Chineke! The story of a concert that went viral

[WATCH] Hannah Kendall: The Spark Catchers (excerpt)

Ahead of the Prom, 33-year-old composer Hannah Kendall told us: “This is a huge thing. I’m a Londoner so my earliest memories of experiencing classical music live were at the Proms. I must have been seven maybe when I went to my first, but I’d never have dreamt of being performed at the Proms. It’s… crazy.”

Her piece, The Spark Catchers – a BBC commission and world premiere – opened the Prom in extraordinary fashion. And, as suits a composer from London, writing for an orchestra based in the capital, it took on a very London story. The work was inspired by a Lemn Sissay poem about, Hannah said, “the women who worked at the old Bryant & May match factory in East London that used to be on the borders of what’s now the Olympic Park, and the match girls going on strike due to labour conditions. It was a huge thing at the time. Their stories are about revolution, standing up for your rights and being bold and courageous, and that’s who I am as a person.”

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