The final line-up for the hotly anticipated Bowie Prom has today been announced. Marc Almond, John Cale and Laura Mvula are revealed to be amongst a wide range of performers across various genres of music, celebrating the extraordinary cultural phenomenon of David Bowie.
Along with Amanda Palmer, Anna Calvi, Paul Buchanan, Conor O’Brien and countertenor Philippe Jaroussky the artists will reimagine the Bowie catalogue with fresh interpretations of classic works spanning Bowie’s career, from Space Oddity (1969) to Blackstar, released in 2016, just days before his death.
Curated and directed by André de Ridder, the Prom will be a celebration of some of Bowie’s most famous works alongside some lesser known songs. From Heroes and Starman to Valentine’s Day and After All it promises to be an exciting journey, exploring Bowie’s rich and influential legacy.
The songs have been arranged by some of today’s top composers and arrangers including Jherek Bischoff, Anna Meredith, Michel van der Aa, David Lang, Josephine Stephenson and Greg Saunier, all working in collaboration with André de Ridder and s t a r g a z e, his Berlin-based musicians collective who form the ensemble for the concert.
The Prom will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and 6 Music presented by Andrew McGregor and Stuart Maconie, and will be shown that evening on BBC Four television. While seated tickets sold out on the opening day of Proms booking, there will be up to 1,350 ‘Promming’ standing tickets available for just £6 on the day.
André de Ridder said: Growing up in Berlin in the 80s, Bowie’s time there - mythological already - was 'before my time', but I often walked past his house on Hauptstrasse, as people pointed it out to me. It was opposite my first teenage band's practice space. I was naively curious about this artist, and his legendary concert in front of Berlin's historic Reichstag, and next to the Berlin Wall, became my first open-air concert experience in 1987. The meaning and reach of that evening and his rendition of Heroes only revealed itself to me in the following years. To try and give something back in this way, to be involved, and celebrate him, is a most moving occasion for all of us.
Marc Almond said: For me David Bowie was a gateway to so many other artists, singers, musicians, performers, dancers and film makers. He helped me navigate a way through the cultural landscape of the seventies and through the turbulence of my adolescence. Reimagining some of his works at the BBC Proms will be very special for me.
John Cale said: There's always been something unique about Bowie. I'm not the one to glow about the obvious with the staging, performance art, glam struts etc... it was certainly a part of the appeal for most. For me, it was the evolution of songs and sounds. Those characters resonated with me because of how I write my own songs. Often in third-person...as if he could disconnect from himself to become the other - write and perform as the other. Any artist who defies categorisation and thrives throughout - deserves every accolade and then some. From the beginning, until the very end, originality was his muse. It’s an honour to celebrate his work at the BBC Proms.
Laura Mvula said: I’m really looking forward to being involved in the Bowie Tribute Late Night Prom as part of the BBC Proms season. Bowie was an artist who expressed himself without fear or restriction and it's great to have a small part in honouring his legacy and celebrating his music.