BBC Proms 2008
The BBC Proms is arguably the greatest music festival in the world, providing the public with daily concerts from July through to September. It attracts world-class soloists, orchestras and conductors, performing a huge variety of music, catering for all tastes. Despite this, it has recently been on the receiving end of some negative press: last month, Margaret Hodge (culture minister) said that the Proms "attract too narrow a section of society", yet today on Radio 4's PM programme, it was reported that this year's Proms programme could be interpreted as an attempt to "dumb down".
This year's season includes a Dr Who Prom (click here for more details), which will be presented by Doctor Who actress Freema Agyeman and will include the show's famous theme tune, as well as other compositions related to time and space, including Holst's The Planets (Jupiter) and Wagner's Die Walkure (the Ride of the Valkyries). This has already sparked criticism but Proms director Roger Wright denied that the presence of Doctor Who meant the world-famous music festival was being dumbed down.
Whatever you think about the BBC Proms seasons, I hope you seize this fantastic opportunity to become acquainted with such a wide variety of repertoire. This music is literally at your fingertips and on your doorstep: the Royal Albert Hall is the main home of the concerts, which are also broadcast live on Radio 3. You can find the Proms programme on line by clicking here or you can buy the Proms Guide from 11 April from all good bookshops, or from a selection of online stores (click here for more details).
After a very quick glance online (I simply cannot wait to buy my Proms Guide), some personal highlights include Prom 2, Prom 24, and Proms 50-52 (Bach day!).
Click here to read an interview with Roger Wright in today's Guardian.
More to follow on this topic, I'm sure...