Image shows the BBC Proms logo in the top right corner and a woman in the middle of the image looking down.

Nottingham gets its first BBC Prom – with some local heroes and the BBC Concert Orchestra

Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall is set to make a bit of musical history this September when it hosts its first BBC Prom with the BBC Concert Orchestra. The matinee performance at 4pm on Sunday 8 September builds on the orchestra’s residency in Nottingham, which began in the autumn of 2022, in partnership with the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University and in association with the Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall. It also draws on several local connections, both in its colourful programme and its featured artists.

Nottingham’s legendary hero, Robin Hood, provides the concert’s opener, with the overture to Doreen Carwithen’s colourful score to the 1954 movie, The Men of Sherwood Forest and Erich Korngold’s Oscar-winning music to The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn. Nottingham’s industrial past is the focus of Lace Machine Music, a new Proms Commission from Dr Elizabeth Kelly, Associate Professor in Music Composition at the University of Nottingham, whilst Nottingham pianist, Clare Hammond, provides the virtuoso thrills in Rachmaninov’s perennially popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Completing this colourful line-up is Sibelius’s atmospheric and purposeful Third Symphony, which marked a decisive shift in the composer’s style towards a more concentrated soundworld.

Neil Bennison, Music Programmer at the Royal Concert Hall, said, “We are really thrilled to be hosting our first BBC Prom in Nottingham with the BBC Concert Orchestra, which has added an exciting new dimension to the orchestra programme at our venue. Those who have been attending concerts here over the Royal Concert Hall’s forty-year history will know that it’s a really special place to hear live orchestras and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to showcase its exceptional sound to hundreds of new concert-goers here and millions more worldwide on the radio and online.”

And on Saturday 7 September at the Albert Hall, Nottingham, audiences will be the first to hear pieces composed by the most recent winners of the BBC Young Composer competition, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and presented by Jess Gillam. Mentored by composers Gavin Higgins and Helen Grime, the young composers have been inspired by Luke Jerram’s artwork Gaia, a seven-metre-tall replica of the Earth, and by soundscapes created through a biodiversity project run by University College London’s People and Nature Lab.

Anna-Maria Helsing – Conductor

Clare Hammond  – Piano

Carwithen – The Men of Sherwood Forest: Overture

Elizabeth Kelly – Lace Machine Music (BBC Proms Commission)

Rachmaninov – Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Korngold – The Adventures of Robin Hood (excerpts)

Sibelius – Symphony No. 3

Posted on 30 April 2024

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Georgia Cowdrey