Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Packs

BBC Proms 2009: leading musicians join young talent for biggest ever Proms, Friday 17 July-Saturday 12 September – Proms Plus

Stephen Hough (image: Grant Hiroshima)

This year's Proms Plus features more events than ever and for the first time moves to the newly refurbished Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall at the Royal College of Music. Proms Plus offers concert ticket-holders the chance to enhance their experience of attending the Proms and extends access to the music that is performed.

Many events are recorded and edited for broadcast on Radio 3 during the interval of the concert that follows, and this year eight Proms Plus events will be filmed and made available to watch online for the entire season at the Proms website:

The series presents a rich and broad variety of content around the concerts and, in 2009, includes 30 Proms Intros, 16 Proms Literary Festival events, four Proms Composer Portraits, five gatherings of Proms Family Orchestras, seven Proms Family Music Intro events, eight films (which take place at the Royal Geographical Society) and an outside broadcast of Radio 3's In Tune from the Royal College of Music on the First Night.

Proms Intro

Thirty Proms Intros offer audiences insight into the music being performed in the main concerts that follow, through special talks and events at the Royal College of Music. The discussions with composers, musicians and leading experts draw on strands heard throughout the season, providing a better understanding and awareness of the music.

Highlights include:

conductor Lars Ulrik Mortensen, Dr Suzanne Aspden (University of Oxford) and Catherine Bott introduce Handel's opera Partenope
(19 July)

celebrating the 800th anniversary of the University of Cambridge, Louise Fryer hosts a discussion with past and present Directors of Music at King's College – Sir David Willcocks and Stephen Cleobury – with Nicholas Cook, Professor of Music, and composer Ryan Wigglesworth (22 July)

Mendelssohn's great-great-great-great-niece, Sheila Hayman, talks about the composer's life and music in his 200th anniversary year with Professor John Deathridge (30 July)

Patrick O'Connor joins Petroc Trelawny and other guests to explore the world of MGM film musicals (1 Aug)

Proms Inspire Day: the Aurora Orchestra performs the winning entries of this year's BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers' Competition
(14 Aug).

three special Proms Plus discussions celebrating Stravinsky ballets featuring such guests as choreographer Richard Alston; Director of the Royal Ballet, Monica Mason; choreographer and director Millicent Hodgson; composer Julian Anderson; and Stravinsky biographer Stephen Walsh (28 July, 13 Aug & 28 Aug)

Ivan Fischer and members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra give a concert designed to introduce classical music to 5- to 12-year-olds in an entertaining and interactive environment (18 Aug)

members of the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra perform Boulez's Anthemes II and Messagesquisse, introduced by Daniel Barenboim
(22 Aug)

Sir Roger Norrington and musicians from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment discuss the influences of anniversary composers Purcell, Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn on British musical life
(25 Aug)

Proms Plus is working with the Music Manifesto's national singing programme Sing Up on Proms Singing Day and Howard Goodall introduces Messiah (6 Sept)

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies celebrates his 75th birthday and talks about composition and conducting (8 Sept).

Proms Literary Festival

Following its successful debut last year the Proms Literary Festival returns with 16 free pre-concert talks that bring together an array of literary figures to explore the themes of the season and offer further insight into the relationship between writers and composers, music and literature. Again, all are held at the Royal College of Music and a selection are edited for broadcast on Radio 3.

Highlights include:

historian Alison Weir and critic John Carey on the myth and reality of Elizabeth I, who inspired Spenser's The Faerie Queene, before the performance of Purcell's opera (21 July)

Sir Christopher Frayling, Rector of the Royal College of Art, and novelist D J Taylor join Rana Mitter to discuss the key cultural events of 1934, the year in which Delius, Elgar and Holst died (26 July)

in tandem with the Mendelssohn anniversary celebrations, his English contemporaries – "The Victorians" – forms a theme that recurs throughout the festival, including: Andrew Motion (Poet Laureate, 1999–2009) introducing his choice of Tennyson poems, 200 years after the poet's birth (2 Aug); Roy Hattersley and Professor Valentine Cunningham in defence of the Victorian novel (4 Aug); Ian McMillan exploring the power of the partnership between Gilbert and Sullivan (11 Aug); A N Wilson, author of The Victorians, and Steven Moffat, cocreator of the BBC's new modern-day Sherlock, discussing the enduring appeal of Sherlock Holmes and his special love of Mendelssohn (7 Sept)

Philip Pullman, author of the award-winning trilogy His Dark Materials, talks to Susan Hitch about the powerful myth of Orpheus (15 Aug)

prize-winning author Jamila Gavin and Binglish theatre director Jatinder Verma explore great Bollywood stories as part of Indian Voices day (16 Aug)

Stephen Venables, the first Briton to climb Everest without supplementary oxygen, and Chris Smith, former Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and mountaineering enthusiast, talk about their favourite mountain writing (27 Aug).

