The BBC Proms 2009 begin tonight (17 July) and for the first time include performances of almost all the ballet music of Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971).

Prior to the Russian composer, ballet music was little more than hack work – with the exception of Tchaikovsky, of course. In the early 20th century, Stravinsky transformed the perception of composers working in dance, first with commissions from Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and later in his collaborations with choreographer George Balanchine who founded New York City Ballet.

Included in the Proms Stravinsky programme are Petrushka (27 July), The Firebird (28 July), Pulcinella (31 July), Scenes de ballet (5 August), Jeu de Cartes (7 August), Les Noces (9 August), The Fairy’s Kiss (9 August), Concerto in D major (10 August), The Rite of Spring (13 August), Apollo (14 August), Orpheus (15 August), Agon (28 August) and The Soldier’s Tale (31 August).