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BBC Proms 2020 programme revealed with virtual performances

BBC Proms 2020 dates and season

bbc proms

The BBC Proms 2020 has unveiled its programming for the summer season.

The 2020 BBC Proms will take place 17 July – 12 September 2020, marking 125 years since the first Proms season.

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The Proms will once again provide a remarkable summer of music, fulfilling founder-conductor Sir Henry Wood’s vision to ‘bring the greatest classical music to the widest possible audience’.

Due to current lockdown and social distancing restrictions, the original programme has been "reconceived" but the BBC say they still plan "to create the world’s greatest classical music festival by reflecting world class music-making from leading artists around the globe, highlighting emerging talent, and featuring work by some of today’s most exciting and innovative composers."

The season will feature BBC archive of Proms concerts, which we will delve into to deliver a broadcast festival across BBC radio, television, and online like no other. From Friday 17 July BBC Radio 3 will present past Proms concerts every evening, as well as a weekly Late Night Prom, and a Monday lunchtime offering.

Joining the celebrations on the opening weekend, BBC Four will then broadcast stand-out Proms each Sunday throughout the festival. Further highlights of TV Proms over the years will also be available on BBC iPlayer for audiences to enjoy this summer.

From Friday 28 August the focus of the Proms moves from the past into the present with the ambition 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 to bring the nation together.

Working strictly within the government advice at the time, organisers hope to present live performance to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC Four and iPlayer. 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.

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There will also be a digital Proms season, beginning right at the start of the festival with a unique First Night commission performed by all the BBC Orchestras and BBC Singers. Featuring over 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 9 symphonies has been specially created by Iain Farrington, which will be a spectacular digital springboard for the summer.

Every archive Proms broadcast will be available to watch or listen live and on-demand on BBC iPlayer or BBC Sounds. In addition there will be specially curated, on-demand music mixes on BBC Sounds and further TV highlights of Proms over the years on BBC iPlayer.

David Pickard, Director BBC Proms, said: “These are challenging 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.”

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