Joseph Middleton on his BBC Proms debut



Joseph Middleton will make his BBC Proms debut on Monday 5 September, in the final concert of the Proms Chamber Music series. We asked Joseph how he felt about his first appearance at the festival…

“As a song accompanist I must admit to thinking that the Proms was probably a Festival that would pass me by as a performing artist and that it would continue to be a great institution I would enjoy as an audience member rather than as a participant. The Festival tends to programme only one song concert per season and so the chances of performing in this much sought-after recital are rather stacked against you, particularly as a young accompanist.

I can vividly remember my parents bringing me to the RAH as a child to hear my first Prom. We sat in the choir stalls. It was one of the first times I’d been to London and certainly the first time I’d been inside such an impressive concert hall. Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ was on the menu and I can remember peering over the top of the rail that surrounds those top seats watching as this piece unfolded, instrument by instrument. Since then I’ve enjoyed countless Prom experiences. Thinking back to that evening listening to the Bolero, I would have never dreamed that one day I’d be making my living as a pianist, let alone joining the exalted company of Proms artists. Monday will be a real red-letter day for me.

Monday’s recital also kicks off my new season and I can think of no more pleasurable way to get back to work after the summer, than to be on stage with two such consummately marvellous artists, singers and general wonder-people as Carolyn and Iestyn. It’s a programme I think the audience will very much enjoy – Purcell songs and duets, repertoire for which these singers are universally lauded, and then a group of Mendelssohn and Quilter, including material I would have thought even the most enthusiastic song-lovers probably won’t know. The Quilter group in particular containing some rarely performed gems. We’ll then travel to Suffolk to make a CD of this repertoire. Something else to look forward to.”

Joseph Middleton joins Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson for a song recital at Cadogan Hall at 1pm on Monday 5 September. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Find out more on the BBC Proms website

Discover which other Askonas Holt artists are making their BBC Proms debut here.

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