infuriated and demands Siegmund's death. Brünnhilde, Wotan's rebel daughter, tries to defend him, but in punishment she is put to sleep on a rock surrounded by fire.

Daniel Barenboim conducts Wagner's Die Walk\u00fcre

The annual Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, featuring orchestral classical music