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Wednesday, 3 May, 2000, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Proms target musical youth
BBC Proms
BBC Proms aims to be more accessible to a new generation
Organisers of this year's BBC Proms are aiming to attract more young people to this year's series of concerts.

Ticket prices are being cut and special concerts are being added to the season to try to bring a new audience to the two-month summer festival of music.

The Proms audience, though still younger than the average for classical concerts, is steadily ageing.

Other firsts at this year's Proms, which starts on 14 July, will include poetry performances, including new commissions from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and the acclaimed Simon Armitage.

Unveiling details of BBC Proms 2000, director Nicholas Kenyon said: "We have 100 years of tradition behind us.

Andrew Motion
Populist poet Andrew Motion will perform at the first Poetry Prom

"But what we want to do as we go into the next century is make sure that the Proms is reinventing itself.

"You have to make a splash. You have to say, 'We are doing some very definite things to show we are looking after young people'."

Flexibility and innovation

Among the innovations are Proms Explorer ticket packages to encourage under-16s to discover a wider range of music at a reduced cost.

A Millennium Youth Day on 12 August will feature all the national youth and children's orchestras in a two-day celebration of jazz, brass and choral work.

Goodness Gracious Me
Musician Sawhney (second from left) also won fans for Goodness Gracious Me

A competition for young composers aged 12 to 16 will be held, with extracts from winning entries broadcast in a Prom on 8 July, while specially-commissioned pieces will be performed by young musicians on 13 July.

Elsewhere, Asian musician Nitin Sawhney - best known for his album Beyond Skin - will perform Urban Prophecies at a new concert, Scry.

Following past celebrations of Indian music, this year's Proms will showcase an evening of Cuban sounds.

Among those taking part will be sextet Vocal Sampling who use their hands and voices to create the effect of a 20-piece salsa band.

Top Cuban dance act Los Van Van will also perform.

Concerts will again centre on the Albert Halll

Other Proms highlights include a series of concerts devoted to Christian music, including Handel's Messiah and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms.

Most of this year's concerts will come from London's Royal Albert Hall, with performances broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

The four Poetry Proms, however, will be held at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park.

Meanwhile, 10 concerts will be screened on television, on both BBC One and BBC Two.

This year's Proms season runs from 14 July to 9 September.

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17 Jul 98 | Entertainment
FAQs: The Proms
17 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Proms break new ground
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