In Tuesday’s (9/2) Guardian (London), Charlotte Higgins reports, “Since 1927, when the BBC took over the Henry Wood promenade concerts, the Proms have been Britain’s most important champion of new music, commissioning countless works from composers that have been experienced by an enthusiastic and open-minded audience.… But this year, those watching selected Proms on BBC2 and BBC4 have been confronted by a mystery: the case of the disappearing contemporary music. Prominent figures from the classical music world have united to condemn the excision of new music from the televised Proms. Composers whose works were edited out of the televised versions of the Proms include [Sir Harrison] Birtwistle, Jonathan Dove, Helen Grime, Roxanna Panufnik and John McLeod.… A BBC spokeswoman said: ‘Putting the Proms on television inevitably involves an element of editorializing.… The Proms team and the commissioning editor have to bear in mind the audience and that newer works are often less familiar to them.… Contemporary music is absolutely not disappearing from BBC television Proms broadcasts, our commitment has increased from last year with 16 works (compared to 15) on television and a further eight works on iplayer as part of a new music collection which is available for a longer 30 days.”

Posted September 4, 2014