Proms Plus is a series of free introductory workshops, talks and events which serves to complement the main BBC Proms concerts during the eight-week festival.

Since the festival opened on 18 July, a stellar line-up of guests have been offering their insights into the music and artists featured at the 2014 Proms. Looking ahead to the rest of the Proms Plus series this summer, highlights include talks from War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and novelist Martin Amis, to composers whose works are being performed at this year’s festival including Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, two towering figures of British contemporary music both celebrating their 80th birthdays this year, plus spoken word artist George the Poet rounding off the exciting Proms Plus Late series.

Mostly held at the Royal College of Music, BBC Proms Plus comprises Intros, Portraits, Literary and Lates. They are edited for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 during the interval, or after the end of the main evening Prom.

Proms Plus Intro

The 28 Intros this year give the audience an opportunity to learn more about the repertoire that is to be performed in that evening’s Prom.

Central to the 2014 Proms is a celebration of classical music from around the world with more international orchestras performing than ever before, and Proms Plus Intro puts the spotlight on the following countries: Turkey (29 July), the Czech Republic (24 August), Hungary (25 August), South Korea (27 August) and Singapore (2 September). Other talks cover a range of topics, from Mahler's 5th Symphony and the composer’s relationship with his wife Alma for whom it was written (30 July), the operas of composer Richard Strauss born 150 years ago (30 & 31 August) and the history of the British Symphony and its revival at the premiere of Elgar's Symphony No. 1 (6 August), to conductor Sir Roger Norrington in conversation about his life and career in his 80th birthday year (3 September), the misunderstood and unknown side of two contrasting French composers, Saint-Saëns and Franck (8 August) and a discussion of how Sibelius's love of nature and landscape permeates his compositions (12 August). Other highlights include Peter Sellars offering insights into his celebrated semi-staged production of the Bach's St Matthew Passion (6 September), author Michael Morpurgo reading extracts from Only Remembered, a collection of writing, prose, poetry and songs to precede the War Horse Prom that afternoon, (3 August) and saxophonist Timothy McAllister discussing the saxophone and its creator, Adolphe Sax, born 200 years ago (4 September).

 

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