Pick of the BBC Proms 2022: Presenters on the concerts they can’t wait to see

·8-min read
BBC Proms presenters Georgia Mann, Clive Myrie and Katie Derham in front of the Royal Albert Hall  (Richard Ansett)
BBC Proms presenters Georgia Mann, Clive Myrie and Katie Derham in front of the Royal Albert Hall (Richard Ansett)

Ahead of the First Night of the 2022 Proms next week, we asked nine of the TV presenters working on the BBC’s coverage of the great classical music festival for their picks of the 84 concerts taking place over the following two months...

EDITH BOWMAN

 (Holly McGlynn)
(Holly McGlynn)

Prom 4: Cynthia Erivo – Legendary Voices, Sunday 17 July, Royal Albert Hall

Cynthia Erivo is an extraordinary performer and having her as part of the Proms is going to be something truly special.

Prom 58: Public Service Broadcasting – This New Noise, Tuesday 30 August, Royal Albert Hall

The night I’m hosting features the band Public Service Broadcasting and they are phenomenal live, so I’m excited to see what they do with being part of the Proms, they thrive on big events and challenges.

Prom 27: National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain plays Elfman, Gershwin and Ravel, Saturday 6 August, Royal Albert Hall

And finally the stars of tomorrow, the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain brings all its signature energy and joy to a truly kaleidoscopic programme: works by Danny Elfman and Gershwin, followed by Ravel’s luscious complete ballet Daphnis and Chloé.

KATIE DERHAM

 (Richard Ansett)
(Richard Ansett)

Prom 2: John Wilson conducts the Sinfonia of London, Sat 16 July, Royal Albert Hall

Prommers’ favourite John Wilson is back on the first Saturday of the Proms 2022, at the helm of his newly resurrected Sinfonia of London orchestra. Their Prom last year was an absolute smash; I can’t wait to see what they do this year.

Prom 7: Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Tue 19 July, Royal Albert Hall

I always love the relaxed atmosphere of a late-night Prom, and am so pleased they’re back this year. This will be the second Late Night Prom for 2022, full of beauty and atmosphere, with the glorious singing of Alice Coote, James Newby and Nicky Spence in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

Proms and the ENO at Printworks London – Glass Handel, Sat 3 September, Printworks, London

This will be a multimedia, full sensory immersion into Philip Glass and Handel at the extremely cool venue Printworks. It promises to be unforgettable, with its elements of dancing, beatboxing and live painting.

SIAN ELERI

 (Handout)
(Handout)

Prom 3: Radio 1 Relax at the Proms, Saturday 16 July, Royal Albert Hall

It will be an honour to present the first late-night Prom of 2022, set to be extraordinary – multi-hyphenated, critically-acclaimed, genre-bending hip-hop wordsmith Kojey Radical will grace the stage, alongside the 12 Ensemble and very special guests for a mellow, nocturnal performance.

Prom 54: Earth Prom with Chris Packham, Saturday 27 August, Royal Albert Hall

If the spectacular splendour of the BBC Studios Natural History Unit’s documentaries are anything to go by, this Prom will be a feast for the senses. Weaving compositions by Hans Zimmer with stunning BBC Earth footage, it’ll be a storytelling masterclass.

Prom 60: BBC Open Music Prom, Thursday 1 September, Royal Albert Hall

For me, there’s no greater thrill than finding young, emerging musical talent – so hearing that 30 rising stars will perform a sonic concoction of records from Debussy’s Clair de Lune to Bill Withers’ Lovely Day will be glorious.

JESS GILLAM

 (Handout)
(Handout)

Prom 19a: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, Sunday 31 July, Royal Albert Hall

Music cannot cease conflict and correct the atrocities in the war between Russia and Ukraine but it does have the potential to play a role in healing and consoling. This Prom will be extremely poignant.

Prom 27: National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain plays Elfman, Gershwin and Ravel, Saturday 6 August, Royal Albert Hall

To see a group of teenagers come together to create a massive force of sound is always inspiring. I’ve had the privilege of working with National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and their love for music and their ecstatic energy is palpable!

Prom 47: Aretha Franklin – Queen of Soul, Monday 22 August, Royal Albert Hall

Aretha Franklin wrote and brought to life some of the greatest songs ever and Jules Buckley will reimagine them with such love and care in this Prom. The only downside might be that the night just won’t be long enough!

GEORGIA MANN

 (Richard Ansett)
(Richard Ansett)

Prom 1: First Night of the Proms, Verdi’s Requiem, Friday 15 July, Royal Albert Hall

The Last Night tends to get all the attention - but the First Night is when the party starts! Verdi’s Requiem is an awesome piece: mighty tunes, massed voices, moments of haunting beauty. The ultimate opener.

