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BBC Proms Big Three

UK: The first night of the BBC Proms, which starts on Friday will provide a challenging musical fare.

The 2001 season starts with three of the biggest British composers, Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Edward Elgar, as well as a world première and a rare combination of music and poetry by America's John Adams.

According to BBC news, the first piece on Friday will be the première of an opening fanfare commissioned by the BBC.

The first piece, composed by Colin Matthews, is planned as a welcome to Leonard Slatkin, who is conducting his first Prom as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Nicholas Kenyon- Proms director- told BBC News Online, "I'm particularly pleased by the fact that it's the first Proms where Leonard Slatkin has been chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra."

"He has been to the Proms before, often, but this is the first time he'll have pole position, doing the first night and the last night as well as other concerts in between – he does more concerts than any other conductor," said Kenyon.

Matthews has also orchestrated Britten's Paul Bunyan overture, written while Britten was in a self-imposed exile in North American during the war.

The BBC have also said that a group of top young singers are to take on Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music, written for Henry Wood, the original creator of the Proms – then at the Queen's Hall – in 1895.

Elgar's Cello Concerto is one of the most famous classical music pieces of the 20th century.