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BBC Proms 2015: The Definitive Guide

The Listings for the BBC Proms 2015 have arrived – and to be honest, they’re looking pretty glorious this year.
But there are A LOT of them to wade through. We’ve put our collective heads together and harvested the top 17 essential picks of the bunch. Enjoy and we’ll see you there.
1) Prom 27: Late Night With … BBC Radio 6 Music
What: “Mary Anne Hobbs of BBC Radio 6 Music presents an evening exploring the borderlands of classical music, with the pioneers of a new generation of musicians who draw on contemporary electronic influences. Piano and keyboard virtuoso Nils Frahm makes his Proms debut, as does atmospheric duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen, and together they create an exclusive centrepiece collaboration.”
When:22:15 Wednesday 5 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
Exclusive video:

2) Prom 16: Late Night With … BBC Radio 1
What:”Radio 1’s first ever Prom is less concert and more dance-party – a musical homage to Ibiza and its infectious, energetic brand of club music. 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Radio 1 in Ibiza and this will be a celebration to remember. Celebrated British DJ Pete Tong presents a line-up of live artists, who perform with Jules Buckley and his Heritage Orchestra.”
When: 22:15 Wednesday 29 Jul 2015 Royal Albert Hall
3) Prom 30: The John Wilson Orchestra performs Frank Sinatra
What: “The Voice’ … ‘Ol’ Blue Eyes’ … ‘The Sultan of Swoon’: the mythology surrounding Frank Sinatra is overwhelming. A gifted entertainer, screen actor and ubiquitous personality, his real legacy as a pioneer of popular song can sometimes get lost in the clamour. This Late Night Prom celebrates the centenary of this musical legend in a concert that brings together some of the great voices of our own time, led by the multitalented Seth MacFarlane. Join John Wilson and his orchestra for an after-hours sequence of big tunes and even bigger performances.”
When: 22:15 Friday 7 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
4) Prom 29: Stravinsky, Messiaen & Ravel
What: “Mozart’s Idomeneo owes its ballet sequence to the influence of French opera, and it launches a programme featuring two Frenchmen who idolised Mozart: Ravel and Messiaen. Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G adds a jazzy colouring to its Classical influences, while Oiseaux tristes and La valse contrast the doleful calls of lost forest birds with a dark, swirling portrait of the disintegration of Vienna. The world premiere of a recently rediscovered work by Messiaen – originally intended for the composer’s Éclairs sur l’au-delà – brings more birdsong (that of the tui from New Zealand), while Stravinsky’s urbane neo-Classical Symphony combines piquancy and elegance.”
When: 18:30 Friday 7 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
5) Prom 32: Eric Whitacre and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
What: “Eric Whitacre’s new work Deep Field is inspired by images taken from the Hubble Space Telescope – and offers the audience a chance to participate in a novel way. In his popular Cloudburst, too, you can help create the sound of rain falling. Plus, American classics by Copland and Gershwin.”
When: 15:30 Sunday 9 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
6) Prom 37: Late Night With … BBC Radio 1Xtra

What: “Following 2013’s Urban Classic Prom, BBC Radio 1Xtra joins the BBC Proms in a high-octane Late Night celebration of the thriving urban music scene, from hip hop to grime. Rappers Wretch 32, Stormzy and Krept & Konan join presenters MistaJam and Sian Anderson on stage, to set the Royal Albert Hall dancing in new remixes blending classical and urban styles, with a little help from Jules Buckley and his Metropole Orkest.”
When: 22:15 Wednesday 12 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
7) Prom 38: Messiaen – Turangalîla Symphony
What: “Hindu philosophy is the guiding thread through this Prom of music by one of the 20th century’s undisputed masters and one of its neglected mavericks. Messiaen’s Turangalîla Symphony translates the ‘curious, exquisite, unexpected melodic contours’ of the Hindu tradition for Western ears. John Foulds’s music was heavily influenced by his spiritual fascination with India; his style shifts in his Three Mantras from the rhythmic violence of Stravinsky to meditative loveliness and the sleek modernism of Ravel.”
When: 19:30 Thursday 13 Aug 2015Royal Albert Hall
8) OrchestraProm 22: Aurora Orchestra
What: “The Aurora Orchestra staged a Proms first last year when it performed Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 from memory. Now the dynamic young ensemble returns to continue this season’s sequence of family-friendly matinees, giving Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony the same direct, communicative treatment. It is paired with Australian composer Brett Dean’s own homage to nature – a work, he explains, inspired by ‘glorious birdsong, the threat that it faces, the loss, and the soulless noise that we’re left with when they’re all gone’. Former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Francesco Piemontesi joins the orchestra for Mozart’s late ‘Coronation’ Concerto, and the afternoon also features the premiere of a new commission from British composer Anna Meredith – also performed from memory.”
When: 15:30 Sunday 2 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915). Russian Composer.
9) Prom 28: Dukas, Turnage, Schuller & Scriabin
What: “Poetry, art and music itself inspire this programme. Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy fuses poetry and music in pursuit of sexual bliss and spiritual transcendence. Turnage’s On Opened Ground pays tribute to the poet Seamus Heaney. Schuller’s Seven Studies explore Paul Klee’s paintings in sound, while Dukas transforms a ballad by Goethe into a musical tale of magic and mischief.”
When: 19:30 Thursday 6 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
10) Prom 33: Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique

