Talk:The Proms

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Untitled[edit]

"In 1927, the BBC -- based at Broadcasting House opposite the hall --"

Added "later" to the above sentence because Broadcasting House wasn't even built until 1932. Before that the BBC was based at Savoy Hill close to the Savoy Hotel.

Although there is decreasing opposition to "comprised of" (see http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=comprise), there are still some who react to it as simply incorrect. Here I propose a compromise between "be comprised of" and "be composed of"... I think "consist of" is more natural anyway. David Brooks 20:42, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The page currently has a link to Robert Newman, manager of Queen's Hall, and founder of the Proms. However, it points to a contemporary comedian of the same name. Does anyone know anything about the appropriate Robert Newman, or should the link be removed? I'm not sure he's a notable figure, apart from his role in relation to the Proms. Ian Rutt 10:07, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I would say that what he has done for music through the Proms makes him a notable figure. He deserves a short article at least. Hikitsurisan ........which I have now done. Hikitsurisan 10:35, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Prom 66, Sunday 3 September[edit]

I don't think was the first time that a Prom was cancelled on the day. In the early or mid 90s there was one season where there was a string of problems with the electrical substation supplying the hall. At least one concert was cancelled, including the premiere of a new work by Tan Dun, and it was a sufficiently late cancellation that one critic didn't manage to get his "review" of the concert pulled from the following day's paper... I need to check dates though. David Underdown 10:27, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

My recollection is that the first half of the relevant concert was played and the lights failed while the performers were getting in position fo the Tan Dun. The lights also failed for the COE just before the encore. Their next visit they did the encore they had planned to do before. --Peter cohen 13:23, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

The last night following 9/11[edit]

The comment about Leonard Slatkin's last night following 9/11 as a performance of "unprecedented political correctness and limp-wristed anti-patriotism" is uncalled for. Can this not be rephrased in a less judgmental way?

Last Night Conductors[edit]

Thanks Stevouk for those additions. --Ross UK 21:51, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Louis Jullien[edit]

Unless someone can convince me otherwise here, I will continue to remove references to the book/website on Louis Jullien as being irrelevant to this article (and probably [[WP:SPAM|spam). he has no direct connection to the series of concerts this article refers to, the earlier and more general usage of the term promenade concert is linked to, and that seems to me to be the appropriate place (if any) for the link to be added. David Underdown 09:31, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, you should have a look on the BBC website, there is clearly a link between the Proms today and this man. Jullien just gave the idea of the fantasy at the promenade concerts. form BBC website's article of Henry Wood. "And the most remarkable throwback to earlier times – indeed to the pre-Prom era of the Monster Concerts of the showman-conductor Louis Jullien – is the almost ever-present Fantasia on British Sea-Songs by the Proms' founder-conductor Henry Wood." Tell me what you think about. 90.9.158.246 (talk) 22:59, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

One piece in one concert of the whole season doesn't seem like a a major link. Jullien is mentioned in the article promenade concerts, which is linked from this one, which talks about the wider history of "proms" in general. David Underdown (talk) 09:17, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

"Prommers with tickets ..."[edit]

Shouldn't there be reference here to the fact that some Prommers without tickets also turn up to queue early (sometimes overnight) in the hope of being able to purchase a Last Night ticket on the door, and some of them do get in? Philip Trueman 13:45, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Last Night 2001[edit]

If we're going to mention the heavily revised programme then it should be said that the US national anthem was also sung (and, for the real trivia nuts, sung before the National Anthem, because the US Ambassador was present). Philip Trueman 13:55, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Take look at the anons edits before I trimmed down that section, seemed to imply that God Save the Queen wasn't sung at all. Was going to leave the rest until I have chance to look over the programme to remind myself exactly what did end up in the concert that year. The anon changes also seemed to be blaming all the changes on Slatkin, when of course it's Kenyon who ultimately carries the can. David Underdown 14:16, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
I didn't catch that year's performance, so I have no idea what happened (nor do I frankly care), but I just thought I'd chip in with a trivia nugget fot you. The US anthem would have been played before the UK anthem, because the UK anthem must be played last (one of those diplomatic protocol things, like the order of flags). Its playing signals the end of the performance - impromptu audince renditions of Auld Lang Syne aside - and nothing else may (should) follow it. The presence of the US Ambassador would have no effect on the point at which the US anthem was played, other than it being played at all in the first place, perhaps (was it played out of solidarity, or simply because s/he was there? I don't know). Petecollier 22:26, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, Pete, but you're wrong. You are confusing the playing of the National Anthem at the end of the concert season (where it is the last programmed work, as you say), with its being played for other reasons. When Her Majesty attends a Prom, the National Anthem is played when she first makes her appearance, not at the end. As I recall, at the Last Night in 2001 the concert started with both anthems, as a mark of solidarity, the US one first because the Ambassador was present and Her Majesty wasn't. It was too late to change the printed programme but song sheets were handed out beforehand - I still have mine, somewhere. The National Anthem was played again at the end. Philip Trueman 14:11, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that is quite correct. The two anthems were played at the very start of the concert, with audience participation. The words to the American National Anthem were inserted into the programme on a slip of paper, so that members of the audience could join in.86.181.55.66 (talk) 21:56, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

