MUSIC: PROMS 99: THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS

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The Independent Culture
PROM OF THE WEEK

The Bournemouth Symphony is in many ways the poor relation to the inner circle of British orchestras. And yet - remarkably - it keeps a high artistic profile. So high that, last March, it had a three-night residency in the world's most celebrated venue - the Musikverein, Vienna.

The secret? Yakov Kreizburg (right) who was netted as the BSO's conductor before most of us caught on to what a star he was. With Rattle gone from Birmingham, he's now probably the hottest property any British regional band can boast. When I wrote about those Vienna concerts, I predicted that his days at Bournemouth would not be unnumbered. Since then, the news has come that he will indeed be moving on, at the end of next season. Make the most of him with this, his sole appearance in the current Proms.

Most of the programme is standard Romantic repertory: Tchaikovsky and Dvorak. But it opens with a new symphony by Peteris Vasks, one of the new wave of Baltic States composers who have swept to prominence/cult status since Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania broke free from Russia. Vasks's music tends toward an open-ended spareness and austerity, but with a strong emotional basis and feel for colour. Kreizburg is among its longer-standing champions. And the new symphony could well be among the most memorable unveilings in the Proms this year. Friday 7.30pm

Tickets: a few pounds 9 seats left

TODAY

BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Oliver Knussen conducts his own Horn Concerto and the London premiere of the fabulously virtuosic Aura by Magnus Lindberg, a modern master of orchestral writing. At Aldeburgh four years ago it left the audience reeling. At the Albert Hall it should do much the same. 7.30pm

Tickets: available at all prices (pounds 9-20)

MONDAY

EINOJUHANI RAUTAVAARA

Autumn Gardens - an orchestral score by the eminent Finnish composer whose name takes practice but whose music is easy enough to deal with - is grandly spiritual. Also, the flamboyant French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Mendelssohn's First Concerto. 7.30pm

Tickets: sold out

TUESDAY

SIMON PRESTON

Organ night at the Proms, with one of the world's leading players (late of Westminster Abbey, like so many others) in French Romantic works by Widor and Saint-Saens. David Atherton conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. 7.30pm

Tickets: sold out

WEDNESDAY

BBC NATIONAL ORCHESTRA OF WALES

The BBC NoW makes the most of its trip to London (see Tuesday, above) with more French music - Franck and Berlioz - plus a short piece (The Sun, the great luminary of the universe) by one of the elder statesmen of Welsh music, Alun Hoddinott, who is 70 this year. 7.30pm

Tickets: available at all prices

THURSDAY

H K GRUBER

A new Trumpet Concerto, commissioned by the BBC from the Austrian composer who counts (with Ligeti) among the great jokers of modern music. The second movement is, in his own words, "an artificial Romanian dance with a touch of Fred Astaire". The programme also includes the first instalments of this year's featured composer, Carl Nielsen. 7pm

Tickets: available at all prices

THURSDAY

EX CATHEDRA AND JEFFREY SKIDMORE

A superb Birmingham-based choir in eschatological mode: French baroque repertory by Charpentier (a small-scale oratorio on the Day of Judgement) and Lalande (his Dies Irae). 10pm

Tickets: available, all at pounds 9

FRIDAY

See panel, left

SATURDAY

100 YEARS OF FILM MUSIC

Easy listening under the joint batons of Carl Davis, Maurice Jarre and George Fenton, who between them are responsible for a fair proportion of all the film music you're ever likely to remember. Compered by Lord Attenborough, the programme promises an enyclopaedic survey of Big Screen writing from Walton to John Williams. 8pm

Tickets: sold out

Ticket information correct at time of going to press. 500 standing tickets are on sale one hour before each performance.

All concerts at Royal Albert Hall, SW7 (0171 589 8212)

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