PROMS AT ST JUDE'S: Songs, symphonies and all that jazz

Hampstead Garden Suburb proves it can give the Royal Albert Hall a run for its money – with a host of stars and a packed programme of great works, says DAVID SONIN They have chosen a wide-ranging programme, including songs by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Richar

Hampstead Garden Suburb proves it can give the Royal Albert Hall a run for its money - with a host of stars and a packed programme of great works, says DAVID SONIN

They have chosen a wide-ranging programme, including songs by Mozart, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Noel Coward, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and Stephen Sondheim.

The Proms has always welcomed prodigious young talent and, on Tuesday June 19,

it will be the turn of the phenomenal young clarinettist Julian Bliss. Playing works by Bartok, Brahms, Rossini and Milhaud, he will be joined by the two other members of his trio, violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky and pianist Simon Lepper.

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When Hampstead pianist John Lill made his Proms at St Jude's debut it was a watershed for the series, creating a new benchmark for both the quality of artists and repertoire. He makes a welcome return to the Proms, of which he is a proud patron, on Wednesday June 20 with a programme of music by Mozart, Schumann, Prokofiev, Chopin and Beethoven. Lill's concert career spans 50 years and his repertoire embraces no less than 70 concertos. He gave his first piano recital at the age of nine and at 18 performed Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto under Sir Adrian Boult. This was followed by a much-acclaimed London debut playing Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall.

Keeping on the serious music tack, local resident, conductor and cellist Robert Max returns to St Jude's on Thursday 21 June with the Barbican Trio, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. They will play music by Haydn, Beethoven and Dvorak.

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The Proms would not be the Proms without a change of pace and genre and that means jazz, folk or gospel. And on Friday June 22 it is a big hello to Humphrey Lyttelton and his band whose trad repertoire has retained its sparkle since he founded his first band in the dull years of post-war Britain.

Apart from being the top trad jazz exponent on these shores, he has worked as a cartoonist, writer, broadcaster, quiz show presenter, record producer and restaurant reviewer.

Twenty-four hours should be sufficient time for the temperature to cool for the ever-popular Opera Night on Saturday June 23. It brings together four very talented young singers - soprano Mary Nelson, mezzo Victoria Simmonds, tenor Rhys Meirion and baritone David Kempster with the London International Orchestra under the baton of Toby Purser. The programme will draw on arias from operas by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Strauss and Bizet.

No self-respecting Proms season would be complete without its last night. And the Central Square bash will have plenty of hats and flags to wave as audience, orchestra, chorus and soloist give out lustily with Stanford's Sea Songs, Arne's Rule Britannia and Elgar's Land Of Hope And Glory.

But before tradition takes hold, conductor Simon Over and his Southbank Sinfonia with cellist Vashti Hunter will set the mood for the evening with Elgar's much-loved Cello Concerto.

But the Proms would not be Proms without a reminder of what they have achieved in terms of help for young musicians.

The free lunchtime concerts have expanded in popularity year by year and the 2007 season is expected to draw very respectable houses. The strand opens on Saturday June 16 with Ron Corp's New London Children's Choir singing music by Benjamin Britten, Vaughan Williams, Elizabeth Maconchy and Howard Skempton, among others.

The programme resumes on Tuesday June 19 when students of the Purcell School play chamber music by Katchaturian and Beethoven.

On Wednesday June 20 members of the Southbank Sinfonia under teacher David Corkhill give a concert for adults and children featuring Copland's Appalachian Spring.

On Thursday June 21 a gifted Royal College of Music student Ren Yuan plays music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Schubert.

Organist and teacher Nicholas Chalmers crosses the Central Square lawns on Friday June 22 to give an organ recital at the Free Church in North Square. It will include music by Bach and Elgar.

The final recital is on Saturday, June 23 when Russian-born soprano Lola Toursunova is joined by Italian pianist Elenlucia Pappalardo in a programme of aria and romances including those by Bellini, Donizetti, Chopin and Liszt.

Tickets for the evening concerts are £6 to £20 (concs

£2 off). To book, call 020-8458 1582. They are also available on the night. There are also Proms Heritage walks (£6) and talks on the history of the Suburb on June 16, June 20 and June 23.

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