BBC Proms branding just went mad

BBC Proms branding just went mad


norman lebrecht

May 27, 2021

Read this on the BBC Proms website

Former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and BBC Young Musician of the Year Jennifer Pike joins the BBC Philharmonic and Chief Guest Conductor John Storgårds for Sibelius’s Violin Concerto…

That’s three bits of branding in one sentence, and it is only half-finished.

The BBC’s bid to stamp its size-ten loafers all over British music has gone some way beyond acceptable.

And why is Ms Pike dressed up as an ancient Roman bath attendant?

photo supplied to BBC by Ms Pike



  • John Borstlap says:

    The BBC wants to draw attention to the plight of undernourished white women labouring under patriarchic pressures to play without mistakes.

  • M McAlpine says:

    Jennifer needs to sack whoever does her publicity. What a dreadful picture!

    • Bill says:

      Look at the caption below the photo:

      “Photo supplied to BBC by Ms. Pike”

      In case you aren’t reading carefully, Ms. Pike is the soloist depicted.

      Are you more interested in ogling the performer, or listening to them play?

  • Bostin'Symph says:

    She makes a good Roman bath attendant.

    When I was in Weimar in 2019 there were posters for an arts festival all round the town with a cellist ‘riding’ a cello over long grass. It actually looked quite classy, in a funny kind of way. I have a photo …

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    What’s the problem? It’s the BBC Proms.

  • Anon says:

    It’s the most depressing season imaginable. Does classical music need to change? You bet! Is this the answer? Hell no.

    BTW Nicola Benedetti teaming up with the National Youth Orchestra for Beethoven’s Eroica? And Grazinyte-Tyla leading the Birmingham orchestra? They need to ditch their marketing people and hire some who actually know about music!

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    She looks strangely androgynous to me. Ergo, the ostentatious costume.

  • John Plunkett says:

    ‘ That’s three bits of branding in one sentence, and it is only half-finished.’ Good for them. That’s the Beeb rightly bigging up three most laudable institutions. The kind of shit that makes our licence fee worth paying in fact. ‘And why is Ms Pike dressed up as an ancient Roman bath attendant?’ She isn’t dressed up as any such thing as you well know. It’s just a fucking cool image.

  • Sick of this says:

    Disgusting comment.
    Why is it your business what does she choose to wear?
    Do you see anyone commenting on your hairstyle or shirt? how about talking professionalism about her violin playing and musical abilities? and not about what she is wearing.
    Gross old man with so much hate to young musicians and to god forbid, changes. Shame on you.

  • andrew.frater says:

    Jennifer Pike is an excellent violinist with a sense of style, simple as. No need for digs and jibes at her or any other artist.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      With hindsight, the Young Musician of the Year (which she won aged 12) and New Generation Artist accolades have not made a great violinist out of a good one.

      Her Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (just the finale, groan) with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (ghastly fumbled sixteenth notes in the octave unison strings in the opening bar) and Tecwyn Evans (follow the down beat, er, which one) at the BBC Proms in the Park in Swansea in September 2014 was all the right notes in the right order, but that was about that.

      • The Ghost of Karlos Cleiber says:

        I beg to differ.

        I’ve conducted for her playing the Beethoven, Sibelius and Elgar (twice) concertos. Each was flawless; and the Beethoven in particular remains one of the best displays of musicianship I’ve been lucky enough to hear. very single thing was done through touch, phrasing and tone, without a meretricious trick to be seen.

        Sounds like she may have had an off-night when you heard her; I’ve seen her play several times, including the Tchaikovsky.

        I’m not sure why you seem to be trying to blame her for the conductor’s shortcomings.

  • Caractacus says:

    The BBC is advertising a concert by one of its own orchestras with one of its own competition winners. I see no problem. Get over it Norman and stop this incessant BBC bashing. Let’s celebrate live music instead, please.

  • La plus belle voix says:

    It would seem to be more a management issue. Her career is looked after by Rayfield Allied. And although her diary contains occasional outings with some goodish orchestras and a Wigmore Hall recital, it is supplemented by too many dreary school venues and English parish churches.

    • Garry Humphreys says:

      English parish churches are very often the only venues where some communities can conveniently hear live music. And as for ‘dreary school venues’, if world-class artists can play to children on their own territory isn’t that a good thing? For some of them it could be a life-changing moment.

      • La plus belle voix says:

        On previous visits to the UK I’ve found some lovely parish churches, and of course, children should experience classical music as early as possible. It all depends on the balance in the concert diary.

      • La plus belle voix says:

        PS: The school venue concerts seem to have been for regular audiences, and were not outreach/educational projects.

        My point is, for a young artist with so much promise, why is her management getting her gigs like this:

        The Orchestra of the Swan. Sounds and looks hopelessly amateur. Poor girl.

        • sonicsinfonia says:

          Perhaps the higher level of orchestras and promoters don’t wish to book her or her management is not doing a very good job of selling her (relying maybe on awards from too long ago). Draw your own conclusions.

          • La plus belle voix says:

            Good point. Frankly, her management has neither the reach nor the clout to do much for her. There is a point in an artist’s career where agencies with really prestigious lists reach a decision not to sign that individual. Usually downhill all the way after that. Tough life.