BBC Proms 2016 programme announced

Gramophone Wed 13th April 2016

Festival to focus on Latin America as 2016 programme is unveiled

(L-R) conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, presenter Katie Derham and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich celebrate the launch of the 2016 BBC Proms © BBC / Jonathan Ford

(L-R) conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, presenter Katie Derham and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich celebrate the launch of the 2016 BBC Proms © BBC / Jonathan Ford

The 2016 BBC Proms season has been announced. With 75 Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, 76 Proms Extra events and eight Chamber Music Proms at Cadogan Hall, the festival runs from July 15 to the Last Night on September 10.

This year there will be a special focus on the cello, with 10 concertos receiving performances, including Elgar’s on the First Night (Sol Gabetta with the BBC SO and Sakari Oramo), Alban Gerhardt in the Dvořák Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Charles Dutoit on August 3, and the world premiere of Huw Watkins’s Concerto with his brother Paul the soloist alongside the BBC NOW and conductor Thomas Søndergård on August 12.

The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death will be commemorated in a series of concerts featuring music inspired by his plays. Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique will perform Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette on July 30, while Hans Abrahamsen’s let me tell you (which features a libretto by Paul Griffiths based on the character of Ophelia from Hamlet) will be performed by soprano Barbara Hannigan with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and their new Music Director Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla on August 27. Hannigan’s recording of this work with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons was an Editor’s Choice in the March issue (read the review), and she wrote a fascinating article about the creative process behind the piece for the Gramophone website here.

This year the Olympics take place in Brazil, so a particular focus of this year’s Proms festival will be on music from Latin America. Works by Villa-Lobos and Ginastera will be prominently featured and there will be visits from the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and pianist Gabriela Montero (August 24), Martha Argerich will be performing Liszt’s First Piano Concerto (August 17), and Juan Diego Flórez will be the star soloist for the Last Night festivities.

As in previous years, every Prom will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 (available on digital radio, via TV, mobile, laptop and tablet, as well as on 90-93FM) and will be available online for 30 days at bbc.co.uk/proms. There will also be TV broadcasts on Friday and Sunday on BBC Four throughout the season as well as the return of Proms Extra, the weekly magazine show hosted by Katie Derham every Saturday night on BBC Two. These radio and TV broadcasts will also be available for download via the iPlayer Radio app and the BBC iPlayer.

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