Location coordinates[edit]

This is getting silly.

The Proms are not a location-specific series of events, and The Proms is not a location-specific article. Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall yes, but not The Proms. If The Proms links to those, as it should, it does not need coordinates of its own. If the Proms are later held at other locations or in other cities they can be linked to as necessary. Federal government of the United States does not need the location coordinates of Washington D.C., Sex and the City does not need the location coordinates of New York, and Philadelphia cheese steak does not need the location coordinates of Philadelphia. Why should they? Philip Trueman 12:35, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

I quite agree, though since we seem to be stuck with it at the moment, I've at leat tried to come up with some coords which put the right bit of London in the centre of the map - accidentally they seem to be pretty much right for Cadogan Hall. Quite how "locating" them fits in with the Proms in the Park in Swansea, Manchester, Glasgow Belfst Liverpool etc. I'm not sure... David Underdown 12:55, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
"The Proms [...] held annually in Central London" - if it walks like a duck, and quacks... Andy Mabbett 13:20, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
You have not thought through your own argument. It is not in the essence of ducks to remain stationary in one place. It is in the essence of buildings and bridges and cities and railway stations to remain stationary and therefore to have a definite, permanent location, but it is not in the essence of governments or ducks or people or concert series to remain stationary and so to have a definite, permanent location. Even if they happen for a while to be fairly constant in their position it is not in their essence to remain so. Philip Trueman 13:46, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Fortunately it is easy to update Wikipedia, so when the Proms relocate to Birmingham, the coordinates can be updated accordingly. Andy Mabbett 20:38, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
You still haven't convinced us that the Proms have a location. The places in which they are held yes, there are locations, and can be fixed down with co-ordinates. There is no consensus for adding the (meaningless) information to this article. Whilst the majority of the events connected with The Proms are in "central London" not everything is, so putting on co-ordintes is misleading. From the thread on WP:AN#LocateMe bot it seems that you are the only one arguing for this. The things that can be located are the Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square. No one place can be accurately said to be "the" location of the Proms, not even central London. Perhaps it because both Philip and I are IT types, but we see location as being an attribute of the places where concerts are held, not of the abstraction that is the festival as a whole. David Underdown 11:04, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I've pointed out that the article says that they have a location, I don't know what else I can do to convince you. Or are you saying that the article is wrong? And I'm an "IT type", too, FWIW. Shall we wave our qualifications at each other? Andy Mabbett 11:16, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
The concerts that form the series take place in halls which have a location, the series itself does not. I have re-worded the article slightly anyway. David Underdown 11:59, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Andy, by the argument that The Proms (in addition to the locations they take place in) should be tagged with coordinates, you should be adding coordinates to all sorts of things. Try John Wayne: interred in the Pacific View Memorial Park cemetery in Corona del Mar (he's there all the time, not once a year); Hackney carriage (problematic, because the title say Hackney, but they can be found all over London), Orangutan: found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, George W. Bush (he occasionally makes trips abroad but we can always update his coordinates when he moves). Sorry, if this is verging on WP:POINT, but insisting on tagging something with coordinates just because it mentions a location in the article seems odd, to say the least. Yomanganitalk 13:28, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Having thought about this further over Easter it seems to me that the problem with just saying, "The Proms happen in London, so just put some coordinates 'for London' in", is the lack of context. If a future reader of the article comes along and thinks, "hmm just where is London?", follows the link to London and clicks on the coordinates in that article, it doesn't take much to realise that the coordinates given for a large city (and the scale of the map one is directed too) have been chosen to give an overview of London, rather than indicating that some essence of London is contained in the precise coordinates given. Howeer, if we put those same coordinates on this article, the reader is lacking that context, and might not unreasonably expect that the coordinates given bear some specific relevance to The Proms, which they don't. In the extreme case, they programme that into their GPS, find the location, and there's nothing there which has anything to do with The Proms. Even if we chose the coords of the Albert Hall say, for the majority of the year if you were to go there, there is nothing immediately apparent to show that that is where the majority of the concerts take place (in Season, the banners on the hall, and queues of people waiting to go in might just be a bit of a giveaway that you've found the right place - for a given concert - I suppose). David Underdown 14:23, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, yes, but you don't address the general case. If you are only concerned about the well-being of The Proms then fine. I am concerned about the well-being of all mainspace articles - hence my (so far, failed) attempt to get a debate going among the WP:GEO community at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Geographical coordinates#Articles that do not need coordinates. As I see it, what is needed is a clear policy that only articles that are about places should have coordinates. Articles that are about matters that are merely associated with places should refer to the articles about those places, as The Proms refers to London and Royal Albert Hall, and those articles should have coordinates. Once there is a sensible policy, it can be implemented, and those who go adding coordinates or {{LocateMe}} tags to articles such as The Proms or Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom can be reverted and pointed towards the policy. Philip Trueman 17:22, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

