Q&A: James Gaffigan on his BBC Proms debut

On 28 July 2017, James Gaffigan will make his BBC Proms debut, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a programme featuring Korngold’s The Sea Hawk, the UK premiere of Hillborg’s Sirens and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade at the Royal Albert Hall. We caught up with him to find out a little more about how he was feeling, his repertoire and what he thinks makes the Proms so special.

How are you feeling about making your BBC Proms debut?

It’s a combination of nerves and excitement. I still remember visiting London in my early 20’s and ‘promming it’… getting in a long queue and meeting music students and music fans.

Can you tell us a bit about the repertoire you’re performing, and what it means to you?

I think the program is really well crafted. I’ve always been interested in the mysteries and powers of the sea, and all three pieces contribute to this theme in a very specific way.

And about the musicians you’re performing with?

I adore the BBC Symphony. I find they bring their ‘A game’ to all repertoire, whether it be a living composer like Mr. Hillborg, or an orchestration pioneer like Rimsky-Korsakov.

Finally, what is it about the Proms that makes it special?

The atmosphere at the proms is closer to a rock concert than a typical classical music performance. Everyone is there to have a good time and because they love music … the energy is contagious.

I’m happy and honoured to be a part of the 2017 Proms.

We wish James a fantastic debut on Friday. More information can be found here.

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