Academy at the Proms

-Posted on 23.04.2018

This year’s BBC Proms look as exciting as ever, with around 30 alumni, 13 staff and three current students featuring throughout the season.

BBC Young Musician celebrate its 40th anniversary with a concert featuring past winners and finalists, with three current Academy students - Alex Bone (saxophone), Alexandra Ridout (trumpet) and Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello) - among them as well as Academy staff Guy Johnston (cello), Colin Currie (percussion) and Sam Walton (percussion), and alumni Freddy Kempf (piano) and Nicholas Daniel (oboe). In addition, the concert features a world premiere of Gershwinicity by alumnus Ian Farrington.

Academy conductors feature prominently this year and include Robert Ames conducting the London Contemporary Orchestra, Barbirolli Chair of Conducting Sir Mark Elder conducting Stravinsky, Debussy and Wagner with the Hallé, Ilan Volkov and Academy Fellow Andrew Manze, both with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Richard Farnes and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and Edward Gardner, alongside alumnus Neal Davies (baritone/bass-baritone), with the BBC SO. Ludovic Morlot conducts the CBSO and Sir Simon Rattle, alongside alumnus David Shipley (bass), conducts a concert featuring Ravel’s opera L’enfant et les sortilèges. Edward Gardner appears again with the Bergen Philharmonic and Head of Conducting Sian Edwards leads the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for a ‘Relaxed Prom’ featuring a new work by alumnus Alexander Campkin. Klemperer Chair of Conducting Semyon Bychkov leads the BBC SO in a concert featuring Stravinsky, Ravel and Berio and Emeritus Professor of Music Jane Glover conducts Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial By Jury, in which the entire cast are Academy alumni: Neal Davies (baritone/bass-baritone), Mary Bevan (soprano), Sam Furness (tenor) and Ross Ramgobin (bass-baritone).

Academy composers have work featured this year including a world premiere of Honorary Research Fellow Tansy Davies’s What Did We See? (orchestral suite from Between Worlds), Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto premieres a new violin concerto by Philip Venables and Roxanna Panufnik’s Songs of Darkness, Dreams of Light is performed by the BBC SO on the Last Night of the Proms.

Soprano Christina Gansch and Academy Fellow and Visiting Professor of Vocal Studies Brindley Sherratt perform Pelléas et Melisand to celebrate the Debussy centenary with Glyndebourne. Miloš Karadaglić (guitar) is the soloist for a new concerto by Joby Talbot and Joseph Middleton (pianist and vocal coach) accompanies Dame Sarah Connolly for her Proms recital debut with music by Vaughan Williams and Howells as well as a world premiere by Benjamin Britten. Colin Currie (professor of percussion) joins forces with contemporary music specialists the JACK Quartet for a programme including world premieres by Simon Holt and Suzanne Farrin, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor is the soloist with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the BBC SO. Singers Allan Clayton (tenor) and Iestyn Davies (countertenor) make appearances as soloists in Britten’s War Requiem and Handel’s Theodora respectively.

Find out more about this year’s BBC Proms here

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