The article name was changed over the weekend from "The Proms", to "BBC Proms" without discussion. Personally I think it would have been better left where it was as the "BBC" part is a relatively recent innovation, probably even within the last 20 years (I can check the dates once I get home again), and common usage (a major determiner for Wikipedia naming) is probably still as likely to be simply "The Proms" as "BBC Proms". The issue of "Prom" having other meanings isn't too important since there's already a link to the relevant disambiguation page at the top of the article. David Underdown 12:37, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I think it is no better, and no worse. I don't think either title is correct for the substantive article, which should perhaps more properly be The BBC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, with redirects from The Proms, BBC Proms etc. (I don't see that 'common usage' should be a determinant of the name of the substantive article if an official title exists - see e.g. Princess Diana). But whichever way the decision finally goes it would be better to have a discussion and reach a consensus first. Philip Trueman 15:34, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
But which official title, the current one, any of the previous ones, and as I say many people disregard that anyway. See WP:COMMONNAME for my original thinking. I've added a couple more redirects as a result of your previous post by the way. David Underdown 15:58, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I've now had chance to check sources. Branding as the BBC Proms began as late as 1993 (having been staunchly resisted by certain previous Controllers). Even, "presented by the BBC" was added to "Henry Wood Promenade Concerts" only in 1980. David Underdown 17:24, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
It further occurs to me that the three books I'm planning to use as main sources for a major rewrite of this article (once the current season is over...) are entitled, The story of the Proms, The Proms and The Proms: a new history (the last one being published only this year to mark 80 years since the BBC first supported the Proms. David Underdown 17:41, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I've been finding more and more redirects which weren't fixed when the original move was done. Quickest way to sort this out is to move it back, and tidy up the relatively few which point to BBC Proms and point them back to The Proms —The preceding unsigned comment was added by David Underdown (talkcontribs).

Interesting choice of vocabulary[edit]

This is not my article, so I don't want to get embroiled in editing it, but does

Throughout the Last Night performance, many audience members bob up and down in time with the rhythm of the piece being played, despite this making them look like arseholes.

really quite hit the mark, stylistically, that could be expected in an encyclopaedia; even this one? Perhaps an alternative word to 'arsehole' might lift the tone somewhat. Perhaps "comical," "foolish," or "ridiculous" would be a better choice here?

Petecollier 22:13, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

The Last Nights Fantasia[edit]

Is it worthy of inclusion that this years Proms will not see Woods Fantasia on British Sea Songs, but rather Vaughan Williams's Sea Songs? See source: BBC Press Release section: The Last Night 84.71.123.26 (talk) 12:29, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Comparison to the Globe[edit]

