The 123rd BBC Proms season has been announced and there are plenty of firsts for artists from Rayfield Allied throughout.
Nicholas McGegan is at the helm of the “Proms at…” on Saturday 22 July which sees the BBC Proms take a main series concert outside of London for the first time, when the Royal Northern Sinfonia visit Hull for three concerts celebrating both the 300th anniversary of Handel’s Water Music and Hull’s year as UK City of Culture. In a programme which also includes water-inspired music by Delius, Mendelssohn and Rameau they perform at an outdoor amphitheatre in Hull’s Docks in what is set to form a stunning backdrop to the music.
Harrison Birtwistle’s long association with Daniel Barenboim continues when the Berlin Staatskapelle gives the UK Premiere of a major new orchestral score entitled Deep Time. Forming the final part of an informal triptych which began over forty years ago with The Triumph of Time (1971) and also includes 1986’s monumental Earth Dances, Deep Time comes to the UK in Prom 4 on Sunday 16 July. Harrison Birtwistle spoke with Boosey and Hawkes about the new work in March.
There are two further world premieres involving our artists. Natalie Clein plays a new cello concerto by Brian Elias who explores the lyrical qualities of Clein’s playing in a 25-minute work which receives its world premiere in Prom 32 on Wednesday 9 August with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Ryan Wigglesworth. Natalie Clein appears in the BBC Proms’ launch video.
Also receiving its world premiere is Judith Weir’s In the Land of Uz given by David Hill with the BBC Singers and Nash Ensemble on Saturday 12 August at Southwark Cathedral as part of the “Proms at…” series, along with joyous Passiontide music by Palestrina.
The 450th anniversary of Monteverdi’s birth is marked when Raphael Pichon brings his Ensemble Pygmallion to the BBC Proms for the first time for a performance of the Vespers of 1610 at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 31 July - Prom 22.
Also making their BBC Proms debut are the Dunedin Consort whose concert of the Bach St John Passion on “Reformation Day” includes Nicholas Mulroy (as Evangelist) and Matthew Brook (as Jesus). Both work regularly alongside director John Butt in concert as well as on several highly acclaimed recordings for Linn Records. Prom 49 takes place on Sunday 20 August.
David Sawer's 1997 work the greatest happiness principle appears in Prom 20 on Saturday 29 July performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Mark Wigglesworth who also conducted the work's first performance in Cardiff 20 years earlier.