The annual BBC Proms season – billed as ‘the world’s greatest classical music festival’ – begins today, Friday 14 July. As usual, the concerts cover the gamut from solo works to operas, from early music to the most recent, from jazz to the classical music of India and Pakistan. And, as usual, Oxford musicians are well represented.
Natalie Clein, our Director of Performance, appears in Prom 32 with the BBC NOW, conducted by Faculty alumnus Ryan Wigglesworth, to give the premiere of Brian Elias’s cello concerto. Professor Robert Quinney performs Bach on the mighty Royal Albert Hall organ in Prom 47, in a programme that includes part of a completion of Bach’s Orgelbüchlein by alumnus William Whitehead, who also plays in the concert. Also in this programme is a new chorale prelude composed by alumnus Daniel Saleeb. And at ‘Proms Extra’ events, Professors Suzanne Aspden and Daniel Grimley can be heard introducing, respectively, Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Nielsen’s Second Symphony.
Among contributions from other Faculty alumni, we find works by composers Mark Simpson (The Immortals) and Roderick Williams (Là ci darem la mano, a BBC commission), Hugh Brunt conducts new experimental work from, for the first time, The Tanks at Tate Modern, Robert Hollingworth directs I Fagiolini, and tenor Toby Spence sings Purcell arranged by Elgar.
As so often, the Last Night includes a rousing rendition of Jerusalem, words by William Blake, set by a former Oxford Heather Professor of Music, Hubert Parry.
All concerts and Proms Extra events are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and via the BBC website.