I'm not sure this really adds anything - they are 2 separate traditions, at least I don't believe there's any clear link back through the preivous promenade concerts to the Elizabethan theatre, now revived at the Globe. David Underdown (talk) 13:53, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for raising this here. Two separate traditions, yes, but both experiences are open to culture vultures in London now. I added it only to show that standing in the central part of an entertainment space while others sit is not unique to the Proms, but exists in a context. Some readers who come to the article will have heard of the theatrical tradition of groundlings and it gives them a point of reference. NOr is standing a rock concert thing -- both Proms and the Globe are supposedly serious entertainment, but often with a playful edge. I'm not that bothered if you want to remove it. BrainyBabe (talk) 14:01, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
I think what really gives the comaprison undue prominence is its inclusion in the lead, on second thoughts, it probably is valid to draw the parallel, but perhaps it should be in the body of the article? David Underdown (talk) 14:09, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
That seems fair. Please insert it whereever you think best. BrainyBabe (talk) 14:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Last Night of the Proms conductors table[edit]

I saw your reworking of the table for the conductors of the Last Night. I would respectfully disagree with your format, as I think that chronology year-by-year is the most important aspect for keeping the conductors straight. The analogy that I'm thinking of is putting a list of Prime Ministers or Presidents in alphabetical order by last name, rather than by order of service in the office, i.e. I prefer the temporal arrangement of those as well. However, I've made no changes to the table. The original column format did run a little long, but had I chosen to revise it, I would have perhaps "split it into two", i.e. made that 3-column format a 6-column format. Thanks for your time, DJRafe (talk) 20:27, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

I partially agree. My first couple of experimental edits left the table in its original chronological ordering ([1], [2]). Whilst I left a note that I was experimenting, but I did not succeed in taming/pairing down the table—at least not to my own satisfaction. Having narrowed the table reasonably (using footnotes), I next considered a multi-column list (as you suggest above), although I didn't save that attempt (it would certainly be useful to re-experiment for comparison). There is fair amount of redundancy in the data-set; like a List of Presidents, several of the conductors have "served" for long ranges of years (Wood, Sargent)—however, unlike a presidents' list, there are frequent runs of alternating years (Loughran, Del Mar, Groves in the 1970s/1980s). Compressing multiple years into a single range (1949–1966) span solves the case for a single continuous reign, but cannot solve the presentation when "tag-teaming".
Investigating how to remove or reformat the alternating duplicate entries is what lead me to try indexing by name. I also considered (by did not try) adding a column with the total number of performances and/or allowing the table to be sorted by that metric. I don't think I was completely satisfied with the result—I would encourage you to continue experimenting and see if you can find a representation that remains small and presents the information in another form (multiple columns, or by decade). —Sladen (talk) 01:10, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Sea Songs?[edit]

Where have the Sea Songs gone?

Seams a certain lobby has agreed to no more play the Sea Songs during the Last Night...

Britain - where have you gone...

Sea Song lovers - unfortunately - have to go back in time to enjoy...

e.g. -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufuW3-f_Vp0

(Angry) greetings,

-Wolli- --195.4.195.159 (talk) 21:53, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Disclaimer: What a shame, that I - as a German - have to complain about that - where are the British voices?

-Wolli- --195.4.195.159 (talk) 21:53, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

In recent years they'd been so altered, they were hardly worth having anywya. Rememebr this page is supposed to be for discussing the article, not a forum for discussion of the Proms themselves, for that you need to go to the BBC boards http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbradio3/F7497567 Roger Wright aslo addressed this to some extent at http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2009/abouttheproms/questions.shtml David Underdown (talk) 08:08, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Charity Collection[edit]

As one of the trustees of Promenaders' Musical charities, I don't feel it's appropriate for me to add this tothe article myself, but we are now using www.facebook.com/promenaders.musical.charities to provide regualr updates on the collection total, and further information on this year's selected charities. If any watchers feel taht adding more info is justified, these links [3] [4] may also be useful. 12:45, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

"Fancy dress" vs. "formal" dress[edit]

Not a Prommer myself, I don't actually know if fancy dress is a typical part of the Proms. The sentence that mentions it doesn't give that impression - when it says "Fancy dress is an optional extra: from dinner jackets to patriotic T-shirts," I understand it to mean "Some people dress formally - ie. in dinner jackets - but some do not - ie. patriotic T-shirts." Neither a dinner jacket nor a patriotic T-shirt is fancy dress, but "formal dress is an optional extra" encompasses both the optional dinner jacket and the patriotic T-shirt. Could someone with outside knowledge clear this up? Roscelese (talk) 23:57, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

