The Proms will pay tribute in its 120th season to the
centenary of Britain's entry into World War One with a special
"War Horse Prom" on August 4, the date Britain declared war on
Germany in 1914. The event will feature puppets performing to a
suite of music based on the score for the original National
Theatre production of the play.
One of the Tavener pieces, "Requiem Fragments", sung by the
Tallis Scholars, will have its premiere that same day.
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, who together form the Pet Shop Boys
electronic pop duo, will premiere their new piece "A Man from
the Future", based on the life of the mathematician and computer
scientist Alan Turing.
British soul singer Laura Mvula will reprise her highly
successful Late Night Prom aimed at younger audiences. American
pop singer Rufus Wainwright also will stage a late-night Prom.
Other features of the eight-week-long event include performances
of three operas of Richard Strauss in his 150th birthday year
and 80th birthday tributes to two British composers, Harrison
Birtwistle and Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies.
"The Proms is a big international festival that just happens to
take place in the UK," Roger Wright, the event's director, said
at a launch event.
Among the conductors appearing will be Simon Rattle, Ivan
Fischer, Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink,
Riccardo Chailly and Valery Gergiev. Orchestras including the
Berlin Philharmonic, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the
Leipzig Gewandhaus and a range of British ensembles will
Opera singers include Swedish soprano Nina Stemme and American
soprano Christine Goerke, singing the lead roles in the Strauss
dramatic works "Salome" and "Elektra" respectively on successive
nights. The third Strauss opera is "Rosenkavalier".
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Soloists include violinists Joshua Bell, James Ehnes, Julia Fisher,
Tasmin Little, Daniel Hope and Janine Jansen, pianists Ingrid Fliter
and Benjamin Grosvenor, and trumpeter Alison Balsom.
Wright noted that the festival is becoming increasingly
international, with appearances at the Proms for the first time of
orchestras and ensembles from China, Greece, Iceland, Lapland,
Qatar, Singapore, South Korea and Turkey.
"There is a really interesting story to be told about global music
making" and Western music being adopted by different cultures,
One of the most anticipated events will be the John Wilson
Orchestra's revival of Cole Porter's famous musical based on
Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew". Wilson's revival last year of
"My Fair Lady" was one of the most sought-after tickets.
The Proms will open on July 18 with Edward Elgar's rarely performed
Biblical oratorio "The Kingdom", with a vast chorus and orchestra to
shake the rafters of the Royal Albert Hall, the main venue for the
The famous Last Night of the Proms, on Sept 13, when the audience
joins in to sing British favorites like "Jerusalem" and "Land of
Hope and Glory", will be conducted for the first time by Finland's
(Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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