Page last updated at 22:10 GMT, Saturday, 13 September 2008 23:10 UK

Proms conclude with Last Night

Jose Carreras performed during the BBC Proms In The Park 2008 concert in Hyde Park
Jose Carreras entertained the crowds in London's Hyde Park

The BBC Proms season has ended with the traditional Last Night concert in London's Royal Albert Hall.

Thousands of people also attended open-air events on big screens in Hyde Park, Belfast, Glasgow and Swansea.

Jose Carreras and Lesley Garrett performed at Hyde Park, while Bryn Terfel sang Rule, Britannia at the Albert Hall.

Sir Roger Norrington, conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The National Youth Choir of Scotland were among the acts on Glasgow Green, while the BBC National Orchestra of Wales appeared at Swansea's Singleton Park, and the Ulster Orchestra were at Belfast's City Hall.

If you wandered around Kensington Gore in the evening this summer and see these thousands of people pouring out, you realise classical music is alive and well in London
Sir Roger Norrington
Proms conductor
It is 40 years since Sir Roger's Proms debut but the first time he has been the conductor of the final night.

Patriotic favourites including Pomp and Circumstance, Rule, Britannia! and Jerusalem were played, with the traditional conclusion of the national anthem.

Works by Beethoven, Wagner, Puccini and Verdi were also performed and there was a celebration of folk music with an arrangement by Chris Hazell of traditional compositions from around the UK and Ireland.

Also in the programme was Sea Songs by Vaughan Williams, as this year's Proms have celebrated the music of the British composer, who died 50 years ago last month.

'Pretty barmy'

Asked earlier if he was nervous about Saturday evening's concert, Sir Roger replied: "A little. It's rather daunting, isn't it?"

He described the occasion as a night "when classical music lets its hair down".

"Classical music in the last eight weeks has had this glorious festival in the Albert Hall and around, and it goes on being glorious - but it becomes pretty barmy by the end," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"The Proms attendance has been fantastic this year - amazing.

The Last Night of the Proms in 2007
Patriotic displays are always seen at the final evening of the Proms
"If you wandered around Kensington Gore in the evening this summer and see these thousands of people pouring out, you realise classical music is alive and well in London."

He said those who attended the Proms had "such a great time" and hailed the "extraordinary feeling of community" among those inside the Royal Albert Hall.

The BBC said this year's event has been a success, with 78% of the main evening concerts selling out.

The 113th Proms season began on 18 July and included performances by Nigel Kennedy and Sir Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

A Doctor Who prom was also staged, one of 164 events held in all.


SEE ALSO
Dr Who fans enjoy Proms special
27 Jul 08 |  Entertainment/Arts
Proms not inclusive, says Hodge
04 Mar 08 |  UK Politics
Proms season draws record crowds
08 Sep 07 |  Entertainment/Arts

RELATED BBC LINKS

FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Evening StandardProms season brought to close with flair - 6 hrs ago
Billboard BBC Proms Wrap With Albert Hall Party - 22 hrs ago
Sunday Herald Last Night of the Proms brought to a rousing finale with patriotic splendour - 33 hrs ago
Luton News Proms to be given rousing send-off - 46 hrs ago
Worthing Today Proms to be given rousing send-off - 48 hrs ago
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