Youth is key to the ethos of the BBC Proms, from performers and composers to audiences. This season, young musicians are celebrated with performances from many of the national youth musical organisations of the UK.
Between Saturday 4 and Monday 6 August all four of the UK’s National Youth Orchestras, as well as the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and the National Youth Choir of Wales, will perform at the Proms.
The Ulster Youth Orchestra of Northern Ireland is side by side with the Ulster Orchestra under its Principal Conductor, JoAnn Falletta, with soloist Sir James Galway (4 August matinee); the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain with its Principal Conductor, Vasily Petrenko, perform Messiaen’s magnificent Turangalîla Symphony, as well as the world premiere of a BBC commission by Nico Muhly (4 August evening); the National Youth Choir of Great Britain under David Hill takes part in the premiere of Bob Chilcott’s new work, The Angry Planet (5 August matinee); the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland will be side by side with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by its Chief Conductor, Donald Runnicles (5 August evening); and the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Choir of Wales, plus students from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, join BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC National Chorus of Wales, Aelwyd y Waun Ddyfal and a rock and blues band for a performance of Bernstein’s large-scale Mass conducted by Kristjan Järvi (6 August).
Key musical strands Concluding the exploration of the UK’s youth ensembles is the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, which gives a Late Night performance of jazz classics, conducted by Mark Armstrong and including arrangements of Ellington as well as a BBC commission by Tim Garland (10 August), and on the closing day of the Olympics the National Youth Wind Orchestra under James Gourlay and the National Youth Brass Band under Bramwell Tovey come together for a rousing matinee combining works such as Walton’s Crown Imperial with new BBC commissions by Gavin Bryars and Gavin Higgins (12 August).
Alongside the feast of activity by the national youth organisations are major performances by other groups of young performers, including the Juilliard Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Royal Academy of Music, conducted by John Adams (16 July), and Baroque music students from both the Royal College of Music and the music conservatoires of Paris and Orsay under Sir Roger Norrington (28 July).
Two brand-new ensembles also appear in 2012: the Aldeburgh World Orchestra, which has been set up to bring together the best young performers from all over the globe, comes to the Proms under Sir Mark Elder (29 July); while the BBC Proms Youth Choir, formed in 2012 as part of a four-year project to bring together existing choirs from around the UK, gives its inaugural performance, under David Robertson, in Tippett’s A Child of Our Time (1 August).