Roger Wright's Curtain Up for the 2012 BBC Proms
It’s that day again! writes BBC Proms and BBC Radio 3 Controller Roger Wright. Is it really a year since the last BBC Proms launch? It is Thursday, 2pm, and the curtain has been pulled back to reveal the plans for the Proms 2012 festival. The last few days have involved interviews for long lead time publications and last minute preparations for today’s launch.
Although some of the plans are known by those involved in the music industry, I am always grateful for the embargo being so strictly observed. There is an element of theatre about the day but it’s important to have a big moment so that we can achieve the maximum amount of publicity, and get attention for the Proms and the opening of booking on May 12th. We have, after all, over 300,000 tickets to sell.
Thanks to the ongoing commitment of the BBC in running and funding the Proms (not just broadcasting the concerts), we are able to keep the quality of the concerts high and ticket prices low. Ticket prices are held at last year’s level which means that the Promming tickets available on the day of each concert remain at £5 for the seventh year running. This year, for the first time, we are also offering half price tickets to under-18s.
Today sees the regular round of interviews – an early morning briefing for arts and media correspondents, photocalls at the Royal Albert Hall with Kirsty Young, Joseph Calleja and members of the National Youth Brass Band and BBC interviews, including BBC News.
This afternoon I shall be speaking to Radio 4’s Front Row, and then talking about the year's highlights live on Radio 3’s In Tune. All that comes before the classical music writers' press event at 5pm and the main launch reception at 6pm at the Royal College of Music.
With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, this promises to be a summer unlike any other and the BBC Proms will be an exciting part of the celebrations. You can now read all about this year’s plans online and tomorrow go out and buy your guide (you can see the cover illustration below) or order your ebook online.
One thing seems likely - that tomorrow morning, despite the announcements about, for example, Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra playing the first Beethoven symphony cycle at the Proms for over 60 years, for the first time the Vienna Philharmonic (with Bernard Haitink) and the Berliner Philharmoniker (with Simon Rattle) playing two concerts each, the two London opera houses each performing an opera for the first time in the same Proms festival, more commissions and premieres than ever before... and the list goes on... the story that most might lead with is that Wallace & Gromit will be making their first appearance at the Proms and that Wallace has been commissioned to write a new piece!
Cracking Proms, Gromit!
- Watch Roger Wright introduce the season with Katie Derham
- Visit the Proms homepage
- Visit the BBC Blog for an audio interview with Roger Wright