The warm weather, light evenings and wonderfully long days mean British summer is fast approaching – and with it, the BBC Proms. Founded in 1895, this eight-week summer season of classical music remains one of the most eagerly anticipated annual events in the British calendar. The Proms showcases internationally renowned conductors, musicians and singers, performing some of the most renowned music in existence – from stalwarts of the classical canon to brand-new compositions. With a diverse musical program, and performances at some of London’s most famous venues – the Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall – there is something for everyone, from first-time guests to seasoned Prommers.
This year’s Proms are themed around celebrations of the solar system and planet earth, marking the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landings. Space-themed performances include Holst’s The Planets and John Adam’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine; and the London Contemporary Orchestra will perform a Sci-Fi Film Music Prom, taking on legendary scores from classic sci-fi films.
The 2019 Proms also celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sir Henry Wood – esteemed conductor and founder of the Proms. Wood avidly supported new music, using the Proms to showcase new compositions: in memory of him, 33 of the works Wood programmed to premiere at the Proms will be performed again, and there will also be 33 new pieces commissioned specifically for this year’s Proms.
As ever, the program is delightfully diverse: experience a night dedicated to a classical composer, such as ‘Strauss, Brahms &Bostrom’ (Prom 9); enjoy semi-staged versions of theatrical classics, such as Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ fresh from Glyndebourne (Prom 51); relish the sumptuous scores from the Golden Age of Hollywood Cinema, as John Wilson and the John Wilson Orchestra present ‘The Warner Brother’s Story’ (Prom 29); or bring the family along for an extraordinary intergalactic journey with ‘CBeebies: A Musical Trip to the Moon’ (Prom 3).
With tickets on general sale starting from just £16, and both weekend and season pass available, there are ticket options to suit everyone. If you truly want the Prommer experience, queue for a £6 ticket released on the day – but be sure to arrive by 5 pm to stand the best chance of getting your hands on one!
Located just a mile away from the Royal Albert Hall, and less than two miles from Cadogan Hall, the Mercure Kensington provides the perfect base for the Proms. After an exceptional evening of music, gently stroll back past some of London’s most famous landmarks for the perfect end to a memorable evening.