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Date TimeJuly 21, 2019
VoiceRoyal Albert Hall, London Zosha Di Castri’s evocative tribute to the Apollo moon landing led an opening night that, under the baton of Karina Canellakis, felt subtly like an upward leap
First night of the Proms review – the moon, and female stars
Neil Armstrong’s packing for Apollo 11 included a cassette player and a mixtape – Dvořák’s New World Symphony, plus a piece for choir and theremin; he took his own lunar sound effects with him. Fifty years minus a day since Armstrong reached his destination and stepped outside, there was no theremin at the first night of this year’s Proms. But the new work celebrating the anniversary – Long Is the Journey, Short Is the Memory, by the New York-based Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri – created its own lunar soundscape, presented in high definition by the BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Karina Canellakis. A woman conducting music by a woman on the first night, for the first time, feels like progress.

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