Welsh Proms Celebrate 40th Anniversary of St David’s Hall

THE Welsh Proms are back Saturday 8 – Friday 14 July, and this time there is more reason to celebrate as it’s the 40th anniversary of St David’s Hall!

Now in its 38th year, the Welsh Proms are some of the biggest concerts in Wales’ cultural calendar and the exciting programme starts in style with the Family Prom (Sat 8 July, 3pm). Conducted by Michael Bell MBE, Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra and special guest host Mike Church guide us on an intergalactic journey through the cosmos. From interstellar to extra-terrestrial, Adventures in Space includes Star Wars, ET, The Planets, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Also Sprach Zarathustra (as famously featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey!)

Also introducing young people to the joy of classical music is the Tiddly Prom (Sat 8 – Fri 14 July, 10,30am), which returns for seven fun-filled performances of Bert’s Magical Musical Kitchen. This accessible and interactive concert devised by Arts Active on Lefel 1 is ideal for children aged under five.

The following afternoon sees Owain Arwel Hughes CBE lead the world class Philharmonia Orchestra in a Classical Extravaganza (Sun 9 July, 4pm). From Rossini’s Barber of Seville to the ancient Egypt of Verdi’s Aida to the haunting moonlight of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, get ready for some of the most dramatic music ever composed.

Owain Arwel Hughes CBE at the press launch for the 2023 Welsh Proms. Photo: Andy Howells

Jonathan Scott performs a breathtaking repertoire of Bach, Beethoven and more with a lunchtime performance of the Organ Prom (Mon 10 July, 1pm). This special programme not only demonstrates the full range of symphonic sounds and capabilities of the magnificent organ at the National Concert Hall of Wales, but also features Scott’s own arrangements of masterpieces including the Finale from Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony.

That evening, there’s the Folk Prom (Mon 10 July, 7.30pm) showcasing two talented partnerships – one of UK’s top young bluegrass acts in The Carrivick Sisters, plus Americana duo Tapestri featuring Welsh duo Lowri Evans and Sarah Zyborska.

The following afternoon, Arts Active presents the Soundworks Prom (Tues 11 July, 1.30pm) in Lefel 1, which provides a relaxed summer concert for adults and young people with learning disabilities and autism.

Then it’s time for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood as the Movie Prom (Tues 11 July, 7.30pm) celebrates the great film composers including John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer and John Barry. From Star Wars to Superman and Jaws to Jurassic Park, you won’t want to miss this blockbuster soundtrack from the Welsh National Opera Orchestra!

Owain Arwel Hughes CBE and a selection of Wales’ finest choirs are joined by the legendary Cory Band for an evening of rousing and evocative choruses in the Brass & Voices Prom (Weds 12 July, 7.30pm). Is there a sound more evocative of the spirit of Wales than a 200-voice male choir in the magic of Joseph Parry’s Myfanwy, or the full-throated hwyl of John Hughes’ Cwm Rhondda?

The penultimate performance sees the Jazz Prom (Thurs 13 July, 7.30pm) return to the L3 Lounge with the Capital City Jazz Orchestra. Special guest Jeff Hooper breathes new life into the music of Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darrin and Tony Bennett, as well as Big Band classics from Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

Owain Arwel Hughes CBE then brings down the curtain with the Last Night of the Welsh Proms (Fri 14 July, 7.30pm) as the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and soloist Shân Cothi join forces for an epic finale!

For full details on ticket prices, please visit www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk or call the Box Office on 029 2087 8444.

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