Magazine article Gramophone

The Proms-A Music Festival for the World

Magazine article Gramophone

The Proms-A Music Festival for the World

Article excerpt

'The world's greatest music festival.' If Daniel Barenboim can use that phrase about the Proms, then--despite being London-based and so susceptible to charges of bias--so can we. In scope and scale of repertoire and range of artists, it is unrivalled. When it comes to accessibility, the opportunity to turn up on the day and, for a modest sum, stand feet away from the world's greatest performers is quite a selling point. As is the opportunity to tune in or log on to BBC Radio 3, BBC Two or BBC Four, or the Proms website to enjoy the concerts. Not that the Proms needs a selling point: 114,000 tickets were bought in the first 12 hours of sale.

All of which makes it easy to be complacent. To attend the Royal Albert Hall during the Proms--or indeed many other city-centre concert halls during the main concert season--might render talk of classical music being a marginal activity as somewhat absurd. But, in truth, it is in danger of becoming so. Knowledge about, and enthusiasm for, classical music in the wider world can be, frankly, limited at best. …

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