David Pickard, the Proms team and I are very proud of the broad and exciting range of concerts we have packed into eight weeks of music-making at the 2018 BBC Proms. The Proms is a world treasure and its mission, to bring the best of classical music to the widest possible audience, is as relevant today as it was in Henry Wood’s time. There’s something for everyone to enjoy, whether in the Royal Albert Hall or listening at home as every note will once again be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and online, with much of the season also available on BBC Television. International audiences can also enjoy the Proms this summer via the European Broadcasting Union and BBC World Service.
I am delighted that two key and highly successful innovations from last year’s season, supporting live and home audiences, will feature again this year. The Relaxed Prom will be accompanied by an audio description available through headsets for the blind and partially sighted live audience and across BBC Radio 3’s broadcast coverage. Additionally, a binaural audio stream will enable radio listeners to experience the concerts as if they were present in the Hall. These recent advancements in BBC Radio 3’s multi-platform offering speaks to our commitment to mirroring the Proms ambition to reach all audiences, without restriction.
Aside from our work broadcasting this world-class season, we ensure that we also play our part in nurturing home-grown and international talent that come to be placed centre-stage annually at the Proms. Be it in broadcasting of works by aspiring composers through the BBC Proms Inspire scheme or championing performers through Radio 3’s New Generation Artists programme, we are proud of the role we play as a station for new and emerging talent, offering the chance for music-makers of the future to hone their art, collaborate with peers and learn from some of the world’s leading musicians, as they work to grow classical music for the years to come.
The Proms’ ability to attract artists from across the globe ensures it remains a focal point for international music-making throughout the year. To ensure that this ambition is carried forward, BBC Radio 3 reflects its involvement in this flagship festival by sharing in the rich tapestry of concerts and events that take place outside of it. Thus, across its schedules, we broadcast live performances from up and down the UK daily, often even venturing overseas to bring the best of music to our audiences. Central to this is the broadcast of concerts from the BBC Orchestras and Choirs who will once again provide the backbone to this year’s season, as they partake in over 30 Proms.
We’re delighted we can be a part of the Proms’ extraordinary story once again this year. So whether listening at home, watching on TV, absorbing the content online, or witnessing the magic at the Proms’ various 2018 venues, BBC Radio 3 will be there to document every breathtaking moment, and promises to guide audiences on their onward journey when the curtain falls on the ‘Last Night’. Long may we continue to take the spirit of summer that the Proms represent and keep the sun shining all year through.