After last year's performers were forced to play to a silent auditorium, the Royal Albert Hall is opening its doors to audiences once again for this year's BBC Proms in celebration of the venue's 150th-anniversary year.
52 concerts are scheduled over 44 days, with over 2000 musicians taking part – more than 50 of whom will be taking part for the very first time, including pianist and former BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year winner Víkingur Ólafsson, violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and cellist and vocalist Abel Selaocoe. The cello and piano-playing siblings Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason performed together at the Proms last year for the first time to an empty hall, but will be joined again this year by the rest of the highly talented Kanneh-Mason family and a handful of musical friends for a rendition of Saint-Saëns's Carnival of the Animals.
Musicians from the contemporary pop and jazz worlds are also due to perform in this year's Proms season for the very first time, not least saxophonist Nubya Garcia and singer-songwriter Moses Sumney, the latter of whom will take to the stage with Jules Buckley and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
This year's First Night of the Proms sees the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing under its principal guest conductor Dalia Stasevksa, who led last year's Last Night. They'll be joined by organist Daniel Hyde – director of music at King's College, Cambridge – in Poulenc's Organ Concerto, a piece perfectly chosen for social distancing, thanks to its comparatively small forces. They'll also play Vaughan Williams's Serenade to Music and a new companion piece, When Soft Voices Die, by James MacMillan. Vaughan Williams's work was first performed at the BBC Proms under Proms founder Henry Wood in 1938. Find out more about what's planned for the 2021 First Night of the Proms here.
John Wilson, who is a mainstay of the BBC Proms and is known for his interpretations of Hollywood and Broadway tunes, returns this year with his newly reformed ensemble, the Sinfonia of London.
The anniversaries of composers such as Josquin des Prez, Ruth Gipps, Igor Stravinsky and Malcolm Arnold will be celebrated in this year's programming, alongside premiere performances of newly commissioned Proms works by Augusta Read Thomas, Britta Byström, Grace-Evangeline Mason and Gity Razaz.
Find out more about the premiere performances scheduled for this year's BBC Proms.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra returns with principal conductor Sakari Oramo for this year's Last Night of the Proms, with Latvian accordionist Ksenija Sidorova. For more information on the 2021 Last Night of the Proms, click here.
As always, you can catch every Prom this year live on BBC Radio 3 and to listen back later on BBC Sounds. 20 concerts will be broadcast on BBC TV and iPlayer. Find out more about which Proms will be available to watch on BBC TV this year.
To attend the Proms in person, seated tickets will be available from £7.50 for under-18s and Promming tickets will be on sale from £6, subject to further coronavirus regulations. Booking will be split into two booking periods for the two halves of the season. Find out more details on how to buy tickets for this year's BBC Proms season here.
This year's season will take place from Friday 30 July to Saturday 11 September.
For this year's complete 2021 BBC Proms schedule, click here.
Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.