Gigs, gigs, gigs: Proms 2022

by 5:4
9 minutes read

This year’s Proms season has been announced in the last few days, and alongside all the standard fare, there’s the usual small smattering of contemporary music to get mildly excited about. Scanning through the programme, the most immediate thing that leapt out was familiarity, even predictability, the festival in general opting for composers whose music has been previously featured at the Proms (in some cases many times), rather than exploring relatively unknown names. i guess by this stage that’s not something that should take anyone by surprise – nor indeed the very small amount of new music included. If the Proms is anything, it’s 100% safe. Reflecting on this year’s season announcement, and remembering the recent death of Harrison Birtwistle, his famous 1995 Last Night work Panic now seems such a terribly long time ago. It would be wonderful if James B. Wilson’s Last Night opener might have a similarly scandalous effect, though it’s probably a bad idea to get too many hopes up about that.

Nonetheless, it’s nice to see a very small-scale acknowledgement of the 100th anniversary of Xenakis’ birth, with his chamber works Allegro molto, Akea and À r. (Hommage à Ravel) being performed at a remote Prom in Belfast, in addition to the orchestral Jonchaies, and mini percussion concerto O-Mega. Also, the prospect of Jennifer Walshe’s 2019 kind-of-sort-of-symphony The Site of an Investigation at the Proms is a nice surprise and something to look forward to. As for the rest, judge for yourselves; in the the following list, * = UK première, † = European première and ** = world première.


(updated 17 July)

16 July

Huw Watkins – Flute Concerto

18 July

James MacMillan – Viola Concerto

20 July

Jóhann Jóhannsson’s The Miners’ Hymns – They Being Dead Yet Speaketh
Hildur Guðnadóttir – The Fact of the Matter **

21 July

Sally Beamish – Hive **

22 July

Judith Weir – I love all beauteous things
Cheryl Frances-Hoad – Your Servant, Elizabeth **

23 July

John Adams – Shaker Loops
Judith Weir – Indelible, Miraculous **

26 July

George Walker – Variations for Orchestra

28 July

Jennifer Walshe – The Site of an Investigation

29 July

Nicole Lizée – Blurr is the Colour of My True Love’s Eyes

31 July

Harrison Birtwistle – Sonance Severance 2000

1 August

Hildur Guðnadóttir & Sam Slater (arr. Robert Ames) – Battlefield 2042 – suite

3 August

Caroline Shaw – Entr’acte

4 August

Kalevi Aho – Eight Seasons (Concerto for Theremin and Chamber Orchestra)
Kaija Saariaho – Vista

5 August

Julian Anderson – Symphony No. 2, ‘Prague Panoramas’ **

6 August

Danny Elfman – Wunderkammer

8 August

Gavin Higgins – Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra **

10 August

Matthew Kaner – Pearl **

11 August

Anna Thorvaldsdottir – ARCHORA **

13 August

Hannah Eisendle – Heliosis *

14 August

Kaija Saariaho – Vers toi qui es si loin

Missy Mazzoli – Violin Concerto, ‘Procession’

15 August

Mark-Anthony Turnage – Time Flies *

16 August

George Walker – Trombone Concerto

24 August

Harrison Birtwistle – Donum Simoni MMXVIII

John Tavener – A Hymn to the Mother of God
James MacMillan – Miserere / Vidi aquam
Henryk Mikołaj Górecki – Totus tuus

26 August

Thomas Adès – Märchentänze *

29 August

Errollyn Wallen – Lady Super Spy Adventurer **

2 September

George Walker – Lilacs

3 September

Philip Glass – No More, You Petty Spirits **

Marius Neset – Geyser **

4 September

Alfred Schnittke – Viola Concerto

5 September

Betsy Jolas – bTunes **

6 September

Thomas Adès – Three-Piece Suite from ‘Powder Her Face’ (Suite No. 1)
Wynton Marsalis – Violin Concerto

8 September

Valerie Coleman – This is Not a Small Voice

10 September

James B. Wilson – 1922 **



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