Proms and the radio

By Alex Veeneman on June 1, 2012

A view from the balcony at London’s Royal Albert Hall, where the BBC Proms are staged.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user

This summer, the eyes of the world will look onto London as the Olympics take place. The world’s athletes will compete for medals, showcasing global athletic talent. However, I do wish to point something else out whose value is just as significant, showcases global aesthetic talent and takes place exactly at the same time as the Olympics themselves (and starting earlier than the ceremonies themselves). I refer to the world famous BBC Proms.

Entering its 118th year as a valuable contribution to the cultural life of not only Great Britain but the whole world, the Proms are more than what they are billed. They are a tradition, a value, and something that everyone, young and old, can appreciate. It is distinct from any form of classical music performance in the world, showcasing the passion and talent of artists from Britain and around the world. It is one of the BBC’s milestones–an epicenter of creativity and appreciation.

Backing the Proms up over the near 3 month period (and the whole year round) is the BBC’s classical music service Radio 3. Distinct from any arts program you’ll ever find (especially here), the insightful knowledge and depth of the programs and the rich expertise of their presenters allows the listener to fully appreciate why music had been invented in the first place–to have its rich sounds be enjoyed by anyone who would listen. Radio 3 provides a unique insight into classical music, and brings it full circle.

So, enrich yourself and broaden your horizons. Take a break from the cheering of your favorite athlete this summer and give the Proms and Radio 3 a listen. You’ll find that you’ll appreciate not just classical music, but music’s original aesthetic texture designed with some of the best sounds in the world, and the value and relevance of culture in the 21st century.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The BBC Proms begin July 13th at London’s Royal Albert Hall and run through September 8th. Readers can listen to the concerts via the iPlayer, located on the Radio 3 web site (, where readers can also listen live to Radio 3′s output.

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