This year is the 115th year of the Promenade Concerts from the Royal Albert Hall, London. The series of concerts run between mid July and mid September each year. It is rightly billed as 'the world's greatest classical musical festival' and comprises over 70 concerts. The whole series of concerts are referred to as 'the Proms', those who attend are 'promenaders' and most who attend indulge in a little 'promming'.
Part of the Proms audience has always stood in the arena, directly in front of the orchestra, and many consider this the best position in the hall. These people are said to be promming. However, you can also stand high up in the Gallery and just let the sound drift up to you.
Today there are still over 1,000 standing places available at each Prom. The traditionally low prices allows folks to enjoy world-class concerts for just £5!Although the scope of the Proms has increased enormously since 1895, Henry Wood's original concept for the season remains largely unaltered: to present the widest possible range of music, performed to the highest standards, to large audiences. All concerts are broadcast live on radio and many live on TV.
Last evening I enjoyed the concert broadcast on TV: Classic MGM Film Musicals. John Wilson and his hand-picked Orchestra celebrated 75 years of MGM musicals with songs from unforgettable movie classics, including The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St Louis, The Harvey Girls, Brigadoon, High Society, The Band Wagon and Singin’ in the Rain. Amazingly, although all the original orchestral parts were lost when the studio destroyed its music library to make way for a car park, Wilson has succeeded in reconstructing the scores by painstakingly transcribing each soundtrack by ear. He was joined by starry singers from the classical and musical theatre worlds;
Kim Criswell vocalist
Sarah Fox soprano
Sir Thomas Allen baritone
Curtis Stigers vocalist
Seth Macfarlane singer
Maida Vale Singers
John Wilson Orchestra
John Wilson conductor