IN THE KNOW
out ‘n’ about
THE BBC PROMS
The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP
Now until Saturday 14th September
It’s that great British institution, The Proms, short for Promenade, with 89 concerts over 58 days held in and around London but primarily at home in The Royal Albert Hall.
Should you be passing by at the end of an evening, you’ll note the pavements rammed with appreciative music lovers of all generations. Beg, borrow or blag a ticket to at least one concert to feel the love and be part of the action.
It may originally have been the prerogative of a niche classical audience but nowadays the prom concerts span all genres, from Sci-Fi film music to Angelique Kidjo who belted out Miriam Makeba’s beloved Pata Pata to a foot-stamping, sing along ecstatic audience for Prom number 16.
There are evenings of sonatas and symphonies from first rate artists and conductors like Simon Rattle, but then there’s Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood in September (Prom 70) with a world premiere of his Horror vacui exploring electronic versus acoustic music.
And it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive, you can do the trad thing and stand. Promming is standing in the Arena or Gallery up close and very personal, with tickets from £6 available daily.
Prom 75 on September 14 is the epic Last night of the Proms and always includes Elgar’s full blown Pomp and Circumstance March and closes with an emotional Auld Lang Syne. It’s the stuff of legends with ardent prommers known to queue for hours to get tickets.
The majority of last night tickets are allocated by ballot if you’ve covered five concerts over the season, so don’t expect to just turn up!
Can’t make any concerts? Check the BBC festival guide; many are televised or broadcast live on Radio 3.