On Tour: Behind the Scenes at BBC Proms Japan

Rose Hooks is part of HarrisonParrott’s touring department, and she shares her highlights from the trip

By HarrisonParrott Foundation

BBC Proms Japan Mount FujiHarrisonParrott Foundation

HarrisonParrott managed the inaugural BBC Proms Japan, a six-day festival with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and its Chief Conductor, Thomas Dausgaard, at Bunkamura Orchard Hall in Tokyo and Symphony Hall in Osaka, from 30 October to 4 November

BBC Proms Japan posters at ShibuyaHarrisonParrott Foundation

Arrival in Shibuya for the first Prom of the Festival

BBC Proms Japan tech schedulesHarrisonParrott Foundation

Scheduling

With a complex colour-coded technical schedule accounting for every hour of every day for every venue, we knew things were (mostly!) under control.

BBC Proms Japan Truck arrivalHarrisonParrott Foundation

The loading bay

The crew eagerly awaits the arrival of the cargo truck as it backs into the loading bay, reuniting the musicians with their instruments after almost five days of painful separation.

BBC Proms Japan Yulianna AvdeevaHarrisonParrott Foundation

Piano soloist Yulianna Avdeeva

The wonderful Yulianna Avdeeva was the first soloist of the festival, performing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto for the first three concerts of the Festival – pictured here from behind the camera lens.

BBC Proms Japan Orchard HallHarrisonParrott Foundation

Tokyo's Orchard Hall

The final adjustments take place on stage at Tokyo’s Orchard Hall, with the lighting department going above and beyond (literally) to bring some of the sparkle and charm of London’s Royal Albert Hall, home of the BBC Proms, to Japan. 

BBC Proms Japan seating plan, From the collection of: HarrisonParrott Foundation
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BBC Proms Japan Mount Fuji, From the collection of: HarrisonParrott Foundation
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BBC Proms Japan Osaka HallHarrisonParrott Foundation

Osaka Symphony Hall

This was was the next stop with their decorative curtains adding a touch of elegance. Useful fact: Osaka Symphony Hall was the first hall in Japan to be designed specifically for classical concerts.

The Osaka Symphony Hall

BBC Proms Japan wardrobeHarrisonParrott Foundation

Wardrobe

Happy musicians are always one of our most important objectives on tour, so we thought we’d have some wardrobe boxes built specially for the members of the orchestra – no carrying the glad rags around here.

BBC Proms Japan Programme sheetsHarrisonParrott Foundation

Sheet music

In usual BBC Proms fashion, the BBC SSO under Thomas Dausgaard performed not only classics such as Bruch’s Violin Concerto No.1, Sibelius’s Finlandia and Mahler’s Symphony No.5, but also contemporary works, including by Japanese composers such as Toshio Hosokawa. Violinist Taro Hakase took to the podium to play – direct some of his best-known pieces with the orchestra.

BBC Proms Japan Rugby World CupHarrisonParrott Foundation

We couldn’t spend two weeks in Japan without a quick visit to the Rugby World Cup Final, could we?

BBC Proms Japan Jess GillamHarrisonParrott Foundation

Last Night of the Proms

 Back to the concert halls where Jess Gillam, joined us for the Last Night of the Japan Proms, performing Milhaud’s Scaramouche Suite

BBC Proms Japan Flags from stageHarrisonParrott Foundation

Sneaky Peak

The sixth and final performance of the estival, the Last Night of the Japan Proms, had the audience on their feet, waving flags and singing along to the traditional hits we all know and love to hear at the LNOP in London, including Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance and Auld Lang Syne. 

BBC Proms Japan Rose Hooks Tour ManagerHarrisonParrott Foundation

Tour Manager Rose Hooks

Another successful tour complete, my ninth of the year, here’s to the BBC Proms continuing to thrive across the world for years to come!

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