Everything you need to know about this year’s First Night of the Proms

Despite an intensely challenging year, the Proms are back this year with audiences welcomed into the Royal Albert Hall. But what's planned for this year's First Night of the Proms?

Everything you need to know about this year's First Night of the Proms

When is the 2021 First Night of the Proms?

This year’s First Night of the Proms will take place on Friday 30 July. The concert is scheduled to begin at 7.30pm with accompanying coverage on BBC TV and radio.

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Who is conducting the 2021 First Night of the Proms?

Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska is set to conduct this year’s First Night of the Proms for the first time. As the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s principal guest conductor, she conducted the 2020 Last Night of the Proms under rather odd circumstances – without an audience.

Late last year, 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.

What is the programme for the 2021 First Night of the Proms?

Featured in the programme for this year’s First Night of the Proms is Vaughan Williams‘s Serenade to Music, written to celebrate Proms founder Henry Wood‘s 50th anniversary on the podium back in 1938. Wood gave the premiere of the work at his jubilee concert in the Royal Albert Hall that year.

Also in this year’s First Night of the Proms programme is a newly commissioned work by James MacMillan, as well as Poulenc‘s Organ Concerto, which is written for relatively small forces – perfectly suited to a concert season scheduled to take place following the coronavirus pandemic.

Programme to include:

Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music
Poulenc: Organ Concerto
Sir James MacMillan: When Soft Voices Die (BBC Proms co-commission: world premiere)

Daniel Hyde (organ)
BBC Singers
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Dalia Stasevska

Find out more about all the premiere performances scheduled for the 2021 BBC Proms.

What are the best First Night of the Proms from history? We pick out some of our favourites.

Why are the Proms called the Proms? We explain the history behind the term and how the BBC Proms came to be.

Martin Owen, principal horn for the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Martin Owen, principal horn for the BBC Symphony Orchestra

How can I watch the 2021 First Night of the Proms?

The First Night of the Proms will be broadcast live to watch on BBC Four and to listen to on BBC iPlayer. Find out more about which other Proms will be available to watch on BBC TV here.

If you want to attend the First Night of the Proms in person, we explain how to buy tickets for the BBC Proms here. If 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.

Who is presenting the 2021 First Night of the Proms?

The First Night of the Proms TV coverage will be hosted by Katie Derham.

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Will the First Night of the Proms be available on BBC iPlayer?

Yes, the First Night of the Proms will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer until 11 October.

Proms Presenter Katie Derham at the Royal Albert Hall BBC Proms 2021