London orchestra plays with audience. But not the BBC Proms

London orchestra plays with audience. But not the BBC Proms


norman lebrecht

August 07, 2020

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields will give one of London’s first indoor audience concerts on Sunday 23 August at 5pm & 7pm at St Stephen’s Church, Dulwich, it was decided today. The players last performed together on March 12.

There are no plans to play BBC Proms with an audience.



  • Anon says:


    • Anon2 says:

      Yes all indoor live performances currently illegal, the few pilot concerts arranged were postponed and that decision to be reviewed by the government on 15th August. Perhaps someone from SMTF would like to clarify?

      • Markus says:

        Well, it is clear from SMTF website:

        “We are keeping a very close eye on government announcements regarding indoor performances and, should we need to reschedule these concerts, will offer everyone who has booked tickets the choice either to carry them over to the rescheduled date, or a refund.”

        So instead of going to a corner crying “we cannot play” or demanding from the government for a clear immediate answer (that they cannot give because of the unpredictable nature of the current situation) they are trying a pragmatic and very much welcomed flexible and rapid approach.

        • Anon says:

          It’s not clear “ you are purchasing a ticket to an event that is currently illegal and is dependent upon a change in law in order to proceed”. Don’t audience members deserve that respect and honesty?

  • Violinist says:

    How on earth can SMTF not know this is currently illegal.What planet are they on? I’m sure this will be shut down by the police long before the 23rd…..

  • Ant says:

    Presumably it’s not illegal to plan something for the 23rd in the hope that the Government guidelines review might allow for indoor performances with an audience. If the guidelines don’t change, then can then cancel/postpone – easier than organising and publicising the concert on a few days notice.

    • Anon says:

      It is so unlikely to go ahead though it seems unfair to sell tickets to audience members who will all have their plans for an evening out unnecessarily thrown not disarray? Govt meeting on 15 Aug first needs to decide IF pilot events can proceed….. then they need to be rescheduled….after they have happened they will be evaluated and then a new govt meeting reconvened to decide if it is safe to change to law to proceed to the next stage of Oliver Dowden 5 stage plan. Never gonna happen by August 23 sadly.

  • V. Lind says:

    It seems very cheap to take every opportunity, whether prompted by activities (legal or not) in the UK or abroad, to take yet another jab at the BBC.

    • Dragonetti says:

      Hear hear! What is it about the BBC that seems to bring out the snide worst in so many otherwise intelligent and cultured people.
      1. This gig is of dubious legality and could easily have to be called off.
      2.Where would musicians be without the BBC however much that organisation could be better organised? Come to that, where would listeners be without the BBC’s output? Classic fm has its audience and jolly good some of its programmes are but on the other hand it’s not as satisfying as R3 and those bloody ads…
      3. Even if this dubious event goes ahead, how could this possibly compare with scaling it up to Prom size? This is going to be a small ensemble in a small venue.

      No, leave the beeb alone. You’d miss them something rotten if they disappeared.

    • Maria says:

      BBC? It’s St Martin in the Fields planning an illegal concrrt!

    • Stephen says:

      Very very cheap. Gratuitous and nasty.

      Put yourself in the shoes of the BBC for once, Mr Lebrecht. They are a public institution, which exists at the whim of a capricious and philistine government. Of course they’re going to be far more conservative in promoting public concerts than a small outfit like ASMF.

      I’d lay good money that if the restrictions are lifted after 15th August the Proms will be rapidly out of the blocks inviting an audience – and offering tickets to influential classical music bloggers