Proms 2018

These 19 clips from the 2017 season reflect the quality and breadth of music-making audiences have come to love through eight weeks every summer with the Proms...

Pianist Hiromi gets under the bonnet on I Got Rhythm

Japanese pianist Hiromi is the personification of the expression 'it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing' and here she is tearing up the George and Ira Gershwin standard I Got Rhythm at Prom 57: Swing No End. By tearing up, we mean heading inside the piano and using it as a string instrument while also playing the keyboard. Truly, this is something that needs to be seen to be believed.

Watch more of Prom 57: Swing No End

The Latvian Radio Choir sing Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil

Some of the most mesmerising moments of the festival come at Late Night Proms, and this was extraordinarily moving - the Latvian Radio Choir performing a work hailed as "the greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church" at Prom 38. "Tonight we'll be experiencing one of the most profound and transporting pieces in the repertoire," said Radio 3's Kate Molleson in her intro and she wasn't wrong.

Nicola Benedetti performs Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No 1

Last year, Nicola Benedetti released an acclaimed recording of Shostakovich's fiendishly difficult Violin Concerto No 1 in A Minor. Prom 6 provided a chance to hear the Scottish violinist play it live with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Thomas Søndergård. As you can tell from the above clip of the concerto's dramatic fourth movement, her performance was pure musicality and power. Superb.

Jarvis Cocker, John Grant and others celebrate the music of Scott Walker

Another Late Night Prom saw an all-star lineup of Jarvis Cocker, John Grant, Richard Hawley and Susanne Sundfør singing Scott Walker songs from 1967-70 at Prom 15 with the Heritage Orchestra and London Contemporary Voices under Jules Buckley. Above, enjoy highlights from this special concert, which Scott himself attended.

French orchestra plays Daft Punk as Proms encore

Prom 42 was an all-French concert inspired by the East, from the fragrant Indian gardens of Delibes's Lakmé and the eroticism of Samson and Delilah, to Corfu with the adventures of Lalo's Namouna. It was presented by François Xavier-Roth and period orchestra Les Siècles, who played one of the most wonderful encores of the season. You can sense the audience going, "Hang on, is that...? It is!"

A recreation of conductor Malcolm Sargent's 500th Prom from 1966

To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Malcolm Sargent, chief conductor of the Proms from 1947 until 1967, Sir Andrew Davis and BBC Symphony Orchestra recreated Sargent's 500th Prom from 1966. The programme reminded Prommers of Sargent's work as a champion of English music, and also included Beatrice Rana performing Schumann's mercurial Piano Concerto. Enjoy highlights, above.

A Sunday afternoon of Isabelle Faust playing Mozart

Back to the first weekend now and a stunning Sunday afternoon Prom which included Bernard Haitink and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe playing two Mozart pieces - Symphony No 38 in D major ('Prague') and the graceful Violin Concerto No 3 in G major with soloist Isabelle Faust. The above clip is taken from the third movement.

Beneath the Underdog: Charles Mingus Revisited

Jules Buckley's second Prom of the 2017 season was a spectacular celebration of all things Charles Mingus, the legendary jazz composer, bandleader and bass player. Jules and his Metropole Orkest were joined by saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings and Leo Pellegrino, trumpeter Christian Scott and singer Kandace Springs in a programme that featured Better Git It in Your Soul, Moanin' and Goodbye Pork Pie Hat.

Aurora Orchestra play Beethoven's Symphony No 3 from memory

The Aurora Orchestra, co-founded in 2004 by conductors Nicholas Collon and Robin Ticciati, have made playing from memory something of a trademark. They dazzled Prommers last year with Mozart's Symphony No 41 ('Jupiter') and returned in 2017 with the full score of Beethoven's 'Eroica' committed to memory. To top things off, the majority of the orchestra performed standing up.

Alexander Gavrylyuk takes on Rachmaninov's fiendish Third Piano Concerto

Rachmaninov's third is well-known for being one of the hardest piano concertos to perform and, at 45 minutes, it's a test of endurance as well as skill. Alexander Gavrylyuk was exceptional playing the piece at Prom 37 and he was making his debut, too. Just watch how fast his fingers move in the above clip of the concerto in full, which begins with introductory chants from the Latvian Radio Choir.

A complete staging of Bach's St John Passion

"Time travel is our objective tonight, so buckle up because we're going back almost 300 years," said Rev. Richard Coles in his introduction to Prom 49 - a staging of Bach's St John Passion, a work of almost operatic immediacy. John Butt directed his Dunedin Consort in this spine-tingling and engrossing full performance with soloists Tim Mead, Sophie Bevan and Nicholas Mulroy.

Lisa Batiashvili's thrilling performance of Sibelius's Violin Concerto

Sibelius's Violin Concerto was once described by musicologist Donald Francis Tovey as "more original, more masterly and more exhilarating" than any of its rivals. And very early on in the season - at Prom 2 - Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili was in London to give a thrilling and passionate performance of the piece with Daniel Barenboim and the mighty Staatskapelle Berlin. Hear an excerpt, above.

Philip Glass's American minimalism meets traditional Hindustani classical music

There was a blend of East and West at the hypnotic late-night Prom 41. Sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar joined the Britten Sinfonia for the first complete live performance of Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar's concept album Passages, which consists of arrangements by each of the composers around themes written by the other.

Ella and Dizzy: A Centenary Tribute

Prom 27 celebrated the centenary of jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie. The BBC Concert Orchestra under conductor John Mauceri were joined by Grammy Award-winning vocalist Dianne Reeves and trumpeter James Morrison to perform their greatest hits, from The Great American Songbook to Gillespie's bebop beats.

A spectacular First Night of the Proms

Back to when it all started on 14 July, and a spectacular First Night of the Proms that featured Edward Gardener conducting the BBC Proms Youth Choir, BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra. Highlights, above, included soloist Igor Levit taking on Beethoven's ground-breaking Third Piano Concerto and John Adams's 70th birthday being celebrated by a performance of his masterpiece Harmonium.

Stax Records: 50 Years of Soul

Prom 65 marked 50 years since the Stax/Volt Revue's first British tour and it was an all-star affair, combining the talents of original Stax artists like Booker T., Steve Cropper and Sam Moore with UK singers, including Beverley Knight and Sir Tom Jones. Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra was the house band for a night that featured such classics as (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay and Green Onions.

See the stars turn out for Stax

John Wilson conducts Oklahoma!

Bursting not just with tunes but emotions, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! brought new dramatic depth to the Broadway musical and offered - at our count - nine important life lessons. At this joyous Prom, John Wilson, and his orchestra brought their signature energy and swagger to a much-loved classic, along with a slew of stage stars, including Belinda Lang and Nathaniel Hackmann.

Chineke! make a triumphant Proms debut

It was only two years ago that the Chineke! Foundation was established to provide, in their words, "career opportunities to young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians in the UK and Europe". Its flagship ensemble, the Chineke! Orchestra, debuted at the excellent Prom 62, which featured soloists Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Jeanine De Bique in a programme that included a premiere by Hannah Kendall.

The inspirational real-life stories of seven Chineke! musicians
Chineke! The story of a concert that went viral

Celebrating John Williams

John Williams is perhaps the best-known film-score composer of all time and you'll be reminded if you listen to the highlights clip above of just how many stone-cold classic soundtracks he's written. Prom 8 celebrated John's extraordinary achievements in a concert to mark his 85th birthday. Keith Lockhart conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra in an evening that captured all of our imaginations.

From Star Wars to Harry Potter, why John Williams is a soundtrack Jedi

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