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Saturday, 15 September, 2001, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Proms tribute to US victims
The Proms
Flag-waving is a tradition at the Last Night of the Proms
Both the British and United States national anthems will be played at the conclusion of Saturday's Last Night of the Proms, the BBC has announced.

The programme is also being broadcast across the US for the first time.

On Thursday a change of programme was unveiled in the wake of the terrorist atrocities in America on Tuesday.

The BBC said that traditional patriotic anthems such as Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory would not be sung in favour of more reflective pieces.

Director of BBC Proms Sir Nicholas Kenyon said: "Everybody feels that the rumbustious jollity associated with it, simply is not appropriate as this dreadful story is continuing to unfold."

Unity through music is now the message and we can use our sounds to help underscore the long healing process that must take place

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

"We feel it is vital to respond to people's mood at this sombre and difficult time," said Sir Nicholas.

The Proms' rousing hymns have been part of the Last Night programme since the early 20th century.

A BBC spokesman said one such hymn - Jerusalem - would remain in the programme but would be sung before the two anthems.

Thousands traditionally pack the Royal Albert Hall in London to join in the rousing finale and it is broadcast in more than 40 countries across the world.

Sir Nicholas Kenyon
Sir Nicholas: "We must respond to people's mood"

Saturday's performance is being broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC Television and BBC Online.

It is also being broadcast for the first time across America on 300 National Public Radio stations with the second half of the concert being shown on BBC America.

'Healing process'

By coincidence, the Last Night is being conducted by an American for the first time, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra's chief conductor Leonard Slatkin in charge.

Mr Slatkin said: "What we are doing is in the spirit of this tragic time. Unity through music is now the message and we can use our sounds to help underscore the long healing process that must take place.

Conductor Leonard Slatkin
American Leonard Slatkin will conduct the last night

"I am honoured to be doing the Last Night. Maybe more than ever."

Most of the changes affect the second half of the concert when a minute's silence will be observed. Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea-Songs will also be dropped.

Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings will be performed as the tribute to the dead and injured in the US.

The second half of the concert will also feature John Adams' fanfare Tomba Lontana and Spirituals from Michael Tippett's A Child of our Time.

The BBC's Nick Higham
"The changes are a response to what the BBC says is a 'more sombre public mood'"
Leonard Slatkin, Proms conductor
"This is now a worldwide event"

Leonard SlatkinLeonard Slatkin
The BBC's chief conductor quizzed
AUDIO/VIDEO  real 14k
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