Classics in the great outdoors

As prom season approaches, Liz Barrett chooses a selection of the finest open air classical concerts

Gloucestershire floods
Vanessa Mae, Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire
18 July
As part of the Forestry Commission’s season of live music events, violin virtuoso Vanessa Mae will be taking to the trees of Westonbirt Arboretum for an evening of classical music, accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra and featuring special guests All Angels (dubbed the world’s first female classical super group).

Hallé Fireworks and Light Spectacular, Tatton Park, Cheshire
1 August
The world-famous Hallé orchestra, the spectacular grounds of Tatton Park (right), and a magnificent fireworks display – an evening of true celebration. Magic is this year’s theme with masterpieces such as Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain and the blistering fireworks finale The Witches’ Sabbath from Berlioz’s revolutionary Symphonie fantastique.


Last Night of the Audley End Proms, Essex
2 August
The triumphant finale to the Audley End Picnic Concert series, complete with symphony orchestra and spitfire display. Operatic superstar Katherine Jenkins will be performing all of your Last Night favourites, including Rule Britannia and Jerusalem.

Proms Spectacular, Castle Howard, Yorkshire
22 August
The UK’s biggest ‘Last Night of the Proms’ style concert outside of Hyde Park. Pack a hamper, crack open the champers and sit back and relax for an evening of popular classics, movie themes and Proms favourites such as the 1812 Overture and Land of Hope and Glory. Providing the soundtrack will be The English National Orchestra, joined by soprano Janet Mooney and tenor Wynne Evans and supported by contemporary classical music group, String Diva.


Proms in the Park, Hyde Park, London
12 September
Now in its fourteenth year, Proms in the Park is still one of London’s most popular events. Presented by Sir Terry Wogan, the entertainment includes a smorgasbord of musical delights from Katherine Jenkins to Barry Manilow! The BBC Concert Orchestra provide the accompaniment, conducted by Martin Yates, while a sensational firework finale rounds off the musical soirée.