2012 is a big year for London. Some events are once in a lifetime – the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, the London Olympics – but the BBC Proms is as dependable as festivals come, back for its 118th edition.
Founded in 1895, and billed as world’s biggest music festival, the Proms runs through Sept. 8 at the Royal Albert Hall and other nearby London venues. It includes over 70 concerts, encompassing a wide range of symphonic and operatic music. The festival features performers from all over the globe, focusing especially on British musicians.
WQXR.org is your passport to London, with an audio stream of the daily Proms concerts.
Americans take the stage as John Adams leads the Juilliard Orchestra and the Orchestra of Royal Albert Hall in his own composition, City Noir, as well as in works by Ravel and Respighi.
Tuesday, July 17
2:30 pm EDT: Strauss, Saariaho and Sibelius
The BBC Orchestra performs works by Strauss, Saariaho and Sibelius
Wednesday, July 18
2:00 pm EDT: Lam, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev
5:15 pm EDT: Handel: Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks
Pianist Kirill Gerstein gives the premiere of Fung Lam's Endless Forms and for Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2. Immediately following that concert, Le Concert Spirituel will give a late-night performance of Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks.
Thursday, July 19
2:30 pm EDT: Handel: Judas Maccabaeus
Handel's music continues with a presentation of Judas Maccabaeus from Royal Albert Hall.
Friday, July 20
2:30 pm EDT: Beethoven Cycle: Symphonies 1 & 2
Daniel Barenboim begins a five-concert Beethoven symphony cycle, leading the Western-Eastern Divan Orchestra in the Symphonies No. 1 & 2 and Pierre Boulez's Dérive 2.
On Saturday afternoon, the festival's first matinee concert features harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani performing Bach's The Art of the Fugue in his own instrumental arrangement. That evening, Barenboim and the Western-Eastern Divan Orchestra continue the Beethoven Cycle with Symphonies 3 & 4, and are joined by clarinetist Jussef Eisa for Pierre Boulez's Dialogue de l'ombre double.