Updated: Oct 7, 2021
Wallen was born in Belize, and in 1998, became the first Black woman to have her work performed at the BBC Proms. She is one of the UK's most recognisable composers and has received many awards including an Ivors Composer Award in 2013 and has written over 16 operas (so far!) In 2020, she arranged the hymn Jerusalem for the Last Night of The Proms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The traditional version:
Ideas for discussion questions:
How is Wallen's version different from the traditional version?
Wallen said that this version was 'was dedicated to the Windrush generation and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.' Why do you think this made some people angry?
The second version is a traditional version - traditional for who?
Wallen arranged this version, it was sung by a woman (Golda Schultz from South Africa) and conducted by a woman (Dalia Stasevska from Finland). Is this significant?
What is the Last Night of the Proms 'traditionally' about?