BBC Proms Announces 2006 Lineup

Classic Arts News   BBC Proms Announces 2006 Lineup
Nicolas Kenyon, director of the BBC Proms, announced the lineup for the annual festival yesterday at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The Proms, the tenth under Kenyon's tenure, run from July 14 to September 9 and includes anniversary celebrations for Mozart and Shostakovich. Queen Elizabeth will attend her 80th-birthday concert, featuring 250 children singing a special commission by Peter Maxwell Davies and poet laureate Andrew Motion.

Other anniversaries to be celebrated include Colin Matthew's 60th birthday, Steve Reich's 70th, and the 80th birthdays of Hans Werner Henze's and Gy‹rgy Kurtšg. The 200th anniversary of Haydn's death and the 150th anniversary of Schumann's death will also be honored.

The Proms will see the U.K. premieres of works by Osvaldo Golijov, H. K. Gruber, Magnus Lindberg, Dai Fujikura, and Benjamin Wallfisch. BBC commissions include works from British composers Julian Anderson, George Benjamin, James Dillon, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Ian Wilson.

Conductor Christoph Eschenbach continues a four-year Proms Ring cycle; Bernard Haitink, Kurt Masur, and Simon Rattle also return to the podium. Visiting orchestras include the Bamberg Symphony under Jonathan Nott, the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivšn Fischer, and Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo V‹nsk‹.

Radio Tarifa and 83-year-old "mother of rai" Cheikha Rimitti give a late-night world-music concert as part of the Festival of Muslim Cultures.

Mark Elder returns to conduct the traditional Last Night at the Proms, where a flag-waving audience sings along to Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory. The Proms will also see the premiere of the composer's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 6.

The Proms began in 1895, aiming to attract a wide audience with low ticket prices and an informal atmosphere. Eating, drinking, and smoking were permitted, although patrons were asked to refrain from striking matches during the vocal numbers. The Proms have since become a national institution and retain a fun, informal atmosphere, especially down in the arena, where tickets to "promenade" cost only Ô£5.

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