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Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 18:26 GMT 19:26 UK
Proms 'must change with audience'
Girl at The Proms
The Proms "must respond to the audience"
There is no longer a clear difference between classical music and pop, according to the director of the UK's most prestigious classical festival, the Proms.

Nicholas Kenyon said the event had to respond to audiences and recognise that the tastes are "wider and more volatile than ever".

Gareth Gates (left) and Will Young
Gareth Gates (left) and Will Young will appear at a Proms event
He made the remarks when announcing that Pop Idol stars Will Young and Gareth Gates would appear at the children's CBBC Prom In The Park the day after the Last Night of the Proms.

Mr Kenyon said the singers would help young fans identify with Proms music and introduce a new generation to the concerts.

"They are two people that kids really relate to," he said.

"We have to recognise there is no longer a dividing line between the classical and pop worlds. They're not in completely separate camps - there's an overlap.


The Proms will always be a festival based on the great classical repertory

Nicholas Kenyon
Proms director
"We have to respond to what the audience listens to, and the audience's tastes are wider and more volatile than ever."

The audience is a "voracious consumer of all sorts of cultural experience", he said.

But he added: "The Proms will always be a festival based on the great classical repertory."

Classical Elvis

Mr Kenyon's comments came after a survey found that two out of three children between six and 14 could not name a single classical composer.

Some even thought that Elvis Presley, Shakespeare and Michael Jackson were composers.

At the CBBC Prom In The Park, Young will sing Summertime, from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Gates will perform Beat Out That Rhythm on a Drum, and the pair will duet for a version of The Beatles' The Long and Winding Road.

The event has previously featured children's characters The Tweenies and pop group Steps.

Untouched

The Last Night of the Proms will include performances of lost arrangements of Scottish and Welsh tunes by Proms founder Henry Wood.

They have not been performed since 1909 and had been untouched in the vaults of the Royal Academy of Music.

"We knew from biographies that they existed but they have completely fallen out of circulation and no-one had looked for them," Mr Kenyon said.

"They turned up in a store in a brown paper bag."

See also:

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