World's largest annual music festival kicks off at Royal Albert Hall

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/7/14 14:17:03

The world's largest music started its annual season on Friday evening at London's Royal Albert Hall (RAH), heralding a series of daily concerts of classical, jazz, choral and live music that runs until September.

The BBC Proms 2018 season runs from Friday to September 8, with eight weeks of concerts, culminating in the famous Last Night of the Proms at the RAH.

"We run over an eight-week period, we have over 90 concerts and during the course of the summer and we play to more than 300,000 people," David Pickard, the director of the BBC Proms told Xinhua on Friday afternoon in an interview.

The proms are named after the unusual and relaxed custom of promenade concerts where the best positions in the hall are sold on the day for an audience which stands for the entire concert.

This year's season features 42 premieres, nine late night proms, and besides the RAH where there will be at least one concert each day, there will be two new venues in at a converted railway depot in north London and a former military drill hall in the English Midlands city of Lincoln.

Pickard pointed to Beijing-born pianist Wang Yujia, who will perform Prokofiev's third piano concerto, as one of the highlights of the season who is one of the stars of the season along with orchestras which have a global reputation.

"This year we also have both the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, two of the greatest orchestras in the world," said Pickard.

"We also have newish orchestras, like the Estonian Festival Orchestra which was only formed a few years ago and the Russian Orchestra MusicAeterna and their conductor Teodor Currentzis; those two orchestras are at the Proms for the very first time."

This year's season also commemorates a range of events that occurred 100 years ago, including the birth of Leonard Bernstein, who was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, and his work as conductor, composer, pianist, and educationalist are explored with performances of his musicals West Side Story and On the Town.

In addition the season takes inspiration from the end of the First World War in 1918 with new works commissioned to mark the anniversary.

The centenary of French composer Claude Debussy's death in 1918 will also be the launch pad for an exploration of French music.

Posted in: MUSIC

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