MUSIC: PROMS 99: THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS

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The Independent Culture
PROM OF THE WEEK

Yes that's right: a new piece from the pioneering all-American iconoclast Charles Ives, who died in 1954. The Emerson Concerto is named after the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose work was one of Ives's life-long obsessions (and also provided the inspiration for the first movement of Ives's famous Concord Sonata). The Emerson concerto, for piano and orchestra, was a lifelong obsession in itself. Begun in 1907, it stayed on the composer's desk for 40 years while he struggled to turn his bizarrely complex ideas into notes. After his death it was deemed unperformable: a pile of manuscript which the pianist Alan Feinberg (above) calls "a mess - a diary, at times barely decipherable, suffused with comments, laundry lists, erasures and doodles". But with the help of musicologist David G Porter, Feinberg has made sense of it. Apparently. He gave the US premiere last year, under the baton of Christoph von Dohnanyi. And now the Feinberg/Dohnanyi team bring it to Britain. Tuesday 7.30pm

Tickets: available at all prices

TODAY

MAXIM VENGEROV

The dazzling young Russian superstar of the violin - arguably, along with Kissin, the young instrumental virtuoso of our time - in an afternoon recital with piano. Brahms, Prokofiev, and some stunning show-off items of the musically inconsequential but magnificently done variety. 3pm

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

THOMAS ADES'S ASYLA

The ubiquitous British wunderkind composer gives the London premiere of his own large-scale orchestral score, already heard in Birmingham. One of his most genuinely "felt" pieces to date. 7.30pm

Tickets: available at all prices

MONDAY

NEW WORLD SYMPHONY

Dvorak's family favourite, along with the Brahms Violin Concerto, in a safe programme from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. 7.30pm

Tickets: sold out

TUESDAY

EMERSON CONCERTO

See Prom of the Week, left.

WEDNESDAY

MAHLER'S 7TH SYMPHONY

Bernard Haitink, whose stature as an elder statesman of the baton seems to grow by the hour, conducts the emergent talent of the European Youth Orchestra. 7.30pm

Tickets: available at pounds 9 and pounds 20

THURSDAY

BRUCKNER'S 9TH SYMPHONY

Played by the one orchestra who ought to have mastered the spacious acoustic of the Albert Hall: the RPO - who these days call themselves "resident" there. 7pm

Tickets: available pounds 20 only

DUKE ELLINGTON

A jazz Prom to celebrate the master's centenary. With the BBC Big Band. 10pm

Tickets: restricted view only

FRIDAY

KURTAG'S MESSAGES

The latest in a series of obliquely mischievous miniatures by the leading Hungarian composer. His premiere is squeezed into a programme that includes Bartok's 3rd Piano Concerto and Stravinsky's Petrushka. 7.30pm

Tickets: available at all prices

SATURDAY

DAVID MATTHEWS'S 5TH SYMPHONY

A premiere from one of the more lyrical, and pastoral, voices in contemporary British music. Played by the Britten Sinfonia along with tenor-of-the-moment Ian Bostridge in Britten's Les Illuminations. Nicholas Cleobury conducts. 7pm

Tickets: available at all prices

BBC SYMPHONY CHORUS

They're not often heard on their own without an orchestra, but this late-night Prom programme is similar to their recent one at the Cheltenham Festival. Music includes a ravishing neo-Romantic piece by the Austrian composer Carl Rutti, Alpha and Omega, and Poulenc's Litanies a la Vierge noire. 10pm

Tickets: available, all at pounds 9

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

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

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