BBC Proms programme unveiled - includes live last night event

The baton goes up on the annual BBC Proms series in July with the hope that there will be live concerts in front of an audience at the Royal Albert Hall.

The eight weeks of music broadcast runs from Friday July 17 to Saturday September 12.

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Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event - now in its 125th year - will once provide a summer of music, fulfilling founder Sir Henry Wood’s vision to ‘bring the greatest classical music to the widest possible audience’ ... but in a different format.

David Pickard, director BBC Proms, said: “These are extraordinary times for our nation and the rest of the world, but they show that we need music and the creative industries more than ever.

“This year it is not going to be the Proms as we know them, but the Proms as we need them. We will provide a stimulating and enriching musical summer for both loyal Proms audiences and people discovering the riches we have to offer for the first time.

“The aim remains the same - to create the world’s greatest classical music festival.”The programme includes live music from Friday August 28 with unique First Night commission by Iain Farrington for Grand Virtual Orchestra to mark the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

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Delving into BBC ArchiveFor the first time we celebrate some of the best of the Proms from the BBC archive, .

From Friday July 17 BBC Radio 3 will present past Proms concerts every evening, as well as a weekly Late Night Prom and a Monday lunchtime offering.

This will be a rare opportunity to reconnect people with concerts and artists from the past as well as introducing these performances to new audiences.Joining the celebrations on the opening weekend, BBC Four will broadcast stand out

Proms each Sunday throughout the festival. Further TV highlights of Proms over the years will be available on BBC iPlayer.

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Live MusicFrom Friday August 28 the ambition is to have musicians performing live at the Royal Albert Hall across the final two weeks of the season, culminating in a poignant and unique Last Night of the Proms celebration to bring the nation together.

The range of work will vary from solo performances to ensemble work and feature some of the greatest musicians of our time alongside emerging talent.

The full schedule of events will be revealed nearer the time allowing the Proms to respond to the latest government advice.

Digital PromsThe digital offer will begin right at the start of the festival with an opening weekend commission performed by all the BBC Orchestras and BBC Singers.

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Featuring more than 350 musicians, this Grand Virtual Orchestra will see all the groups performing together.

To mark the 250th anniversary year of Beethoven’s birth, a new mash-up of Beethoven’s nine symphonies has been specially created by Iain Farrington, which will be a spectacular digital springboard for the summer.

Every live element will be captured for broadcast across radio, TV and online. Every archive Prom broadcast available live and on demand on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds.There will be specially curated, on-demand music mixes on BBC Sounds.

All About AudiencesRadio 3 is inviting audiences to get involved by requesting their favourite Proms performances.

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