First female conductor to lead Last Night of Proms

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AMERICAN conductor Marin Alsop will make history when she becomes the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms.

Alsop, a violinist who is also music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in the US and principal conductor of the Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, will take charge of the famous, flag-waving finale.

The Tardis will also make an appearance in the Royal Albert Hall, as part of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary.

The concerts, which begin on 12 July and run for two months, include a series of appearances by Nigel Kennedy, a complete performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle and a special urban music night starring Laura Mvula and Maverick Sabre.

Kennedy returns for three performances including two on one night when he will appear on stage at the Royal Albert Hall during the last night and at the Proms in the Park in Hyde Park.

The Doctor Who Prom, which runs over two nights, will include scenes from the show, soundtracked with music written by its teenage fans.

A 6 Music Prom, put together by the station’s Steve Lamacq and Radio 3’s Tom Service, will include performances by Cerys Matthews, Laura Marling and punk veterans The Stranglers.

There will also be gospel choirs, orchestras and soloists from around the world, music from the big screen and a performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring.

Roger Wright, director of BBC Proms and controller of BBC Radio 3, said: “The BBC Proms is the world’s largest and longest-running music festival which, over eight weeks every summer, welcomes the world’s leading orchestras, conductors and 

“With £5 ‘Promming’ tickets for the eighth year running and more ways than ever for people to enjoy the events in person, on radio, television and online, the BBC’s ongoing commitment to running the festival allows the Proms to be one of the best value-for-money experiences anywhere.

“From Wagner’s Ring Cycle to a celebration of urban music, it is a festival where there is something for everyone to enjoy.”

Apart from performances by various BBC orchestras, there will be appearances from top international orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, Olso Philharmonic and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In past years, hundreds of fans have queued for hours –and even overnight – outside the Royal Albert Hall for “Promming” tickets that provide a standing place in front of the stage for as little as £5.

Highlights of the concerts will be screened on BBC One, Two, Three and Four, as well as being broadcast on radio.