The BBC Proms starts Friday, 14th July – a summer of concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall in London, and at various venues across the UK too.
Every Monday during the eight-week season, I’ll be recommending the sort of concerts I’d recommend to my friends – especially those who wouldn’t normally consider going to a classical music concert.
The list won’t be exhaustive and, inevitably, it will reflect some of my own interests too.
The first week is packed full of core repertoire from a collection of must-sees/must-listens. I’m really looking forward to seeing Bernard Haitink conduct the Chamber Orchestra of Europe – his Mahler 9 with the LSO in May was stunning, and at 88 he still has an enviable spirit for his art.
The BBC National Orchestra of Wales have two billings this week. I’ve really been impressed with how their playing has improved over the past few years. They’ve shrugged off their Doctor Who soundtrack label unhelpfully tied to them when the series returned twelve years ago. Every performance I’ve heard them in over the past three years has been electrifying.
And after a tumultuous few months in the UK, now feels like the right time to experience the restorative effects of Elgar’s first symphony. Forget the Enigma Variations and those nauseating Pomp and Circumstance marches everyone claps their hands excitedly about. Elgar 1 is proper Elgar.