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Sunday, 10 September, 2000, 00:29 GMT 01:29 UK
Proms conductor bows out
Sir Andrew Davis at the Last Night
Sir Andrew had done a "fantastic job" - Proms director
Revellers have said goodbye to Sir Andrew Davis as he conducted for the final time at this year's Last Night of the Proms.

Proms facts
Series of about 70 concerts between mid-July and mid-September
Events held at London's Royal Albert Hall
Concerts begun in August 1895 by impresario Robert Newman and conductor Henry Wood
Henry Wood conducted the first Proms, aged only 26
BBC took over Proms in 1927
He is stepping down as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra after 11 years to take up a new post with the Chicago Lyric Opera.

The festival's finale at the Royal Albert Hall in London was broadcast live on giant screens in parks across the country.

Up to 40,000 people soaked up the atmosphere of BBC Proms 2000 in Hyde Park in London, while simultaneous concerts in Birmingham and Liverpool attracted audiences respectively of 18,000 and 3,200.

Nicholas Kenyon, the director of the Proms, paid tribute to Sir Andrew.

Hyde Park Proms goers
Revellers listened to the Proms in Hyde Park
He said: "We took the opportunity to give him some presents and say what a fantastic job he has done.

"The chairman and governors of the BBC and all his colleagues at the BBC gave him a manuscript of one of the pieces that he premiered, a completion of Elgar's Unfinished Third Symphony, by Anthony Payne.

"And the audience gave him a copy of a Benjamin Britten opera, The Rape of Lucretia, signed by the composer."

Sir Andrew returned the favour by singing the major-general's song from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, Mr Kenyon added.

"It was a hugely celebratory occasion."

Hilary Hahn
Hilary Hahn was making her Proms debut
This was not Sir Andrew's last appearance at the Proms. Mr Kenyon said the conductor would be coming back to conduct at the festival, but not the First or Last Night of the Proms.

The Proms, which were started by music enthusiasts in 1895, are now in their 106th season.

Youth was a major focus of this year's festival, with huge audiences attending the Millennium Youth Day, a sell-out Walton Belshazzar's Feast, and two sold-out Proms.

The young violinist, Hilary Hahn, 20, also made her Proms debut at this year's Last Night, playing Mozart's Fourth Concerto.

Next season's Proms will be launched under Leonard Slatkin in July 2001.

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09 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Sir Andrew Davis: First Knight of the Proms
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