BBC Proms: Last Night, First Woman

Tune in to CPR Classical on Saturday, September 7 at 6 p.m. for an evening of celebration as Marin Alsop, Conductor Laureate of the Colorado Symphony, takes the baton at Royal Albert Hall in London to become the first female to lead the Last Night of the BBC Proms.Image: BBC Proms

Alsop is one of five women to conduct Proms this year, out of nearly 50 conductors in total. Saturday, she leads the BBC Symphony Orchestra joined by mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato and violinist Nigel Kennedy in program that includes Wagner, Bernstein, Handel, Rossini, and many more.

The first Proms was held in 1895, organized by the manager of the newly built Queen's Hall in London, Robert Newman. While Newman had previously organized symphony orchestra concerts at the hall, his aim with this new festival was to reach a wider audience by offering more popular programs, adopting a less formal promenade arrangement, and keeping ticket prices low.

Now in its 119th season, the Proms still remains true to its original aim. Hear for yourself on Saturday, September 7 at 6 p.m.