Last Night of the Proms: Everything you need to know about this year's last night
The Last Night of the Proms is always a special event and a spectacular festival finale to the BBC Proms. Here's all you need to know about this year's last night
When is the 2023 Last Night of the Proms?
This year’s Last Night of the Proms is taking place on Saturday 9 September at the Royal Albert Hall. The concert is scheduled to start at 7pm in the Royal Albert Hall, with accompanying TV and radio coverage.
Who is conducting the 2023 Last Night of the Proms?
One of the world’s foremost conductors Marin Alsop will be behind the baton for the last night.
This is not her first last night. In 2013 she became the first ever woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms.
Who is the soloist for this year’s Last Night of the Proms?
What is on the programme for the 2023 Last Night of the Proms?
There will also be works from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Emmerich Kálmán and Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Strauss Don Juan
Bruch Kol Nidrei
Walton Coronation Te Deum
James B. Wilson: 1922 (BBC commission: world premiere)
Wagner Tannhäuser - ‘Dich, Teure halle’
Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana – Easter Hymn
Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana – Intermezzo
Verdi: Macbeth - ‘Vieni t’affretta’
Coleridge-Taylor, arr. Simon Parkin: Deep River
Kalman: The Gipsy Princess - ‘Heia, heia, in den Bergen ist mein Heimatland’Henry Wood: Fantasia on British Sea Songs
Thomas Arne Rule, Britannia!
Edward Elgar, arr. Anne Dudley Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D major (‘Land of Hope and Glory’)
Hubert Parry, orch. Edward Elgar Jerusalem
arr. Benjamin Britten The National Anthem ‘God Save the King’
Trad. Auld Lang Syne
Lise Davidsen (soprano)
Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello)
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Find out what we picked as the best Last Nights of the Proms from history.
What happens at the Last Night of the Proms?
The Last Night of the Proms has followed in the same format since Malcolm Sargent took over from Proms founder Henry Wood as chief conductor in 1947. It was he that decided to expand the viewership of the Proms and appeal to the masses with the concert sequence of ‘Rule Britannia’, Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance No. 1 ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and Parry’s Jerusalem.
It was also Sargeant who was responsible for helping cement the tradition of speech-giving at the Last Night. Henry Wood had given the first Last Night speech in 1941 at a time where the future of the festival was under question, but at that time it was not an annual tradition. Nowadays, the Last Night conductor is expected to give a speech on a subject of their choosing.
Often, they will discuss the state of music education and the importance of music and the arts in culture. In 2013, Marin Alsop became the first woman in Proms history to conduct the Last Night and mentioned her surprise at this fact in her speech, saying she was shocked that there could still be ‘firsts for women in 2013.’
The first half of the Last Night of the Proms concert tends to feature a more eclectic range of music, often with a few contemporary pieces thrown in for good measure. There’s often a premiere of a newly commissioned Proms work. The second half of the Last Night is more celebratory and – some would say – frivolous. The soloist will often adorn themselves in a festive outfit to sing ‘Rule Britannia’. If, as an audience member, you’re worried about what to wear to the BBC Proms, we have a tailor-made introduction to the Proms dress code just for you.
Why are the Proms called the Proms? We explain the history behind the term and how the BBC Proms came to be.
How can I watch the 2023 Last Night of the Proms?
The Last Night of the Proms will be broadcast live to watch on BBC One and Two and to listen to on BBC iPlayer.
If you want to attend the Last Night of the Proms in person, we explain how to buy tickets for the BBC Proms here.
Who is presenting the 2023 Last Night of the Proms?
The TV coverage of the Last Night of the Proms will be presented by Katie Derham.
Will the Last Night of the Proms be available on BBC iPlayer?
Yes, the Last Night of the Proms will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer until autumn 2024.
Photo (top): Jake Turney
Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.