Return Of The Proms
The Lloyds TSB Welsh Proms 2008 by David Heyman (Youth Editorial Group)
July brings with it the promise of a series of delightful musical extravaganzas known to us all as the Welsh Proms. Starting on Sat 12 with the last night of the Proms on Sat 26, not only does the line-up boast some of the greatest musical talent of this age, it is also a very special year for music in Cardiff as we are celebrating 25 years of St David’s Hall.
This will also possibly be the most musically diverse Prom in the event’s long history for it sees not only the return of the immensely successful Tiddly Prom (Fri 18-Sun 20), an event aimed to entertain the youngest of the audience, but also a Folk Prom (Tue 22), and for the first time this year, a Gamelan Prom (Sat 12) displaying all the wonderful sounds and the stories of Java on the St David’s Hall stage. The Primary Prom (Sat 12) - titled the Mozart Effect - brings with it an element of learning and is themed around the early life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The name of this Prom actually comes from the scientific theory on which the event will be based where there will be tests to see if listening to Mozart improves intellect. The Hall’s massive pipe organ is given a rare chance to sing again during the Organ Prom on Mon 21 during a special lunchtime performance through the talented hands of Thomas Trotter.
There will also be eight massive orchestral concerts including the welcome return of the orchestra of the Welsh National Opera as they play in the Choral Prom (Sat 19) featuring the legendary Bryn Terfel and Grammy-nominated Rebecca Evans, who will be singing Mendelssohn’s Elijah. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra perform for the Tchaikovsky Prom (Thurs 17) while the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra can be heard on Sun 20 during the Beethoven Prom.?The BBC National Orchestra of Wales perform in the Romantic Favourites Prom and will be supporting cello soloist Sonia Wieder-Atherton during the Pictures And Portraits Prom. This will be her very first Welsh visit and appropriately Sonia’s repertoire for the event includes Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition.?
Last but not least, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra round off the season with three fantastic concerts; the Russian Ballet Prom (Thurs 24), the Grand Classic Prom (Fri 25) and the ever spectacular Last Night Of The Welsh Proms (Sat 26). Other soloists of the season include Tasmin Little, who will be performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto (Thurs 17), pianist Angela Hewitt who will be playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 (Fri 18) and Freddy Kempf, who follows the theme with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 5 (Fri 25). Then on the Last Night Of The Welsh Proms, Maya Kock takes to the stage with her violin and provides us with a magnificent programme of Strauss, Vaughan Williams and Elgar.
Truly the Proms will be deserving of its place as one of the biggest and best musical events of the year and, thanks to the artistic direction of Owain Arwel Hughes OBE and the sponsorship of Lloyds TSB, St David’s Hall has never been more alive.