Going live at the BBC Proms

Going live at the BBC Proms


norman lebrecht

April 14, 2011

The BBC Proms were greeted with the biggest-ever burst of tweets and blogs today – not just because the world’s gone mad on social media but because the content this year feels exceptionally buzzy and live.

There’s a comedy night, for instance, and a performance of what might claim to be a bigger symphony than Mahler’s eighth – Havergal Brian’s Gothic.
But the event that got me leaping out of my seat is a late-night extempore concert given by Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra on September 2. Apparently, Ivan hands around sheets with about 300 named works on them and the audience get to choose what they want to hear.
Interactive, or what? Can we tweet in our choices? That would be so summer of 2011…


  • What would also be fun is to have an artist at, say, the piano, sitting and waiting to find out which concerto or concerti pair the audience chooses! Of course, both the soloist and orchestra would have to be able to perform one or two out of a number of concerti–maybe a list of ten to choose from would work. Here’s my list:
    Beethoven: Emperor #5
    Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue or Concerto in F
    Grieg a minor
    Liszt: 1
    Prokofiev: 3
    Rachmaninov 2 or 3
    Saint-Saens: 2
    Tschaikowsky: 1
    That’s 10. Add for unusual measure the shorter Leroy Anderson Concerto and Keith Emerson Concerto. They can have a shorter concerto pairing: Choose one from Column A and one from Column B!
    This could be fun!!