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Roger Wright's Curtain Up for the 2012 BBC Proms

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Roger Wright Roger Wright | 13:45 UK Time, Thursday, 19 April 2012

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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.

Wallace & Gromit. Photo: BBC


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!

Picture of the 2012 Proms Guide




  • Comment number 1.

    been having a bad day but when i saw the schedule for the new season,wow what can i say .beethoven thank you very much roger wright.cant wait for the season to get started.

  • Comment number 2.

    Looking forward to repeating the mammoth feat I pulled off in 2011's Proms season - listening to every single note of every single concert THIS season! Bring it on!

  • Comment number 3.

    Thanks once again to Everyone Involved in presenting what should be a Truly Wonderful Series of Concerts / Events for the 2012 Proms.

  • Comment number 4.

    Does anyone know , or maybe can guide me, how I can purchase The 2012 BBC Proms Catalogue. My Preference would be via Mail as I live in the Mid-West of Ireland. Despite my Best Efforts I have been able to source same on any BBC Websites.
    Many Thanks, Tomas

  • Comment number 5.

    Sad that there is no place for George Lloyd in the centenary year of his birth.

  • Comment number 6.

    I was sad there was no Coleridge-Taylor. Centenary of Samuel Colderidge-Taylor's death falls on 1st September 2012. His music has a strong link with Malcolm Sargent and the Royal Albert Hall - regular staged performances of "Hiawatha" 1929-1939 under royal patronage. Last but not least an ethnic minority composer of wide popular appeal. How can Roger Wright justify ignoring this talented black British Edwardian musician?

  • Comment number 7.

    @Tomas Kirken: I ordered my 2012 Prom Guide from Amazon.

  • Comment number 8.

    The website for the Proms programme is truly awful. One has to resort to guessing to find out who is performing in any particular Prom.

  • Comment number 9.

    @Nigel Gaspar: There are two ways to access the Proms programme. One is by clicking on the guide at the left of the Proms front page, the second by clicking on the Proms Plan (with the picture of Beethoven), which takes you to the Royal Albert Hall site. Both guides show you what's being performed on a day-by-day basis.

    On the Proms site, you just click on the underlined link at the top of each day's Prom (e.g. Prom 1: First Night of the Proms) and that takes you to a page which shows more detail, including who's performing.

    On the RAH site, you just position the mouse over the same underlined text and a kind of pop-up appears with the same detail, or you can click on the 'Learn More' button to link to the same info on a new page.

  • Comment number 10.

    Why no mention that its the centenary of Delius' birth!

  • Comment number 11.

    With a new set of monitor speakers, I look forward to joy of live Prom broadcasts on Radio 3 which has become, almost a 'being there' experience with the high quality broadcasts especially on FM but also ondigital radio.

  • Comment number 12.

    ....but why no Glass? Finally had a Glass prom 2 seasons ago, and waht a concert it was, to a packed hall despite it's late night slot. The man is 75 this year, surely deserving some recognition of his iconic status and unique talents. His absence from the program was, frankly, quite a shock!


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