To be honest (now half way through my fouteenth season as a prommer) fancy dress captures the variations better, I think it may be a variation between British and American usage, but formal dress can be considered fancy dress in some contexts. Some people dress up whether that be in dinner suit, tails, cocktail/ball dress, others go for "patriotic" dress, tehre's a Union Flag tail suit that's made a couple of appearances. Others where fairly normal clothes, but with a silly hat and so on. If you're on Facebook, take a look at the photos in the group "I stand in the Arena at the Proms, but I'm quite nice really", that will give you a better idea of what we're talking about. David Underdown (talk) 09:17, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, I'll change it back. Roscelese (talk) 16:11, 13 August 2010 (UTC)


This article had to be updated[edit]

The section "The Proms Today" only went as far as the 2010 session. Since, in July 2011, the Proms have began, we need to put in information about the 2011 session (I am all in favour of Wikipedia being up-to-date). Please feel free to restructure what I have typed if you do not like its placing. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:05, 21 July 2011 (UTC)


Wallace and Gromit proms[edit]

It could also be updated if it mentioned the Wallace and Gromit proms, which took place in August 2012. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 15:10, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Last Night to be conducted by a woman[edit]

It does not appear that this article mentions that in 2013, for the first time ever, the Last Night at the Proms will be conducted by a woman - this article really should be updated to mention this fact. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 13:47, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Availibility of standing tickets for the Last Night of the Proms[edit]

From the 2013 Season, half-season standing tickets are no longer available, therefore I have deleted the sentence that was included which said that half-season ticket holders were eligible to apply for a Last Night standing ticket from a special allocation.86.181.55.66 (talk) 21:51, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

2012 and 2013 seasons[edit]

I would encourage someone closer to this subject than I am to add sections on the most recent two seasons. StevenJ81 (talk) 17:09, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Bělohlávek Biased Quote[edit]

Bělohlávek not only conducted these concerts for many years and was named the twelfth chief conductor but he also was honored with the title of Conductor Laureate and given an honorary CBE. So it is not surprising that he would laude these musical events. Some might call it self serving for him to say "In the context of classical music festivals" [the Proms are] "the world's largest and most democratic musical festival". Do Wikipedia's standards accept quotes from biased sources? I am asking in all seriousness because I don't know if it is a generally accepted standard for encyclopedias as this is not my area of expertise.

The source for my comment on his bias is the Wikipedia article on Bělohlávek a portrion of which follows: From 1995 to 2000, Bělohlávek was principal guest conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (BBC SO). In February 2005, he was named its twelfth chief conductor, effective July 2006, with an initial contract of 3 years.[10][11] Bělohlávek is the first past BBC SO principal guest conductor to be named chief conductor of the BBC SO.[12] His tenure with the BBC SO began with the First Night of the 2006 Proms.[13] He first conducted the Last Night of the Proms in 2007,[14] the first conductor of the Last Night who is not a native English speaker.[12] In September 2007, Bělohlávek extended his contract with the BBC Symphony to 2012.[15][16] He made a guest appearance at the 2009 Last Night as one of the vacuum cleaner performers in Malcolm Arnold's A Grand, Grand Overture.[17] Bělohlávek conducted the Last Night of the Proms again in 2010[18] and in 2012.[19] He concluded his BBC SO chief conductorship in 2012 and now has the title of conductor laureate with the BBC SO.[20] In April 2012, Bělohlávek was awarded an honorary CBE "for services to music". Tomandzeke (talk) 20:50, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

JB's quote about The Proms was genuine, as he expressed in 2005 before he was ever booked for the Last Night, per this 2005 article which quotes him: "I admire the festival as the largest but most democratic music festival I know." Besides, the text in the wikipedia article clearly states that the quote is his own, and makes no pretense at being a general 'statement of fact'. DJRafe (talk) 22:14, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

Proms Seasons section, general question[edit]

I have a question that might be heretical regarding the 'Proms Seasons' section in the article. Given that many recent seasons have featured 'themes', but that the coverage of past seasons as well as more recent seasons has not been comprehensive, might it not be kinder to the length of the article to remove the 'Proms Seasons' section completely? I make this suggestion because it might be easier to keep the article as a broader history of The Proms as an institution, without delving into the minutiae of each individual season for themes and commemorations (wonderful as they can be). Trying to be fair to each season each year on out would make this article even longer and more unwieldly than I think that it needs to be. Obviously I've not taken any action to delete that section, but I wanted to ask opinions to gauge sentiment on the idea. Cheers, DJRafe (talk) 22:14, 7 June 2015 (UTC)