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First Night of the Proms

Fri Jul 12, 8-10.30pm, BBC2

In a few weeks time, all sane Britons will feel their chests swelling with patriotic pride as the Royal Albert Hall hosts the annual parade of bug-eyed Faragistas that is the Last Night of the Proms. But before that auspicious occasion, expect plenty of glorious music.

Tonight, Katie Derham is our host as we get underway with music on a nautical tip from Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten. There are also two sets of Paganini variations by Rachmaninov and Lutoslawski and the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s ‘Harmony’. Looking further ahead, this year’s major Proms event will be a performance of Wagner’s ‘Ring Cycle’ conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Oh, and Fazer out of N-Dubz will be doing some sort of ‘Urban Classical’ thing. Well, why not? Actually, don’t answer that…


vpk18 Tastemaker

The First Night of the Proms is quintessentially British and the national spirit is probably displayed at its height during this event.  The music is always of the highest quality and the conductor is an interesting character who engages well with the audience.  The choice of music is also well thought-out. Don’t forget your flags!