Nicholas and the Aurora Orchestra’s BBC Proms performance of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony from memory on 15 July will be broadcast on BBC Four in the UK on Friday 26 August at 7.30pm.
The audience is met with an unusual sight on stage: only a handful of chairs in front of the conductor podium. This is due to the manner in which the orchestra performed Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, with the majority of the players standing while playing, only made possible by performing the symphony completely from memory. By way of introduction, Nicholas illustrates the main themes in the symphony, with the orchestra and some help from the audience.
The orchestra also performed Rihm’s Gejagte Form and Strauss’ Oboe Concerto with François Leleux in the first half of the concert. Each piece was given an insightful introduction by Tom Service, guiding the audience through the key listening points in each piece. Particularly notable in the first half was the contrast presented between the first two compositions, a thrilling performance of the contemporary Gejagte Form balanced with the beauty of the Oboe Concerto. The audio from the concert in full is also available to listen to online via the BBC Proms website.
For a unique perspective on the evening, read a piece from Drowned in Sound, whose writer, a self-proclaimed rock fan, attended the Prom to gain an insight into the world of classical music. “Let’s face it, if you can get a curmudgeonly 30 year old punk who mostly listens to instrumental rock and lo-fi DIY bands along and show him a good time, you’re probably doing alright.”
Nicholas also appeared on BBC Two’s Proms Extra on 20 August alongside Mark-Anthony Turnage and Fiona Shaw, where they were interviewed by Katie Durham on the music of Gershwin and John Wilson’s Orchestra following the Prom on 31 July. Nicholas commented “The orchestra is phenomenal … the standard of the players is extraordinary.”