Melbourne to host first BBC Proms outside UK

For the first time in its 120-year history, the world’s largest classical music festival is leaving the shores of the UK. Its destination? Melbourne, Australia.

BBC Proms is going down under to Melbourne.

BBC Proms is going down under to Melbourne. Image by Paul Hudson / CC BY 2.0

During four days in April 2016, the inaugural BBC Proms Australia will be held at Hamer Hall and feature performances by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Symphony Orchestra, as well as an impressive line up of soloists. The program aims to have something for everyone, with traditional Proms favourites being played alongside contemporary Australian commissions from composers Nigel Westlake and Gordon Hamilton.

Little ones are also catered for, with the Sydney Youth Orchestra set to perform Classics for Kids, an interactive concert aimed at two- to six-year-olds featuring works by some of history’s most popular classical composers.

Taking the podium on the first and final nights, Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davies, is said to have been instrumental in bringing the Proms to Australia. The world-renowned British conductor led a number of Proms during 1990s during his tenure as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and will be the subject of one of several pre-concert talks held in the days leading up to the festival in Melbourne.

In keeping with the festival’s aim of making a wide range of music accessible to a large audience, a limited number of tickets will be withheld from sale until the night of each performance, where they will be available from the door for $20.

Those who are worried the essence of the Proms might be lost during its hemispheric shift need not despair: Melbourne will farewell the festival with Last Night classics Rule Britannia! and Jerusalem, just as the Brits have been doing for years.

For a detailed line up, ticket sales and more, visit http://bbcpromsaustralia.com.

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