About Islington Proms
Welcome to the sixth series of Islington Proms.
If this is your first introduction to the Proms, a word of explanation. The Islington Proms grew from the idea of a member of the congregation at St James’ Church to hold a ‘Year of Music’. Nine concerts were planned for 2012 and they were so popular that we have kept to the same format ever since.
So what makes the Islington Prom concert series such a success? First, St James’ is an amazing venue with a very fine acoustic – and it is right on our doorstep. Second, the Proms are organised on a not-for-profit basis; ticket prices are kept as low as possible and all the proceeds are re-invested into the Proms. Third, we are supported by a voluntary committee of local music-lovers and talented music-makers who generously offer their time to contribute all the elements necessary to stage the series.
Key to the Proms has been the acquisition of an 1894 Bechstein grand piano. Discovered in a private house by Anthony Hill, then organist at St James’, the piano was paid for by donations and loans – an example of the way the Proms has benefitted from the growing sense of community spirit in N1. Sadly Anthony died in July 2016 and the piano recital this July by the young Korean piano virtuoso, Yoon Chung, is a tribute to the huge contribution Anthony made to musical education.
This year’s Proms programme is more varied than ever. The season starts with the widely acclaimed Hermitage Ensemble from St Petersburg. In this acoustic, their style of a capella singing will be electrifying. In contrast, the concert in September features one of Ireland’s best loved contemporary folk-singers, Eleanor McEvoy. Our support for local music making is also a feature of the Proms. As well as performances by our local chamber choir, Cantallini, we are delighted to welcome postgraduate students from the Guildhall School of Music in Silk Street for several concerts.
As part of the mix we are also keen to provide an opportunity for the very best of our local school students to perform: they have their own Youth Prom in October. The diverse programme is completed by Duo Maddalena who sing renaissance and baroque songs with an early music ensemble, Yoon Chung playing the Anthony Hill Memorial recital, and chamber music and operatic favourites in the ever-popular Pocket Prom in the Vicarage gardens.
We do hope that you will accept our invitation to enjoy ‘music in our neighbourhood’.