BBC boss David Pickard (pictured) is behind the ‘creative’ decision to censor Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory at Last Night of the Proms
The BBC boss behind the “creative” decision to censor Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory at Last Night of the Proms had previously said he didn’t want the concert to be a “political platform.”
David Pickard became Director of the BBC Proms in 2015 after holding various prestigious roles in classical music, most notably as Managing Director of the Glyndebourne Opera House.
When appointed, he said he wanted to bring “world-class classical music to the widest possible audience” and was praised for his ability to introduce the genre to new listeners.
Now the London-born Cambridge graduate is at the center of the controversy surrounding the BBC’s decision to drop the singing of the patriotic hymns at this year’s concert after critics called them “racist.”
In 2019, Mr Pickard told the Daily Telegraph that he did not want the Proms to be a ‘political platform’ after the others handed out EU flags to members of the public ahead of the event. ‘last year.
His hopes were dashed, however, when the 2019 concert was also hijacked by anti-Brexit activists carrying the flag.
Jamie Barton waving the rainbow flag during the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London last year while singing Rule Britannia
The Last Night of the Proms 2019 was hijacked by people waving EU flags amid the Brexit row (pictured)
What is the history of Rule, Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory?
Rule, Britannia is from the poem of the same name by Scottish poet and playwright James Thomson, and was set to music by English composer Thomas Arne in 1740.
It gained popularity in the UK after being first performed in London in 1745 and became the symbol of the British Empire, most closely associated with the British Navy.
The song has been used as part of a number of compositions, including Wagner’s concert overture in D major in 1837 and Beethoven’s orchestral work Wellington’s Victory.
The song has been an integral part of the annual Remembrance Day ceremony since 1930 when it became the first song performed in the program known as Traditional Music.
It regained its popularity at the end of World War II in 1945 after being played during the ceremonial surrender of the Imperial Japanese Army in Singapore.
As a rule, Britannia is typically performed every year on the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms.
Critics on the left have claimed its inclusion has sparked controversy in recent years because it was deemed too patriotic.
The song “Land of Hope and Glory” is based on the theme of the trio of Elgar’s Pomp And Circumstance March No.1, which premiered in 1901.
It caught the attention of King Edward VII after it became the only piece of Proms history to receive a double recall.
King Edward suggested that this trio would make a good song, so Elgar incorporated it into the final section of his Ode to the Coronation, which was to be performed at the coronation of King Edward.
This year’s no-audience event was again marred by politics after Boris Johnson entered the anthem row, condemning the BBC for ‘dampness’ over his decision to give up singing.
The national broadcaster initially considered dropping the patriotic songs after criticizing their supposed links to slavery and colonialism, but after a huge row the bosses returned and announced they would be played instead, but not sung.
They claim that the lack of audiences to sing is at the root of the “creative” decision.
BBC chief executive Lord Hall – who is due to step down in September – has said he supports the decision.
He told BBC media editor Amol Rajan: “They have come to the right conclusion. “
Asked whether there had been any discussion of dropping songs due to their association with British imperial history, Lord Hall said: “It was all discussed by David (Pickard) and his colleagues of course. “
When Mr Pickard took over as director in 2015, BBC Radio 3 controller Alan Davey told Corpus Christi College Cambridge – Mr Pickard’s former pupil – that the pianist “would bring a whole host of new ideas. ” concert.
Mr. Pickard said: “Like many people, my interest in classical music was inspired by visits to the Proms as a teenager and I have had the privilege of playing a contributing role for the past 20 years, first with the Age of Enlightenment Orchestra and more recently with the annual Glyndebourne Ball.
“I now look forward to building on the founding principles of The Proms – bringing world-class classical music to the widest possible audience.
His groundbreaking initiatives included a “Proms at…” series that examined music in unusual spaces – including a multi-story car park in London.
Speaking of his goals ahead of the 2017 proms, Mr Pickard said: “It has been 122 years since the first season of ‘Henry Wood Promenade Concerts’ and 90 years since the BBC took over the festival.
“The world has changed dramatically since 1895, but the BBC Proms continue to uphold the same founding principles of those very early concerts: to bring the best of classical music to the widest possible audience.
A BBC spokesperson said: “For the avoidance of doubt these songs will be sung next year. We obviously share everyone’s disappointment that the Proms will have to be different, but we believe it’s the best fit under the circumstances and we look forward to their traditional return next year.
The BBC sparked a new row after announcing traditional favorites such as Land Of Hope And Glory would be performed without words at the Proms (pictured in 2012)
So what songs will be sung at balls? Words in Jerusalem and you’ll never walk alone
And made these feet in ancient times,
Walking on the green mountains of England?
And was the holy lamb of God
On the pleasant pastures of England seen?
And the divine physiognomy,
Shine on our darkened hills?
And was Jerusalem built here
Among these dark satanic mills?
Bring me my burning golden bow!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear, oh the clouds spread!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I won’t stop fighting mentally,
My sword won’t sleep in my hand either
Until we built Jerusalem
In the green and pleasant land of England
When you go through a storm
Keep your head up
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of a storm
There is a golden sky
And the soft silvery song of a lark
Walk in the wind
Walk in the rain
Although your dreams are launched and blown away
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You will never walk alone
With hope in your heart
And you will never walk alone, you will never walk alone