Jessica Cottis To Conduct 'The Lost Words' BBC Prom
Named as The Times's classical 'Face to Watch' of 2019, conductor Jessica Cottis returns to the BBC Proms to conduct 'The Lost Words' themed programme, inspired by the bestselling book by Robert Macfarlane.
This unique family event includes brand new commissions from composers Alissa Firsova and Jocelyn Pook, as well as a brand new 'spell' from Macfarlane - so called as the words are designed to be spoken or sung aloud. The programme features multiple musical genres including classical, hip hop and folk, and includes musical works inspired by the natural landscape, including Vaughan Williams's The Lark Ascending and excerpts from Beethoven's 'Pastoral' symphony. This theme continues with the world premiere of Jocelyn Pook's You Need to Listen to Us, inspired by and featuring words from environmentalist Greta Thunberg's speech to the Strasbourg Convention earlier this year. The concert will also feature stunning live paintings from Jackie Morris, who created the original artwork for the book.
Jessica Cottis said:
"I'm delighted to be returning to the BBC Proms. The atmosphere and excitement from the audience at the Royal Albert Hall is always palpable, and there's really nothing like this festival anywhere in the world. I'm particularly looking forward to reuniting with the outstanding young musicians of the Southbank Sinfonia, and all our guest performers. Robert Macfarlane's book is a huge inspiration, for the re-engagement and conservation of the natural world around us, and also as the narrative that runs through our concert. I can't wait to share these captivating musical landscapes with everyone."
Cottis is a regular at the BBC Proms, having made her debut in 2010 and returning numerous times since then, most recently to conduct the 'Ten Pieces' Proms last year. This year's programme combines two key strands of Cottis's work and values: to champion new music and inspire the younger generation with classical music.
This Proms concert marks the latest in a series of high-profile engagements for Cottis this season. In February she conducted to universal critical acclaim The Monstrous Child, the first opera production at the Royal Opera House's newly refurbished Linbury Theatre as well as conducting some of the world's leading orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Cottis also conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra on saxophonist Jess Gilliam's debut album, Rise.
For this BBC Prom Cottis conducts the Southbank Sinfonia, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Spell Song folk group, violinist Stephanie Childress, singer-cellist Beth Porter and beatboxer Jason Singh. The Prom will be interpreted into British Sign Language by Angie Newman.
For more information and to book tickets to 'The Lost Words' Prom, please visit the BBC Proms website. The Prom will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds.