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BBC Proms 2013

April 23, 2013

Marin Alsop will lead Last Night at the Proms Photo by rr jonesFrom the first concert, on July 12, to the Last Night at the Proms, on Sept. 7, conducted by Marin Alsop ("first woman conductor in charge of the big evening," headlined the BBC World News), and featuring Joyce DiDonato, it's something to read, ponder, put on your calendar.

The 11 a.m. PDT concerts are convenient for the West Coast; if you listen at work, use earphones.

Special events: a Proms Ring, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, on July 22, 23, 26, and 29 — with Tristan und Isolde taking a turn on July 27, conducted by Semyon Bychkov.

Verdi, Britten, and Lutoslawski — composers whose anniversaries are being marked this year — will also be explored during the 92-concert season. An unlikely institution to find itself becoming a regular Proms fixture is Doctor Who, whose 50 year anniversary is being marked. New initiatives this year include the first Prom dedicated to Gospel music,and an Urban Classic Prom.

Daniel Barenboim conducts the <em>Ring</em> New commissions this year include works from Thomas Adès, Julian Anderson, Diana Burrell, Anna Clyne, Edward Cowie, Tansy Davies, David Matthews, John McCabe, and John Woolwich.

If you see something especially appealing in the Proms program, please write and we'll have a People's Choice column item. SFCV's own Jeff Dunn has already done that:

I found at least 12 must-listen concerts, not counting the many great programs of more standard fare. The late-night contemporary concerts are especially appealing to me, like Stockhausen (Program 11, 7/19), Rzewski, Feldman (Program 50, 8/20), Zappa & Nancarrow (Program 25, 7/31).

Three Bantock works, and he's not even having an anniversary (Program 16, 7/24, Sapphic Poem, a masterpiece; Program 52, 8/21, Celtic Symphony; Program 64, 8/30, Witch of Atlas). Tippett's Midsummer Marriage (Program 45, 8/16) and Symphony No. 2 with Henze's Barcarolle (Program 26, 8/1). Also of interest are David Matthews' A Vision of the Sea (Program 6, 7/16), and Program 9, 7/18, with Stenhammar, Szymanowski, and Strauss' Alpine Symphony.

But most interesting of all to me is Ades' Totentanz, 45 minutes long! (Program 8, 7/17). Who could outdo Liszt? I am moving to London ...