July 12 through September 7, 2013
The Proms, short for Promenade concert, is a classical music festival in Royal Albert Hall, located in South Kensington. The musical series was started by Robert Newman, who organized orchestra concerts as manager of the Queen’s Hall in the late 19th century. His goal was to reach a broader audience through a more casual, low-priced atmosphere. Almost 120 years later, visitors can gain entry to any of the 92 concerts held between July and September for just £5 (roughly $8). The hall’s central arena can fit 900 standing visitors, and its gallery can seat 500. Conductors lead orchestras through music by Beethoven, Wagner, Bruckner and even Hollywood film scores. This year, Marin Alsop will be the first-ever female conductor to direct the “Last Night of the Proms,” the series’ grand finale.