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The Proms (The Promenade Concerts)

The Proms are a selection of classical music concerts held over 8 weeks in the summer.

  • They are mostly held in the Royal Albert Hall, London, although there are a few other locations. ‘Prom in the Park’ – held in Hyde Park – has become a recent success
  • The Proms began in 1885
  • The Proms is actually a formalisation of an old tradition: since the 1700s there have been regular public classical musical performances in London
  • There are now over 100 concerts held during The Proms
  • Many Prom concerts remember anniversaries of famous composers (for example, 250 years since Handel’s death; 200 years since Chopin’s birth)
  • The Proms are also called the BBC Proms, because the BBC promotes it
  • The most famous night is The Last Night of the Proms. On this evening the musicians play a variety of well-known classical music and ‘British’ classical music. The crowd is very pro-British (wearing hats designed like the British flag, and cheering British songs). This night is very different from the rest of The Proms.
  • The Last Night of the Proms is loved by many, and hated by many. The people who don’t like it are embarrassed by the pro-British crowd, the silly behaviour, and think it represents a love of the British Empire.
  • Despite the silliness, conducting The Last Night of the Proms is a huge honour for a British conductor
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