18 July 2019, The Tablet

Primed for the Proms: a quick guide to the world's biggest classical music festival


Primed for the Proms: a quick guide to the world's biggest classical music festival

Street artist Loch Ness with his artwork for the Proms
Photo: BBC, Tim Burt

 

Alexandra Coghlan looks ahead to the unmissable moments of this year’s concerts

The biggest classical music festival in the world is back. Between yesterday’s opener and the Last Night on 14 September, there are nearly 90 concerts spanning some 800 years of repertoire, making the BBC Proms one of richest annual festival experiences – but also one of the most overwhelming. So how do you make a choice between all that’s offered, ranging from lunchtime chamber recitals to orchestral spectaculars and late-night oddities, peppered with rising stars and, of course, big names?

This year, visiting artists include the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, returning for the first time with its new music director Andris Nelsons; Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky; and soloists Martha Argerich, Murray Perahia and Joyce DiDonato. Meanwhile up-and-coming performers include Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, and pianists Yuja Wang and Chopin Competition-winner Seong-Jin Cho.

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