An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
BBC-Proms (1).jpg
SymphonyCast BBC Proms

SymphonyCast presents the BBC Proms, an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and other events held annually, predominantly in the Royal Albert Hall in central London. The Proms, or Promenade Concerts, were founded in 1895, and are now organized and broadcast by the BBC. In addition to Royal Albert Hall concerts, each season features various educational and children’s events. The Proms hold a significant place in British culture and have been described by one of the frequent Proms conductors as “the world’s largest and most democratic musical festival.”

Read on to get a glimpse at this year's event!

August 1, 2022
First night of the PROMS BBC Proms (Prom #1)
BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Crouch End Festival Chorus
Sakari, Oramo, conductor
Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, soprano;
Jennifer Johnson, mezzo-soprano; Freddie
De Tommaso, tenor; Kihwan Sim, bass-baritone;
VERDI: Requiem

Giuseppe Verdi had a complicated relationship with religion: he asked to be buried with just ‘one priest, one candle, one cross’. But as a born dramatist, he knew how to tell a great story – and his colossal Requiem encompasses death, rebirth and the end of the world itself, in music that simply blazes with passion and power. Now, in the vast spaces of the Royal Albert Hall, Sakari Oramo assembles two choruses, a multinational team of solo singers (including 2021 Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize winner Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha) and the full forces of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and prepares to raise the roof. A truly spectacular First Night of the 2022 BBC Proms.

August 8, 2022
BBC Proms July 20 (Prom #8)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Singers
Dalia Stasevska, conductor
Alexander Gavrylyuk, piano
JOHANNSSON: The Miners’ Hymns – They Being
Dead Yet Speaketh
RACHMANINOV: Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor
GILDUR GUANADOTTIR: The Fact of the Matter
TCHAIKOVSKY: Fantasy-Overture ‘Romeo and Juliet’

A piano sounds quietly in the silence; an old song, long buried, heaves itself upwards to echo and resound anew. At first, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s atmospheric reworkings of Durham miners’ songs might not sound as if they have much to do with Rachmaninov’s popular Piano Concerto No.2. But in the hands of BBC Symphony Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor Dalia Stasevska and pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk (‘Dazzling’: The Financial Times), they become part of a deeper, darker picture: an unfolding soundscape that embraces both the soaring romantic tragedy of Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and the
elemental sonorities of Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir – the extraordinary, Academy Award winning musical imagination behind Joker and Chernobyl.

August 22, 2022
BBC Proms August 6 (Prom #27)
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Andrew Gourlay, conductor
Simone Dinnerstein, piano
DANNY ELFMAN: Wunderkammer
GERSHWIN: Rhapsody in Blue (orch. Grofe)
RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloe

‘I think and feel in sounds,’ said Maurice Ravel. So, when he wrote his ballet Daphnis and Chloe, he created a sumptuous musical panorama in which you can hear every drop of dew, every flurry of birdsong and every ray of glittering light. Sounds thrilling? Now hear it performed by the ‘world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers’ – playing with an energy and joy that make even the Royal Albert Hall feel a bit on the small side. The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain’s annual Prom is always a highlight of the season, and tonight its 150-plus players are working on a cinematic scale: Simone Dinnerstein performs Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and there’s a spectacular, specially commissioned opener from Hollywood legend Danny Elfman.

August 29, 2022
BBC Proms August 9 (Prom #31)
Ulster Orchestra
Daniele Rustioni, conductor
Louise Alder, soprano
WAGNER: Tannhauser – Overture
WAGNER: Tannhauser – Venusberg Music
STRAUSS: Four Last Songs
MAHLER: Blumine
SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 4 in d minor

There’s an ‘electric buzz in Belfast’, according to at least one critic, and the combined energy of the Ulster Orchestra and its dynamic Chief Conductor Daniele Rustioni illuminates everything they play together. Tonight, it’s all about Austro-German Romanticism at its most ardent: whether Schumann’s punchy but poetic Fourth Symphony, the dreams of a young Gustav Mahler, or Wagner’s thrillingly
sensual opera of unleashed love, lust and creativity. Louise Alder is the soloist in Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs, and The Times called her ‘a terrific talent, combining a big, lustrous voice with flawless intonation and keen intelligence’. This young British star could have been born to sing Strauss’s lovely (and much-loved) final songs.

