Your Essential Guide to the Proms 2015
The greatest classical musical festival in the world fast approaches. Here's our BBC Proms 2015 guide to the best concerts.
Proms: classical music 2015 highlights
The Proms 2015 programme abounds with big names. Conductors include Bernard Haitink, Daniel Barenboim, Andris Nelsons, Simon Rattle, John Eliot Gardiner and Semyon Bychkov, while musicians such as Mitsuko Uchida, Nicola Benedetti, Yuja Wang and Maria Joao Pires will grace the hall with their presence. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
But, as this year’s director Edward Blackman has stated, it is the piano that sits centre-stage. A bewilderingly extensive line-up of piano concertos gives airing to a genre equally as rich as the symphony. On 28 Jul, three pianists will run through Prokofiev’s entire cycle for what promises to be a herculean eve, whilst Norwegian superstar Lief Ove Andsnes will lead the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (23-6 Jul) through Beethoven’s five.
The Labeque Sisters return to play Mozart’s Concerto for two pianos (31 Jul), while Haitink, Pires and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe will join their considerable forces for the same composer’s delightful Piano Concerto No. 23 and Schubert’s ‘Great’Symphony No. 9 (28 Aug).
Book tickets by calling the Royal Albert Hall box office at 0845 401 5040, buy tickets in person at the Royal Albert Hall or purchase them on the venue's website.
Here are our top five picks for which tickets are still available.
Proms 9, 10 & 12: Lief Olaf Andsnes (23-26 Jul 2015)
Lief Olaf Andsnes, Beethoven expert
Beethoven specialist Lief Olaf Andsnes brings all five of the composer’s piano concertos to the Royal Albert Hall, paired with the shimmering orchestral works of Stravinsky.
Proms 19 & 21: Alina Ibragimova plays Bach (31 Jul & 1 Aug 2015)
Alina Ibragimova, violin, one of Britain's most talented young musicians
Over two late nights, the bright young violinist presents Bach’s complete solo repertoire for the instrument, often regarded as the zenith of their genre.
Prom 22: Aurora Orchestra (2 Aug 2015)
Aurora Orchestra, Kings Place's resident ensemble
Last year, the Aurora Orchestra astounded proms audiences by playing from memory. This year, they’re back for more, with a mixed line-up of Mozart, Beethoven and new music.
Prom 50: Sir Andras Schiff Plays Bach (22 Aug 2015)
Sir Andras Schiff, Beethoven, Bach and Schubert virtuoso extraordinaire
A chance to see one of the world’s finest pianists play one of history’s finest pieces – Johann Sebastian Bach’s unimpeachable Goldberg Variations.
Prom 74: Wireless Nights with Jarvis Cocker (10 Sept 2015)
Jarvis Cocker (Pulp), a national treasure
The erstwhile Pulp frontman leads audiences through an orchestral journey into the sounds of the night, joined by the BBC Philharmonic.
The Proms wouldn’t be the Proms without Promming Tickets. Before each concert, up to 1,350 £5 unreserved standing spaces are available, both in the Royal Albert Hall’s pit and on the top circle. To acquire them, you’ll need to arrive before the concert and queue outside the hall. The time this takes depends on the concert – expect over an hour for a particularly hot ticket – but it is unusual for the hall to fill completely. When the queue reaches a certain length, attendants hand out raffle tickets, which allow you to retain your place in line if you leave and return within thirty minutes.
Here is our selection of sold out concerts that are well worth Promming.
Proms 2 & 3: Ten Piece Prom (18-19 Jul 2015)
CBBC's Dick and Dom, from da bungalow to the Royal Albert Hall
Dick and Dom co-host the culmination of the ‘ten piece’ scheme, presenting ten works specially chosen to help children embrace classical music.
Prom 44: West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (18 Aug 15)
World-famous pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim
After attracting the longest promming queues in recent memory last year, Daniel Barenboim and his youth orchestra return with Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Schoenberg.
Prom 57: Chamber Orchestra of Europe (28 Aug 15)
Maria Joao Pires, Portugal's greatest living musician
Legendary conductor Bernard Haitink and equally celebrated pianist Maria Joao Pires join forces for a night of Schubert and Mozart.
Prom 75: Vienna Philharmonic (11 Sept 15)
Sir Simon Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic chief conductor
London favourite Sir Simon Rattle swaps his usual Berlin ensemble for an appearance with Vienna’s equally feted Philharmonic, conducting Elgar’s epic oratorio The Dream of Gerontius