Is this the last Last Night of the Proms?

Is this the last Last Night of the Proms?


norman lebrecht

September 13, 2014

Watching the jollities that conclude the musical summer, it is impossible to expel the dark thought that this venerable national tradition could be dead in a week’s time once the Scots have cast their vote.

If they vote for independence, the nation will change overnight and forever. No more shared experience. No more simulcasts from all four corners of the kingdom. No more common destiny. No more Scots singing Britannia rules the waves.

We may be watching a swansong.

bbc proms



  • Andrew Condon says:

    And slightly ironic that the guest leader tonight of all nights was Australian! Natalie Chee is currently concertmaster of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra

    • John says:

      Ironic in what sense? Was it ironic that the conductor was Finnish? Or that the violin soloist was Dutch? Were the flags from innumerable nations that were on display being waved ironically? Was the Sikh gentleman who was singing in the BBC Symphony Chorus wearing his Union Flag turban ironically? Or were he and everyone else making a different point – one evidently too subtle for some people to grasp – that the Proms is a British institution that reaches out to the world and invites everyone in for the profoundly civilised purpose of making and enjoying music?

      (and I write as someone with no tub to thump and who loves the music of Elgar and Birtwistle in equal measure)

      • Andrew Condon says:

        Australia ditched God save the Queen years ago – may well become a republic after the Queen’s days – and as a nation are hardly renowned for their love of the tub thumping Empire Loyalist twaddle referred to below. That’s what I thought was slightly ironic.

  • Neil McGowan says:

    Sadly, it’s only this rancid parade of tub-thumping Empire Loyalist twaddle that secures funding for the Proms series. I suspect if the LNOTP were to be scrapped or remodelled, funding for the rest of the Proms concerts would cease forthwith.

    Will RW’s successor have the guts to deal with the UKIP Parade with which the Proms now closes?? I strongly doubt it.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      I am with you here, lets get rid of the LNOTP in its present guise and replace it with a last night featuring the works of James Dillon, Iannis Xenakis and the melodic beauty of Harrison Birtwistle………they will be queuing around the RAH for hours to get in!

  • SVM says:

    We need some perspective here. The future format of the Last Night of the Proms (a concert that is not at all representative of the Proms as a whole, to be honest) should not be a consideration in determining the sovereignty of Scotland. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Scots to shake themselves free of the self-serving, corrupt, and warmongering Westminster establishment, which (irrespective of whether it is ostensibly run by the Tories or by Labour) is continuing to impose ideologically motivated austerity and privatisation to the detriment of society at large and of the arts.

  • Richard says:

    Norman. Rule, Britannia is not sung at Prom in the Park in Scotland. This year is no different to any previous years to my knowledge. Just as Highland Cathedral is not sung at the RAH.

  • Keith Howard says:

    This is after the event and have just come across this post but ,,,,Speaking as an Australian . …We consider ourselves AS AN EXTENSION OF BRITAIN Our forefathers came from there and considered it the homeland . Is that strange ?
    We. love the Queen and all things British!! …We do not want to be a republic .!.
    Our ancestry is in Britain and our grandfathers fought for Britain and with Britain in ww1 and ww2….so rule Britannia!!
    Natalie Chee is also partly of Brtitish extraction …and a jolly good concertmaster.Superb !