Prom 16: BBC NOW play Carwithen’s Bishop Rock, Grace Williams’ Sea Sketches and Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, Wednesday 27 July, Royal Albert Hall

Doreen Carwithen and Grace Williams both write really vivid, melodic music and they’ll transport us to the Northern Atlantic and Welsh coast respectively. A Sea Symphony has a choral opening which hits like a mighty wave.

Prom 45: Amjad Ali Kahn and sons - Sarod Master, Sunday 21 August, Royal Albert Hall

Indian music has such an enveloping, entrancing feel and the sarod is a huge part of its sound. Amjad Ali Kahn is a master sarod player and this is a chance to see him play alongside his sons.

MEGAN MCCUBBIN

 (Handout)
(Handout)

Prom 19a: Ukranian Freedom Orchestra, Sunday 31 July, Royal Albert Hall

With the devastation of the war, I feel that the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra represents the strength and hope of their nation. I cannot wait to be transported by their music, and their message.

Prom 56: The South African Jazz Songbook, Sunday 28 August, Royal Albert Hall

I have spent a lot of time in Africa growing up, and always had a huge affinity for the music (and dancing). I think it’s because I have always loved a strong rhythm, especially the pieces involving the saxophone.

Prom 21: Gaming Prom – From 8-Bit to Infinity, Monday 1 August, Royal Albert Hall

I wouldn’t say I’m a gamer… but, the music from popular games is something we will all recognise and potentially relate to. It’s a great idea to have this orchestral performance, helping to engage a new audience in the Proms.

CLIVE MYRIE

 (Richard Ansett)
(Richard Ansett)

Prom 1: First Night of the Proms, VERDI’S REQUIEM, Friday 15 July, Royal Albert Hall

It is the Proms’ first night and Verdi’s masterpiece will feature not one, but two choruses, the BBC Symphony Chorus and Crouch End Festival Chorus, along with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. And if all that wasn’t enough to blow you sideways, the soloists include the acclaimed soprano, Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha. I cannot wait for this curtain raiser on the greatest music festival on earth.

Proms and the ENO at Printworks London – Glass Handel, Sat 3 September, Printworks, London

The variety and range of music this year is astonishing, and this production in collaboration with English National Opera combining music, dance, theatre, video, audio soundscapes and haute couture, all to the beat of new music by Philip Glass as well as Handel, has really caught my eye. Barely any tickets left, you better get your skates on!

Prom 19a: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, Sunday 31 July, Royal Albert Hall

Comprising refugee musicians, as well as men of fighting age given special exemption to participate, the Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra is stopping off for a Proms performance as part of a European and American tour. Works include the Ukrainian composer Valentin Sylvestrov’s 7th Symphony, and Chopin’s 2nd Piano Concerto. It promises to be an emotional and moving performance.

CHRIS PACKHAM

 (Jo Charlesworth)
(Jo Charlesworth)

Prom 12: CBeebies Prom, Ocean Adventure, Saturday 23 July, Royal Albert Hall

I love the idea of introducing young people to music in such a fantastic venue as the Royal Albert Hall. And of course the fact this Prom is based around life under the ocean makes it even better in my book.

The range of relaxed Proms (Prom 3; Prom 23; Prom 68)

As a child, trips to classical concerts were made to feel like a religious experience, so the fact that people can come along and enjoy the music without those pressures and formalities, able to relax, really appeals to me.

Prom 22: Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony from Memory, Tuesday 2 August, Royal Albert Hall

I am in awe that the Aurora Orchestra are doing their Prom from memory. I can’t read music, and they probably have a different mind-set from mine, but I’d look for patterns in the music and remember those.

PETROC TRELAWNY

 (Handout)
(Handout)

Prom 13: Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers, Sunday 24 July, Royal Albert Hall

Earlier in the summer, Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers was a revelation at Glyndebourne; it is a key part of the story of British opera, with influences of Bizet, Brahms and Wagner in the score. It is great that Proms audiences get a chance to hear the work.

Prom 26: Semyon Bychkov and the Labèque Sisters, Friday 5 August, Royal Albert Hall

The dynamic of a concerto with two soloists is always thrilling – especially when they are the Labèque Sisters. I am looking forward to their performance Bohuslav Martinů’s Concerto for Two Pianos – the work of a Czech composer exiled to America by the Second World War.

Proms at Battersea: Leif Ove Andsnes – Mozart Momentum 3, Monday 8 August, Battersea Arts Centre, London

Monday Chamber Proms take to the road this year – with concerts from Truro to Belfast. But London audiences don’t miss out. I am very excited at the thought of introducing Leif Ove Andsnes and members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra playing Mozart at Battersea Arts Centre.

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