A statement from the BBC read: “All of us at the BBC Proms stand with music lovers everywhere and musicians around the world affected by Covid-19. The current situation with Covid-19 means the season we had originally planned is sadly no longer possible. Instead the Proms in 2020 have been reconceived in a different format, but our aim remains the same – to create the world’s greatest classical music festival by reflecting world class music-making from leading artists around the globe, highlighting emerging talent, and featuring work by some of today’s most exciting and innovative composers. The 2020 Proms will celebrate the past, reflect on the present and build for the future.”
The past will play its part through the BBC archive of Proms concerts, which will deliver a broadcast festival across BBC radio, television, and online. From July 17th, BBC Radio 3 will present past Proms concerts every evening, as well as a weekly Late Night Prom, and a Monday lunchtime offering.
Joining the celebrations on the opening weekend, BBC Four will then broadcast stand-out Proms each Sunday throughout the festival. Further highlights of TV Proms over the years will also be available on BBC iPlayer for audiences to enjoy this summer.
From August 28th the focus of the Proms moves from the past into the present with the ambition to have musicians performing live at the Royal Albert Hall across the final two weeks of the season, culminating in a unique Last Night of the Proms to bring the nation together. The BBC plans for the live performance to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3, BBC Four and iPlayer.
The BBC will also look to the future this summer in a digital Proms season, beginning right at the start of the festival with a unique First Night commission performed by all the BBC Orchestras and BBC Singers. Featuring over 350 musicians, this Grand Virtual Orchestra will see all the groups performing together.