When someone mentions The Proms to you, what comes to mind? A high school graduation ceremony maybe? Maybe you think of a silly movie or a television show? Or is it a classical music concert instead? If you guessed the third one, you nailed it exactly… it’s an eight week summer marathon of classical music concerts held at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and what a concert marathon it is. It has been described at the world’s largest music festival, and it certainly lives up to that reputation.
The Proms got started way back in August, 1885 as part of an effort to open up classical music to the common people of London. Classical music was a key part of society at the time, but it was generally reserved for those with money. The Proms was a chance for people to enjoy some outstanding compositions in a very social setting. That tradition has carried through from its humble beginnings right up to present day.
In 2013, The Proms gets started on Friday, the 12th of July, and carries through to Saturday the 7th of September giving you the chance to see as many as 75 performances through the summer. Of course that would be a bit much for most of us, so I’d suggest that you pick a few…one or two to attend. One in particular I am looking forward to attending is Prom 65: Film Music Prom on Saturday the 31st of August.
The beauty of The Proms is that you do not have to dress formally, nor are you expected to sit in an assigned seat in the concert hall. Instead, you are encouraged to stroll around while the orchestra is playing.
One thing to note is that generally, unless you buy a full or half-season pass, tickets are only available on the day of the concert. If there is a particular composer or artist you wish to see, you will need to queue up early in the day to be sure you get an entry ticket.
If you haven’t given much thought to classical music in the past, now you have the opportunity to expand your musical horizons a little and discover what just might become your new favourite summer event.