No reflection on the inundation of Wagner at the BBC Proms, but I’m curious to see how the alternative Bristol Proms take off tonight.
Sparked by the irrepressible director Tom Morris, head of the Bristol Old Vic, and funded by Universal Music, the Bristol Proms are avowedly aimed at bringing in a less concertlike audience to hear young and as-young artists in a more relaxed atmosphere.
This being England, it’s all being done in a very non-combative fashion. The opening soloist in Britsol is Jan Lisiecki, the Polish-Canadian pianist who played the BBC Proms last Thursday. The chair of Bristol Old Vic is Liz Forgan, former head of BBC Radio and Arts Council England, which virtually cut the southwest out of music funding. Classic FM, which is broadcasting the Bristol Proms, has been dissuaded from indulging in BBC bashing.
The Bristol Proms are in the nature of a grand experiment to see is there is an alternative crowd for classical music – different age, different place, different time of day. We’ll keep you posted.
Here’s Tom Morris’s raison d’etre for the show.