The BBC Proms today launches an online Proms Archive listing all performances, composers, works, soloists, conductors and ensembles in its 115-year history.

Music-lovers will be able to search for the details of any one of the 7,168 concerts which have taken place since 1895 by composer, work, soloist, conductor, ensemble or date at They can also create Top 40 lists of Proms performances by composer, ensemble or person (from altos to zheng players) with the facility to narrow or widen searches by date.

Roger Wright, Director BBC Proms says:

“To have the entire database of concerts available reveals much about the Proms itself, but also about the history of classical music in the UK over the past 115 years. It’s fascinating to see developments in musical trends and the careers and popularity of particular artists, composers and music. We’re delighted to make this amazing resource available to the public and hope it will be invaluable to music-lovers, musicians, academics and fun for anyone who is interested in classical music.”

A few interesting revelations from the Proms Archive:

  • Wagner is the most performed composer at the Proms (with 5,892 performances of his music). Beethoven is second with only 2,818
  • Wagner’s Tannhäuser is the most performed work with excerpts from the opera performed 740 times
  • Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 has been performed 151 times, Rossini’s Overture to William Tell 173 times and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (‘Land of Hope and Glory’) on 146 occasions, placing them among the most popular single works
  • Prokofiev has had the most pieces performed in recent years (1995–2009), closely followed by Mozart, Stravinsky and J.S. Bach. In the equivalent period 100 years ago (1895–1909) Wagner, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Sullivan were leading this field
  • Great international composers such as Bernstein, Copland, Hindemith and Poulenc have all appeared as performers as well as composers at the Proms
  • Mahler’s music was performed on only 21 occasions between 1903 and 1950. Since 1951 there have been more than 222 performances. By contrast, other composers are shown vividly to have fallen out of favour: Edward German, Charles Gounod and Arthur Sullivan were among the top seven composers in the first decade of the 20th century (with more than 750 works performed between them), while in this decade there have been fewer than 15 performances of their music.
  • Sir Henry Wood – the Proms co-founder and first conductor – conducted more than 23,000 pieces, more than 20,000 more than the next most prominent conductor, Sir Malcolm Sargent
  • Sir Simon Rattle’s first Prom was in 1976, when he was 21 years old
  • Among the more surprising repertoire to have featured at the Proms is music by Kate Bush, Lennon & McCartney, Bob Marley and Johnny Rotten

    There has been a huge effort to standardise spellings and how particular works are listed, and to recognise changes in the titles of works and the names of ensembles over the years. A particular challenge has been cross-check programme listings with what actually happened at the concerts, as works and artists are often added or changed at the last minute. Another challenge has been identifying pieces of music by now-forgotten composers, and working out who actually performed them when concerts were comprised of a great variety of material, including popular songs of the day.

    This is the first live version of the Proms Archive online and the BBC Proms is keen to hear from members of the public about anything inaccurate or anomalous and is inviting corrections and feedback by email to [email protected]

    The BBC Proms is also keen to hear about memories of Proms concerts which might be triggered by seeing the database and is inviting comments and reminiscences at


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