That rolling timpani. Those glistening flutes. We all recognise that tune and what it symbolises, but who is the composer behind the theme tune to the BBC Proms?


Who wrote the BBC Proms theme tune?

The current BBC Proms theme tune was written by composer Ian Arber in 2019. It was the first time a composer was officially commissioned to write a theme and has remained a feature of the TV broadcasts of the BBC Proms ever since.

'From being a runner on the event a decade ago and hearing the theme echo around the Royal Albert Hall, to being part of the show this year in this way is pretty surreal,' he said of the project back in 2019.

The recording of the theme tune was captured at Maida Vale Studios by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Eimear Noone.

Ian Arber is a film and TV composer who has worked on programmes including Netflix's The One and Medici, as well as BBC's thriller The Capture.

What music has previously been used for the BBC Proms theme tune?

Before Ian Arber was commissioned in 2019, existing classical music was used for the festival's theme tune.

An extract from the end of the 'Red' movement of Bliss's A Colour Symphony was used until the 2011 season.

Find out when the BBC Proms are on TV this year here.


Not sure which concerts to tune in for? Check out our complete Proms schedule.


Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.