BBC Proms Guide 2016
2016 BBC Proms highlights include Bowie tributes, Strictly Come Dancing celebrations & classical concerts in Peckham carparks
There is no substitute for being part of the action inside the great circular auditorium - except that this year, for the first time, the Proms is moving lodgings on several occasions, and setting out for Greenwich, Peckham, the Roundhouse at Camden, and the glorious Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Music on the move: Proms in Peckham & beyond
Bold Tendencies, Peckham: photo credit Quintin Lake
This new Proms At … strand takes the music to the people and puts it into spaces that complement visually what the ears are hearing. The Steve Reich programme at a Peckham multi-storey car park is sure to steal the show. Also outside the hall are 76 Proms Extra events - talks, workshops and discussions, plus eight Proms Chamber Music concerts at the Cadogan Hall, and many special events for children and families.
Highlights, Proms 2016: Bowie, Shakespeare, Cello music & more
Pop culture and classical music combine in Prom 8, which is accompanied by live performances from the dancers in BBC primetime favourite Strictly Come Dancing. And a tribute concert to David Bowie continues the new Proms tradition of crossing into other musical genres, while on the other end of the musical spectrum the composer Henri Dutilleux is honoured 100 years after his birth.
It’s anniversary time for Shakespeare too, and marking 400 years of his death are dozens of pieces inspired by his plays, by composers including Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Bernstein (Romeo and Juliet), Fauré (The Merchant of Venice), Berlioz (Much Ado about Nothing), and Cole Porter (The Taming of the Shrew). If music be the food of love - and a great deal more besides - play on…
Recurring themes during the 75 mainstream Proms programme include music for the cello, with 10 concertos, both well known and neglected played, among them the Elgar and Dvorak concertos and a new concerto by British composer Huw Watkins given its world premiere by his brother Paul Watkins.
Two operas by Rossini are sung, highlighting both a big presence for the Italian composer’s music this year, and also the growing appetite for opera in concert or semi-staged performance. Janacek’s The Makropulos AffairThe Makropulos Affair and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov’s Boris Godunov are also performed.
With a nod to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, leading a Mexican wave of South American composers and artists are the Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra, pianists Martha Argerich and Gabriele Montero, the tenors Juan Diego Florez and Javier Camarena, the cellist Sol Gabetta, who appears in the opening concert, and Villa Lobos, whose music is played at several concerts.
Most exciting newcomer, among many new names, promises to be Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, new conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, making her Proms debut on Saturday 27 August in a concert that includes Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 4.
We round up the top 20 Proms 2016
Explore our top picks of the proms
For the full programme visit bbc.co.uk/proms.
Booking opens at 9am on Saturday 7 May.