28 July 2023
By Ellie Palmer
There's plenty of pianistic content to feast your eyes (and ears) on at this year's BBC Proms! Let's take a look...
All events can be streamed on BBC iPlayer
Prom 22: Isata Kanneh-Mason plays Prokofiev
19:00 Tue 1 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Isata Kanneh-Mason ©Robin Clewley
Star pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason makes her solo debut at the Proms in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, in which rhapsodic melody meets restless rhythmic exuberance.
Prom 27: Yuja Wang plays Rachmaninov
19:30 Fri 4 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Yuja Wang ©Kirk Edwards
After an ‘extraordinary’ Proms debut last season, rising-star conductor Klaus Mäkelä is reunited with sensational pianist Yuja Wang for Rachmaninov’s glittering Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini – its mercurial moods and technical demands a tour de force for any soloist.
Prom 30: Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto
*UPDATE: Replaced by Alim Beisembayev*
19:30 Sun 6 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Benjamin Grosvenor ©Marco Borggreve
John Wilson and his orchestral supergroup the Sinfonia of London return to the Proms to perform Rachmaninov’s famous Second Piano Concerto with British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.
Sir András Schiff
Prom 37: Budapest Festival Orchestra
19:30 Sat 12 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Sir András Schiff ©Nadia F Romanini
The Budapest Festival Orchestra and founder-conductor Iván Fischer are joined by celebrated fellow Hungarian Sir András Schiff for one of the great Romantic piano concertos – Schumann’s generous, poetic bravura piece that renegotiates the relationship between soloist and orchestra.
Sir András Schiff
Prom 39: Ligeti, Bartók and Beethoven
19:30 Sun 13 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Schiff returns the following day as soloist in Bartók’s Third Piano Concerto, an exquisite, elegiac musical farewell.
Prom 40: Martin Helmchen plays Brahms
19:30 Mon 14 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Martin Helmchen ©Giorgia Bertazzi
Award-winning German pianist Martin Helmchen makes his Proms debut as soloist in Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto, a vast work full of mercurial mood swings and technical demands.
Prom 41: Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto
19:30 Tue 15 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Alexandre Kantorow ©Sasha Gusov
Tchaikovsky Competition-winner Alexandre Kantorow has been hailed as ‘Liszt reincarnated’ and a ‘fire-breathing virtuoso’. Still in his twenties, the young pianist makes a much-anticipated Proms debut, joining Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as soloist in Beethoven’s poetic Piano Concerto No. 4.
Prom 42: Elgar, Chopin and Strauss
19:30 Wed 16 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Seong-Jin Cho ©Christoph Koestlin/DG
International Chopin Piano Competition-winner Seong-Jin Cho is one of the world’s most exciting young pianists, praised for his ‘remarkable technique’ and the elegance of his interpretations. Who better to perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 – a heady combination of brilliance and poetry, its slow movement a vision of ‘a beloved landscape on a moonlit spring night’.
Prom 44: Stravinsky’s The Firebird
19:30 Fri 18 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Pavel Kolesnikov ©Eva Vermandel
Prize-winning pianist Pavel Kolesnikov joins the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Dmitry Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major.
Prom 47: Les Siècles plays Ligeti and Mozart
19:30 Sun 20 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
François-Xavier Roth’s award-winning orchestra Les Siècles presents music from sonic pioneer György Ligeti alongside two late works by Mozart. Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov is the soloist in the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 23.
Prom 48: Stevie Wonder's Innervisions with Jules Buckley Orchestra and Cory Henry
20:00 Mon 21 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Cory Henry © Raymond Alva Photography
The BBC Proms celebrates some of Stevie Wonder’s most iconic work this year as conductor Jules Buckley and his Orchestra are joined by Cory Henry: singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and keyboardist, for performances including Higher Ground, Living for the City and Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing.
Prom 55: Gershwin’s Piano Concerto
19:30 Sat 26 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Jean-Yves Thibaudet ©E. Caren
Dance pulses through this second concert from Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra (see Prom 52). Jean-Yves Thibaudet is the soloist in Gershwin’s Piano Concerto, with its bluesy slow movement and hot, frenzied finale.
Prom 60: Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
19:30 Thu 31 Aug 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Kirill Gerstein ©Marco Borggreve
The Thomas Adès Piano Concerto will be performed here by Kirill Gerstein, who gave the 2019 premiere.
Proms at Perth
14:00 Sun 3 Sep 2023 Perth Concert Hall
Steven Osborne ©Benjamin Ealovega
Pianist Steven Osborne joins the award-winning Heath Quartet for a chamber concert of Classical traditions and reinventions. Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet harks back to the chamber music of Haydn and his predecessors, revisiting 18th-century forms and gestures through his own distinctive lens. Haydn’s own String Quartet in E flat major is paired with Tippett’s Piano Sonata No. 2, which captures the fragmentary brilliance of its original title, ‘Mosaics’.
Prom 70: Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto
19:30 Fri 8 Sep 2023 Royal Albert Hall
Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii returns as soloist in Rachmaninov’s demanding Piano Concerto No. 3 alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and its Venezuelan-born Chief Conductor Domingo Hindoyan.