If you’re one of those people that turns the TV over whenever the Proms are on, maybe this year you should give it a go; it’s one of the most extraordinary celebrations of music in the world and a uniquely British event.
‘Promenade’ concerts (where musicians play in parks and open spaces while listeners walk by) had been popular for many years but in the mid 18th Century, under the stewardship of renowned orchestra leader Sir Henry Wood, they became a more formal, organised series of events.
When the BBC took over the Proms in 1927 they began broadcasting them to the nation, first on the radio and then on the TV as well. There are now over 70 concerts during the 8 weeks of events, most held at the Royal Albert Hall but many in other venues and parks.
While the Proms consist almost exclusively of classical concerts occasionally there are unique non-classical events, such as last year’s Comedy Prom, where humorous songs were performed and celebrated.
The most famous event of the calendar is the Last Night of the Proms, where popular and patriotic pieces are played and the audience take the opportunity to sing loudly along while waving flags and looking posh.
The Proms may appear elitist and anachronistic but they can be tremendous fun and genuinely moving. Give ‘em a try this year, they may just surprise you.Join TVScoop on Facebook for exclusive competitions and gossip