Roger Wright

London has a thriving cultural life and is widely regarded to be one of the world's great musical cities.

In many other cities, classical music events drop off during the summer but in London for two months from mid-July, the world’s greatest classical music festival helps keep up London’s musical vitality.

The annual Proms festival began in 1895 and since the 1940s has been held in the Victorian splendour of the magnificent round building in Kensington, the Royal Albert Hall.

Prom is short for Promenade, as the concerts were originally called the Promenade Concerts because of the standing audience that created the informal atmosphere at the concerts.

In its 118th season, the Proms continues to bring the best of classical music to the widest possible audience and the BBC, which has organised and funded the festival since 1927, has kept the festival true to this original aim. Each concert is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and many are on BBC TV.

The vision of developing a new audience for classical music is kept alive by a combination of a wide range of events and great value for money tickets.

Unique among classical music festivals is the Proms standing audience.

If you try to get a ticket for a concert and can’t, don’t despair. Those standing places are on sale on the day and there are often around 1000 of them.

Each ticket is only £5 on the door – so come along and queue and the chances are that you will be able to get in.
The concerts are chiefly orchestral and choral and feature performers from the UK and many international groups.
This year there are orchestras and ensembles from Germany, Austria, France, Brazil, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the USA as well as a vast array of British talent.

There’s music from Broadway, world music, jazz and opera, as well as plenty of concerts and free events for families – something for everybody who loves classical music.

Once you have attended a Prom concert, I feel sure that you will become a Promenader for life.

Roger Wright
Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Director of the BBC Proms.

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Roger Wright