Everything you need to know about the Last Night of the Proms

The Last Night of the Proms is always a special event and, after two difficult years for classical music, this year's should be particularly memorable, as audiences return to the Royal Albert Hall for a spectacular festival finale

Sheku Kanneh-Mason will be playing at the Last Night of the Prpms
Published: April 26, 2022 at 10:06 am
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When is the 2022 Last Night of the Proms?

This year’s Last Night of the Proms is taking place on Saturday 10 September at the Royal Albert Hall. The concert is scheduled to start at 7.15pm in the Royal Albert Hall, with accompanying TV and radio coverage.

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Who is conducting the 2022 Last Night of the Proms?

In a reversal of last year’s schedule, in which she conducted the First Night of the Proms, Dalia Stasevska is set to conduct this year’s Last Night.

As the BBC Symphony Orchestras principal guest conductor, she also conducted the 2020 Last Night of the Proms under rather odd circumstances – without an audience.

In 2020, Stasevska won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Conductor Award for her work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. BBC Music Magazine spoke to her about her win and about her time with the orchestra so far.

She also holds the position of chief conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in her home country of Finland, and is one of many Finnish conductors to have made waves in the UK, alongside colleague Sakari Oramo and others including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Hannu Lintu, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Klaus Mäkelä and John Storgårds

Who is the soloist for this years Last Night of the Proms?

The Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen and British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason (pictured) are this year’s Last Night of the Proms soloists, joining the BBC Symphony Orchestra and its principal guest conductor Dalia Stasevska in the usual Last Night tradition.

What is on the programme for the 2021 Last Night of the Proms?

In addition to the familiar classics, fanfares and anthems, the programme includes arias by Wagner and Verdi and the radiant Easter Hymn from Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, as well as Doreen Carwithen’s career-establishing 1945 concert overture ODTAA and the world premiere of a new work by fast-rising British composer James B. Wilson.

James B. Wilson 1922 (BBC commission: world premiere)
Coleridge-Taylor arr. Simon Parkin Deep River
Davydov arr. Simon Parkin At the Fountain
Wagner Tannhäuser – ‘Dich, teure Halle’
Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana – Easter Hymn
Verdi Macbeth – ‘Vieni t’affretta’
Carwithen ‘ODTAA (One Damn Thing After Another)’
Trad. arr. 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 Queen
Trad.
Auld Lang Syne

Lise Davidsen (soprano)
Sheku Kanneh-Mason (cello)
BBC Singers
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Dalia Stasevska

ind 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 Wood 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 2022 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 2022 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 10 October.

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Top image by Jake Turner

Authors

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.

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