“The power of music cannot be over-estimated.
It’s what makes us human beings,
it’s what makes us nations,
it’s what makes us a great civilisation.
We cannot forget that ever,
and music and art cannot be pushed to the margins –
they have to be front and centre.”
— Marin Alsop : speaking at the Last Night of the Proms 2013
Thought of the day :
I love watching Last Night of the Proms on TV : the red L plate on the podium; the balloons and confetti; the colourful concert dresses of the musicians; the waving of flags; the sing-along of Jerusalem, and Auld Lang Syne by the audience to close the curtain of this annual music celebration.
This year Nigel Kennedy carried a mug of tea onto the stage. He wore his Aston Villa shirt, burst balloons with his bow, mucking around with several impromtu musical clips in between playing Monti’s Csárdás to wind up the conductor, the leader and the orchestra. Everyone was amused, and entertained. Except the critics, perhaps.
There was also a first in 118 years of The Last Night – a female conductor on the podium. Marin Alsop was “quite shocked that it can be 2013 and there can still be firsts for women”. When she was nine she wanted to be a conductor but her violin teacher said “girls can’t do that”. Just a week ago someone was quoted to say orchestras were distracted by a cute girl on the podium. But the conductor just gently swiped over the comment and did not make a big deal out of it.
Moving on. She dedicated the evening to Progress. Hip hip, Hurray! Hip hip, Hurray! Hip hip, Hurray!