The BBC Proms 2022: a return to large scale events and international orchestras

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Visiting ensembles to include the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, while anniversary themes include the BBC's centenary

The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will perform at the Proms this year
The Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra will perform at the Proms this year

This year’s BBC Proms has been announced, promising a summer season not unlike those of the pre-pandemic period.

Orchestras from abroad – usually a feature of the Proms – will be back now that travel restrictions have eased, with Kirill Petrenko bringing the Berlin Philharmonic, Yannick Nézet-Séguin the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Zubin Mehta the Australian World Orchestra.

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Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra

Reflecting the continuing conflict in Ukraine, the Proms will also feature the newly formed Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra led by Keri-Lynn Wilson. Appearing as part of a European and US tour, and brought together by the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Polish National Opera, the ensemble features refugee Ukrainian musicians, Ukrainian members of European orchestras and leading artists from Ukraine.


The return to large scale repertoire begins on day one with Verdi’s Requiem, followed later by Mahler’s Second Symphony (with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle) and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (from the Chineke! Orchestra and Voices under Kevin John Edusei.

Anniversaries

Anniversaries being marked include the centenary of the BBC, with partners from across the corporation including Radio 1 Relax, CBeebies and the Natural History Unit being welcomed into programmes. Another is the 150th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s birth, while a further theme focusses on so called ‘Cinderella’ instruments - those which invariably earn fewer headlines than the likes of piano, violin and voice - including theremin, tuba, flute, oboe, horn, viola, harp, percussion, trombone and brass band.

New Commissions

Another Proms tradition continues – new commissions, of which there are 17, including jazz saxophonist Marius Neset, Oscar-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, a harp concerto by Sally Beamish and a piece celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by Cheryl Frances-Hoad.

Star Soloists

Dalia Stasevska will again lead the Last Night of the Proms, with soloists Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Lise Davidsen joining the annual curtain closer. Other artists appearing earlier in the season include violinist Nicola Benedetti, pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Yuja Wang and mezzo Jamie Barton, while the recent Gramophone One to Watch pianist Tom Borrow will make his Proms debut.

Tickets and Broadcasts

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast every performance, with 22 concerts broadcast on BBC television and BBC iPlayer. More than 96,000 tickets will be available for £20 and under, with prices starting at £8.50 and Promming day tickets at £6.

'It is a momentous year for the world’s largest classical music festival. I’m delighted that large-scale orchestral and choral repertoire will once again be heard in the Royal Albert Hall, and that we can celebrate the return of international orchestras,' said David Pickard, Director, BBC Proms.

'In the BBC’s centenary year, we can be proud that the Proms has been a part of the organisation for 95 of those 100 years, playing a key role in the corporation’s mission to inform, educate and entertain. After two adapted seasons, we look forward to welcoming audiences back this summer for eight glorious weeks of music making,’ he added.

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