TV Preview: First Night of the Proms

In recent days there has been much talk about the future of the BBC and about what kind of programming is should be offering. Many people would say that as a public service broadcaster it should be screening programmes which would not be available on any of the other channels. It is likely that the programme on BBC2 this Friday night would not be screened without the BBC. It is the opening concert of this year’s Proms. The Proms, created by Robert Newman, began on the first of August 1895.

He got the esteemed conductor, Henry Wood involved and their aim was to present the widest range of music possible, performed to the highest standard, to the largest audiences. Ticket prices were deliberately kept as low as possible so that as many people as possible could experience both classical and new music. The BBC first got involved in 1927 and with a small break, has continued to be involved ever since. The concerts begin on the seventeenth of July and continue until September the twelfth. This first concert will be introduced by Katie Derham and Tom Service and will come from the Royal Albert Hall. The conductor will be Sakari Oramo. It will begin with a performance of Carl Nielson’s Maskarade. This will be followed by the world premiere of a completely new work – Dadaville by Gary Carpenter. Then Lars Vogt will be the guest pianist for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.20 in D Minor. The second half will contain two pieces of music inspired by the Biblical story of Belshazzar’s Feast – the first by Jean Sibelius and the second by William Walton. The other performers will be the BBC Singers, the BBC National Chorus of Wales, the BBC Symphony Chorus and Orchestra and singer Christopher Maltman.