BBC Proms site is studded with howlers

A sharp-eyed Slipped Disc readers has spotted the following on the BBC Radio 3 site:

Bryn Terfyl (sic) performing the title role in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov.

The John Wilson Orchestra performing the best of Ira Gershwin, marking the 120th anniversary of the composer’s (!) birth.

Ten cello concertos, starting with Elgar’s Cello Concerto, performed by Sol Gabetta on the First Night (all 10 performed on 1st night?)

All this in a one-page summary.

More signs of a dromedary season designed by committee.

bbc proms


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  • Not for nothing, but I am bit surprised that they aren’t quickly adding a tribute to their fellow countryman, the late Keith Emerson. Would have been a good opportunity to program the Takashi Yoshimatsu orchestral arrangement of ‘Tarkus’ and the Piano Concerto. Maybe it’s not too late.

  • Coming from the blog that was discussing a “raped” violin yesterday, that mislabeled the Bavarian State Orchestra on Tuesday, and that reported that a Baroque orchestra had “slipt” in two on Monday (the latter of two errors were pointed out and are still uncorrected), it’s a bit rich to gloat at the mistakes of others.

    As for the Sol Gabetta “error”, only someone with deliberate bad faith would deem this confusing (clearly, “starting with Elgar’s Cello Concerto […] on the first night” is not that confusing for anyone who does not want to be confused.

    • Yes…I had a certain sense of pots and the name-calling of kettles when I read this…

      Nonetheless, nobody takes this site seriously. Presumably professionals are paid to produce the Proms programme, and it is a great pity that they apparently cannot spell, look up spelling, edit, use punctuation for its purpose — clarification of meaning — or find someone knowledgeable to check copy when the drafts are concluded.

      It is clearly too much to hope that they would actually KNOW anything, such as the dates (approximately) of Ira Gershwin, or have see Bryn Terfel’s name around so as to know instinctively when they saw it misspelt (after which they should check their memory against a credible source, just to be sure). Those days are gone (and this site seems to be revelling in the relative lack of scrutiny).

      • The BBC’s radio and TV output is full of mispronunciations, grammatical errors and countless spelling errors (I particularly liked one caption writer’s reference to the “hospital chaplin” -charlies all round, I guess), so is it any wonder that their websites are anything but blemish-free?

  • More than a few typos have been missed in the main brochure on the website, including these –

    Apparently this version of Boris Godunov will be performed without Chorus!
    Haydn’s Paukenmesse is just 4 minutes in length??
    Bartók and Fauré get their accents – Dvořák listed three times has none (but weirdly accents ARE included in the explanations)!
    The 17 August concert concludes with The Mastersingers of Nuremberg! But at 10 minutes clearly the work “Prelude” has been omitted.

    • They will perform the short version of the Paukenmesse which is only the timpany part with the rests cut.

  • This is the website, presumably. If it was the printed programme, it’d be disgraceful – this is produced by skilled people, paid to get it right. But posting website listings is the most thankless and wretched of endless data-input jobs, usually delegated to the lowest of the low paid, or (in the case of a lot of UK arts sector interns, until recently), unpaid. And often at the last minute. Please, make constructive sugestions, or give ’em a break.

    • Well, the printed version has its fair share, e.g. the BBC Symphony Chorus (who may still exist by July despite BBC mismanagement) appearing at a purely orchestral prom.

    • Though the printed Official Guide is not without mistakes either – for example the soloist on 27 July, Chloe Hanslip, who featured on Radio 3’s In Tune programme on the launch day, is somehow omitted from the Index of Artists on pp 164-5!

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