What: “Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s second appearance of the season showcases the work of the conductor’s other period-instrument ensemble – the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, specialists in 19th- and 20th-century repertoire. Gardiner’s brisk and brilliant take on Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony promises to find fresh energy within a familiar work – a Classical curtain-raiser to Berlioz’s extravagant Symphonie fantastique, the height of Romantic excess, with its quasi-cinematic storytelling and vivid, ghoulish soundscapes.”
When: 20:00 Sunday 9 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
11) Prom 44: West–Eastern Divan Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim
What: “Daniel Barenboim returns to the Proms, this time as both conductor and soloist, taking the piano part in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony startled audiences with its ruthless concision – a reaction against the excesses of the late-Romantics. But excess gets the last word, in Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, the musical expression of some of its composer’s most-troubled and heartfelt emotions.”
When: 19:30 Tuesday 18 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
12) Prom 46: Danish National Symphony Orchestra
What: “Continuing our celebration of Nielsen’s 150th anniversary, his Second Symphony is an exercise in contrasting moods and textures – the ‘Temperaments’ of the subtitle are the Humours of Greco-Roman medicine: Choleric, Phlegmatic, Melancholic and Sanguine. Less familiar are Nielsen’s choral works – the swelling loveliness of Hymnus amoris, inspired by a Titian painting, and the Three Motets that pay homage to Renaissance polyphony. Completing the programme is Brahms’s warmly Romantic Violin Concerto, with Danish-Israeli Nikolaj Znaider.”
When: 19:30 Thursday 20 Aug 2015Royal Albert Hall
13) Prom 57: Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Bernard Haitink
What: “Refined but also profoundly expressive, Maria João Pires is one of the great Mozart interpreters of her generation. She returns to the Proms to continue our series of late Mozart piano concertos. No. 23 in A major boasts quasi-operatic melodies and deft woodwind colouring. It took musicians and audiences a long time to come to terms with Schubert’s ‘unplayable’ Ninth Symphony, but now – like that other great unplayable, Beethoven’s Ninth – it has won an unquestioned place in the repertoire.”
When: 19:30 Friday 28 Aug 2015 Royal Albert Hall
14) Prom 75: Elgar – The Dream of Gerontius
When: 19:30 Friday 11 Sep 2015 Royal Albert Hall
15) Prom 11: Fiddler on the Roof
What: “Fiddler on the Roof brims with numbers such as ‘If I were a rich man’, ‘Sunrise, sunset’ and ‘Miracle of Miracles’. Hampshire’s Grange Park Opera makes its Proms debut with a semi-staged performance of its new production starring Bryn Terfel as Tevye, the village milkman in pre-Revolutionary Russia trying, in vain, to bring up his five daughters within the time-honoured traditions of his Jewish forebears.”
When: 19:00 Saturday 25 Jul 2015 Royal Albert Hall
16) Prom 13: Holst – The Planets
What: “Once an irascible enfant terrible, Pierre Boulez was born 90 years ago. The Proms celebrations continue with one of his earliest works. Originally a series of 12 brilliant miniatures for piano, Notations is gradually being expanded by the composer into an orchestral cycle. Holst’s The Planets brings musical imagery of a different kind. Violinist Leila Josefowicz makes a welcome return to the Proms, with a new concerto composed specially for her by one of Italy’s greatest living composers.”
When: 19:30 Monday 27 Jul 2015 Royal Albert Hall
17) Prom 74: Wireless Nights Prom With Jarvis Cocker
What: “In the last of this year’s Proms collaborations with six of the BBC national radio stations and BBC Music, popular Radio 4 show Wireless Nights becomes a live concert experience, pairing music and spoken word inspired by the night. Singersongwriter Jarvis Cocker presents an evening he describes as ‘a nocturnal investigation of the human condition’, with Maxime Tortelier conducting the BBC Philharmonic. Badgers, stars, elves and lambs may or may not be involved.”
When: 22:15 Thursday 10 Sep 2015 Royal Albert Hall

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