An inventive addition to the Proms: Wallace promises a grand day out
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Friday 20 April 2012
He invented a pair of Techno Trousers, the Knit-o-Matic and the Snoozatron. Now the multi-talented Wallace is turning his hand to composing, with a new commission for this year's Proms.
The BBC yesterday revealed the programme for the 2012 festival, running for eight weeks, and among the pieces is My Concerto in Ee, Lad, attributed to one half of animated duo Wallace and Gromit. The work, according to BBC Proms director Roger Wright, is influenced by the brass bands of his youth. "It's always a risk to commission composers, no matter how well known, but we're delighted Wallace is involved," he said. "It's a way of introducing orchestral music to families of all ages."
The Proms is the world's largest and longest-running music festival. This year, there will be 76 concerts in the Royal Albert Hall, 12 in Cadogan Hall and four Proms in the Park.
The event is part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, and will also look to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Mr Wright said that the two events meant "there are things in the Proms that will reflect both events".
Last year, more than 300,000 people attended Proms concerts, the highest number in history. Wallace's work is part of the Children's Prom, which in the past has featured the Doctor Who and Horrible Histories Proms. Nick Park and Aardman Animations have created specially devised animation for the Albert Hall.
The festival this year will mark 150 years since the births of Debussy and Delius with works by both composers in the series. The ticket price across the two months has been held at £5 for the seventh year in a row.
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