When the Proms get it right, they really get it right

Last night, BBC Four gave us one of the richest evenings of television I can remember seeing in the 10 years or so I’ve lived here. A digest of the best of this year’s contemporary music offerings at the Proms, it was a diverse and exciting array of great pieces really well performed. It did a fantastic job of showcasing the virtuosity and irreplaceable value of the BBC orchestras, the unique power of the Proms to take new music to vast audiences, and, most importantly, it was all first rate music.

It’s a pity that some pieces were only excerpted, but the BBC has, in this case, made great use of their online capabilities by making complete performances of some pieces that were not shown in full available on their website

If you’re in the UK and missed the live broadcast, do catch it on iPlayer in the next 6 days

If you’re abroad, keep an eye on YouTube- most televised Proms seem to end up there within a week or so.

Congratulations to John McCabe, David Matthews, Colin Matthews, Thomas Ades, James MacMillan and the rest of the gang.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at www.kennethwoods.net

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