The former principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop, will be the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms in the event's 119-year history.

New York-born Alsop, 56, who is now the principal conductor of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, takes charge of the world-famous finale in September.

Her musical strengths simply made her the best person to conduct this year's festivities, which traditionally provide a flag-waving finale to the two-month series, the BBC said.

The music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, who made her Proms debut in 2003, Ms Alsop joins an illustrious list of Last Night conductors including Proms founder Sir Henry Wood and Sir Malcolm Sergeant.

Ms Alsop will conduct a Last Night programme which features star soloists the violinists Nigel Kennedy and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, a sea-faring theme and an appropriately transatlantic flavour.

The concert will once again conclude with the traditional trio of "Rule, Britannia!", Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" and "Jerusalem".

Ms Alsop was principal conductor the BSO between 2002 - 2008.

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Bournemouth University in 2007.

“The whole world is watching you, you're addressing the biggest audience of your career,” Ms Alsop said. “It's the nearest a classical musician gets to an acceptance speech at the Oscars.