The very first international season of BBC Proms, the world’s largest classical music festival, launched in Melbourne. Staged over four days from April 13-16, 2016 at Hamer Hall Arts Centre Melbourne, BBC Proms Australia brought the magic of the Proms to Australian audiences, providing a taster of the iconic UK festival. A triumphant celebration of classical music, this was the first time the Proms had been held outside of the UK in this format.
A world-class concert experience, the BBC Proms Australia showcased the talents of a range of musicians, offering a mix of traditional repertoire alongside new Australian commissions from Nigel Westlake and Gordon Hamilton. Iconic works from Berlioz, Bernstein and Saint-Saëns stood side by side with contemporary pieces such as Gordon Hamilton’s Thum Prints.
Internationally renowned Chief Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Sir Andrew Davis stepped up to the podium alongside QSO’s Music Director Designate, Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra, who is known for her vibrant and spellbinding performances. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra took to the stage, joined by a stellar line-up of soloists.
BBC Proms Australia included the stunning Life Story Prom, based on the landmark BBC series of the same name and premiered in the 2015 BBC Proms in London, narrated for television by Sir David Attenborough.
This festival of classical music came to a climax with the Last Night of the Proms, an evening of popular favourites to round off the Australian season in traditional BBC Proms style.