September 5, 2022
BBC Proms August 13 (Prom #36)
Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop, conductor
Benjamin Grosvenor, piano
BARTOK: The Miraculous Mandarin – Suite
PROKOFIEV: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C
DVORAK: Symphony No. 7 in d

Viennese orchestral playing is a byword for excellence, rooted in generations of tradition. But under its distinguished (and adventurous) American Music Director Marin Alsop, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra takes that tradition as a starting point to look outwards – to explore. Bartók’s bloodcurdling ballet suite prepares the way for Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto: energising, unsentimental brilliance, brought to life by former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist Benjamin Grosvenor. And then, two very different facets of the Central European tradition: the windswept drama and dancing Bohemian melodies of Dvořák’s magnificent Seventh Symphony, and the UK premiere of Heliosis – written specially for Alsop and the Vienna RSO by a young Viennese composer with a flair for drama.

September 12, 2022
BBC Proms August 24 (Prom #49)
London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Rattle, conductor
Louise Alder, soprano; Dame Sarah Connolly, mezzo-soprano
MAHLER: Symphony No. 2 in c minor, ‘Resurrection’

The end has come, and in the silence after the Last Trumpet, a solitary bird is the only sound heard on Earth. The ambition of Gustav Mahler’s ‘Resurrection’ Symphony staggers the imagination – an emotional odyssey on a cosmic scale that embraces tenderness, rage, dark humour and – yes – the end of the world itself. Sir Simon Rattle was still a teenager when he conducted his first performance of Mahler’s Second Symphony, and it’s been a personal touchstone at every stage of his career. Now, as he prepares to step down as Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra, he pairs it with a short (but very personal) tribute from the late Harrison Birtwistle, one of Britain’s most distinguished recent composers.

September 19, 2022
BBC PROMS September 2 (Prom #61)
Chineke! Orchestra
Chineke! Chorus
Kevin John Edusei, conductor
Nicole Cabell, soprano; Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo-soprano; Zwakele Tshabalala, tenor; Ryan Speedo
Green, bass-baritone
WALKER: Lilacs
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9 in d minor, ‘Choral’
"Be embraced, all you millions!" Since the earliest days of the Proms, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony has had a special place in each season – and with its climactic choral ‘Ode to Joy’, it’s one of those works that takes on a new meaning every time it’s played. This year, it’s performed by Chineke! – Europe’s first majority Black and ethnically diverse orchestra, along with Chineke! Voices. BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Nicole Cabell leads a world-class team of solo singers, and opens the Prom with the haunting Lilacs, the heartfelt song-cycle with which George Walker became the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

September 26, 2022
Last Night of the BBC PROMS September 10
BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Symphony Chorus
BBC Singers
Dalia Stasevska, conductor
Lise Davidsen, soprano; Sheku Kanneh-Mason,, cello
WILSON: 1922
WAGNER: Tannhauser – ‘Dich, teure Halle’
MASCAGNI: Cavalleria rusticana – Easter Hymn
VERDI: Macbeth – ‘Vieni! T’affretta!’
CARWITHEN: Overture ‘ODTAA (One Damn Thing After Another)’
DAVYDOV: At the Fountain; Fantasia on British Sea-Songs
ARNE: Rule, Britannia!
ELGAR: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1
PARRY: Jerusalem (orch. Elgar)
UNKNOWN: The National Anthem (arr. Britten)

It’s time to put on your party clothes, grab your favourite flag and raise the roof of the Royal Albert Hall! There’s nothing quite like the Last Night of the Proms – the happiest annual celebration in the classical music calendar. BBC Symphony Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor Dalia Stasevska returns to host a concert that stars soprano Lise Davidsen and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason in party pieces by Verdi, Wagner and Coleridge-Taylor, as well as a salute to a century of innovation from rising British composer James B. Wilson – before giving the 2022 BBC Proms a send-off with all the traditional Last Night favourites. Until next year!