MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

BBC Proms Announces 2022 Program

From guest contributor Tom Luce:

The published program for this year’s British Broadcasting Corporation Proms has 73 concerts taking place over the 53 days from 15 July to 6 September, with at least 36 orchestras performing.  All of the concerts will be broadcast on the BBC radio and will be available via BBC Sounds as well, which is accessible across the world. Details are available here.

This year’s BBC Proms program returns fully to its pre-pandemic scale and cultural and humanitarian outreach. Amongst the most monumental classical works are J S Bach’s B minor Mass, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and Beethoven piano sonatas played by Sir András Schiff. Appropriately to the morbid pandemic circumstances globally, and especially now to the catastrophic war situation, the program opens with Verdi’s Requiem and also includes Brahms’s German Requiem.

International orchestras are now again included — from Philadelphia, Australia, Berlin, Vienna, Cologne, Norway and Finland. Another of special relevance is the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, which will also be performing in the USA. Also notable is the performance of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony by the Europe-based Chineke! Orchestra of non-European ethnic players with their new choral association. (Chineke! has on some occasions included a Seattle Symphony player.)

As well as the extensive symphonic and choral repertoire, several operas are to be given concert performances, including Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Puccini’s Il Tabarrro, and Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers. Many concerts include new music by many modern or current composers: for example, Brett Dean, Betsy Jolas, Florence Price, Valentin Silvestrov, and Thomas Adès.  On weekend mornings and afternoons, there are informal children and family concerts.

Two concerts represent particular celebrations: notably, an evening with historic British Coronation music from Handel onwards to reflect the widespread celebration of H M Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. Another marks the centenary of the BBC itself.

Most concerts take place in the Royal Albert Hall, which can accommodate up to 6,000 audience members. The broadcasts are known to have huge followers nationally and internationally. The scale, scope, and diversity of the overall program, its composers, and performers must also be unique both historically and internationally. — Tom Luce

Filed under: BBC Proms

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