Proms Composer Portraits

The Proms Composer Portraits feature chamber music by four leading composers, each of whom will have an orchestral work premiered in the same day's Prom at the Royal Albert Hall. Alongside performances of their chamber music by students from some of the UK's leading conservatoires, the composers will appear in conversation with a Radio 3 presenter. All of the events are recorded for broadcast on Radio 3 later that evening and admission is free to all.

Composer Portraits in 2009:

Jorg Widmann performs his Fantasie for solo clarinet, alongside performances of Air for solo horn and Five Fragments for clarinet and piano (29 July)

Michael Jarrell chamber works performed include Eco for soprano and piano, Nachlese II for violin and cello and Assonances VII for percussion (3 Aug)

Louis Andriessen performances includes the UK premiere of A Very Sad Trumpet Sonata (17 Aug)

Augusta Read Thomas: includes the European premieres of A Circle Around the Sun...for piano trio, Invocations for string quartet and Passion Prayers for cello and ensemble (9 Sept).

Proms Family Music Intro

Proms Family Music Intro is designed to introduce children and their families to live classical music for the first time. Seven concerts are preceded by a free workshop where families get a preview of what's going to be played, learn the stories behind the music, and get the chance to play the themes themselves.

Proms Family Music Intro in 2009:

get to know Holst's The Planets (25 July)

explore Stravinsky's ballet music in this special dance-themed event with musicians and dancers (27 July)

make music with members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (8 Aug)

explore music for piano or multiple pianos with pianocircus (9 Aug)

hear about the stories behind Stravinsky's The Fairy Kiss, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Khachaturian's Spartacus with members of the Bournemouth SO (10 Aug)

gain insight into French, Canadian and Russian music with members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (30 Aug)

learn about Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé with members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (31 Aug).

Proms Family Orchestra

The idea of the Proms Family Orchestra is simple: family members – whether mums, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and grandparents – sitting alongside each other with professional musicians, making music. Whatever instrument is played, and at whatever level, the whole family can join in the fun. Free workshops this year include sessions based around Bollywood (on Indian Voices day), and Evolution, as part of the Proms Darwin-anniversary celebrations.

Proms Family Orchestra events include:

the first performance in a main concert at the Royal Albert Hall, when a super-sized Proms Family Orchestra – combining members of earlier Proms Family Orchestras in London with new members from Salford – works with the BBC Philharmonic on a newly devised piece inspired by Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, to be performed as part of this year's Free Family Prom (26 July)

two Family Orchestra events at the Natural History Museum centred on the Darwin anniversary following Evolution! A Darwin-inspired Extravaganza for Kids (1 & 2 Aug)

an Indian Voices day Family Orchestra with a Bollywood twist
(16 Aug).

Proms Family Orchestras will also convene before Holst's The Planets Prom (25 July), the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain Prom
(8 Aug) and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's first Prom of the season (31 Aug).


This season sees screenings at the Royal Geographical Society of eight films and documentaries, including the BBC Two series The Birth of British Music. All the films are introduced by a guest speaker connected with the film or its subject. Admission is free to all.

Stan Tracey: The Godfather of British Jazz

Tracey recalls his life with unprecedented honesty and through its mix of archive, landscape and interviews with musical giants such as saxophonist Courtney Pine, singer Cleo Laine and the late jazz eminence Humphrey Lyttelton, a story of British culture emerges that has never been told (18 July).

The Birth of British Music, Parts 1 & 2

The first two episodes of BBC Two's new major four-part series presented by Charles Hazlewood, focusing respectively on Purcell and Handel (25 July).

The Birth of British Music, Parts 3 & 4

The conclusion of the BBC Two series, focusing respectively on Haydn and Mendelssohn (26 July).

Singin' In The Rain

Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds star in the MGM classic, whose memorable songs, lavish dance routines and eponymous song-and-dance number ensure it remains one of the best-loved films of all time (1 Aug).

Diaghilev: The Years Abroad; The Years in Exile

Former Proms Controller John Drummond's two 1968 films for the BBC's Omnibus series (8 Aug).

Stravinsky: Once, at a Border...

Tony Palmer's film about one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century, including documents, photographs and previously film unseen by the public before this 1982 documentary
(15 Aug).

Knowledge is the Beginning

Award-winning documentary by Paul Smaczny (2005) on the work of Daniel Barenboim and the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra; in German, with English subtitles (22 Aug).

God Rot Tunbridge Wells

Handel's life, reimagined by Tony Palmer, with Trevor Howard in his last major role as the almost blind and dyspeptic composer. The film features a soundtrack conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras (5 Sept).

To top

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.