BBC Proms in Dubai | 21 – 24 March 2017 | Dubai Opera
We are delighted to list the BBC Proms, the legendary series of concerts, taking place at Dubai Opera over four days from 21 to 24 March 2017. This is a unique opportunity to experience this great British classical music tradition – which typically culminates in the iconic Last Night of the Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Now in its 122nd year, the BBC Proms, is a much-loved British tradition that aims to bring the best classical music to as wide an audience as possible. We are very excited to share with you our highlights of this unique series of musical concerts.
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Prom 1 – First Night of the Proms | Tuesday 21 March | 20.00
BBC Proms Dubai opens with British composer Gary Carpenter’s Dadaville, written for and premiered by the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 2015.
Mohammed Fairouz will, for the first time in the UAE, perform Pax universalis – dedicated, at the suggestion of His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al-Faisal, to the children who have fallen victim to global conflict.
Benjamin Grosvenor, a 24-year-old British pianist, performs Benjamin Britten’s youthfully energetic piano concerto.
The night will close with William Walton’s First Symphony conducted by Edward Gardner – a Walton specialist and a long-time partner of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Prom 2 – BBC Singers: ‘Inspiration in Song’ | Wednesday 22 March | 20.00
The BBC Singers perform a programme of works exploring – in music and text – the tragedy of war, the imminence of death and the encounter of new love. The first half is built around three movements of Hubert Parry’s Songs of Farewell, written at the end of the composer’s life and reflecting his failing health and sadness at the continued destruction of the First World War. These haunting pieces, along with choral works by Finzi and Delius, are paired with the works of contemporary composers Mohammed Fairouz and former BBC Singer Judith Bingham, whose work The Drowned Lovers is designed to merge seamlessly into Stanford’s heavenly The Blue Bird.
The second half features the work of Dubai-based composer Joanna Marsh alongside the choral works of one of the greatest British composers of the 20th century, Michael Tippett, before concluding with the lighter side of that great musical chameleon Richard Rodney Bennett.
Prom 3 – BBC Symphony Orchestra | Thursday 23 March | 19.30
This concert opens with the world premiere of Dubai-based British composer Joanna Marsh’s Flare.
Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 inspired by Goethe vividy depict the journey of a boat that moves from an eerie stillness, through rising winds, leading to its ultimately safe arrival in port.
Edward Elgar’s first great orchestral success, Variations on an Original Theme (‘Enigma’), is full of virtuosic orchestral writing, combining wit and poignancy (not least in the glorious ‘Nimrod’ variation) as the composer depicts his ‘friends pictured within’.
Prom 4 – Late Night Prom: Tawadros Quartet | Thursday 23 March | 23.00
The ARIA Award winning Joseph Tawadros Quartet are not afraid to try new things. Challenging traditional musical forms, and pushing boundaries in meter and melody, they bring an exciting performing dynamic to the stage.
Joseph Tawadros Quartet features distinguished Sydney musicians, each a leader in his own field: Joseph Tawadros (oud), his brother James Tawadros on percussion, Matt McMahon (piano) and Karl Dunnicliff (double bass). The quartet is held together by the strength of Joseph’s original works, taking inspiration from the Arabic modal system (maqam) and blending them seamlessly with elements of western classical, jazz, world, folk and even metal and bluegrass. From thrilling and furiously paced numbers to beautifully introspective and tranquil tracks, it is woven together by Joseph’s trademark virtuosity and lyricism and the striking contemporary musicality of his oud.
Prom 5 – BBC Singers: ‘Voices from the Isles | Friday 24 March | 14.00
A choral exploration of the diverse sounds and influences of music in the British Isles, ranging from the archetypal collegiate-choir sound of Stanford’s Three Motets to traditional folk songs and musical settings of great poets. Alongside pieces written especially for two of Britain’s most famous choral groups – the BBC Singers and The King’s Singers – the programme ends with a celebration of two iconic British passions – tea and the seaside.
Prom 6 – Last Night of the Proms | Friday 24 March | 20.00
A great music festival should always have a party to end with and the Last Night of the Proms has become one of the best-known and best-loved musical events of the international calendar.
Featuring much-loved classics from Shostakovich and Debussy, Proms soloist Benjamin Grosvenor performs Saint-Saëns’s Second Piano Concerto, described by one contemporary wit as ‘starting with Bach and ending with Offenbach’; the BBC Singers join the orchestra for Handel’s most popular anthem, Zadok the Priest, written for the Coronation of King George II in 1727, and virtuoso oud player Joseph Tawadros gives the world premiere of his new work, hot on the heels of his quartet’s late-night BBC Proms Dubai concert of jazz-traditional fusion.
Add to this the traditional musical elements of the Last Night – Henry Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea-Songs and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 – with the whole evening presided over by Edward Gardner, a frequent guest both of the BBC Proms and the BBC Symphony Orchestra – and you have an unmissable event to mark the culmination of the first BBC Proms Dubai festival.
Words & Images: Credit Dubai Opera