Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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“Football can also be a metaphor for a musical ensemble”

Tue 25 Oct 2016


Milanese keyboard wizard Ottavio Dantone is the Filippo Inzaghi of the early music world, a Baroque expert who once brought his considerable heading skills to the youth teams of AC Milan.

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Name a Concert

Mon 10 Oct 2016


We need you, the audience, to help us come up with a title for one of our 2017–2018 concerts.

Just suggest a title for the concert. Then we’ll choose one, use it, and give you a pair of tickets to the concert (or another from next season if you prefer).

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OAE TOTS playlist

Thu 6 Oct 2016


Some of you have asked for an OAE TOTS playlist. So here’s what we played at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton on Saturday 1 October 2016.

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Hayley’s tour diary, pt 4

Mon 3 Oct 2016


The concluding part of Bassoonist Halley Pullen’s Ryedale Festival Tour Diary.

Wednesday 14th September

We arrived at the Brunton Theatre for an orchestral rehearsal. Ian Tindale, our director on harpsichord, had a few new details and changes to cadenzas for us. For the most part, our ensemble felt comfortable and familiar, apart from getting used to the acoustic, which was surprisingly helpful for hearing orchestral detail but a bit dry for the singers’ tastes. Our bass player Hannah borrowed a baroque bass from a local player (for perhaps obvious reasons to those who have seen a bass flight case) and had to quickly get used to playing a totally new instrument.

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Hayley’s tour diary, pt3

Mon 26 Sep 2016


Ann & Peter Law OAE Experience Scheme bassoonist Hayley Pullen continues her blog of her experiences on tour at the Ryedale Festival, performing Handel’s opera Alcina in Perth and Musselburgh, Scotland.

It had been several weeks since our group of OAE experience players performed together at the Oriental Club in London and almost two months since our debut outing at the Ryedale Festival in Yorkshire (see Tour Diary parts 1 & 2). Looking forward to joining my fellow colleagues for our final performances of Handel’s Alcina, I was a bit anxious about the journey up to Scotland by plane. Travelling with instruments (a theme threaded throughout this entry) can be a precarious business and I was immediately caught off guard at the start of the journey…

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Punto in the pub

Wed 21 Sep 2016


Last time The Night Shift was at Shadwell’s George Tavern, we played all sorts of fun french horn music by little-known composers.

Here’s a polacca (a type of Polish dance) by Giovanni Punto, performed by Kati Debretzeni (violin), John Crockatt (viola), Jonny Byers (cello) and Roger Montgomery (horn).

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‘A new golden age in English choral music’

Mon 19 Sep 2016

Choir of the Age of Enlightenment

The Choir of the Age of Enlightenment performs its first solo a capella concert.

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Vibrato with Julia Kuhn

Mon 5 Sep 2016


Go and see a modern orchestra and you’ll notice they’re all using vibrato. Go and see the OAE and things might not be quite the same. Why use vibrato? And why do we only use it sometimes?

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Hayley’s tour diary, pt 2

Thu 28 Jul 2016

Tour diary Ryedale Festival

Ann & Peter Law OAE Experience Scheme bassoonist Hayley Pullen writes about her adventures at the Ryedale Festival in Yorkshire.

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Hayley’s tour diary pt 1

Tue 26 Jul 2016

Tour diary Ryedale Festival

OAE Experience bassoon Hayley Pullen writes about her adventures at the Ryedale Festival in Yorkshire.

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Tue 26 July – The Night Shift live on YouTube

Mon 25 Jul 2016


Our rule-breaking, late-night series, The Night Shift, is going online:

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Explaining pitch

Mon 18 Jul 2016


Watch does pitch mean to a period instrument player? And do you really have to carry more than one instrument around? 

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Back on the road

Mon 11 Jul 2016

Lowestoft care home

We’re very pleased that, with help from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme, we’re going back on tour in England in 2017 with a new series called Musical Landscapes.

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Adrian Bending on his Schnellar Timpani

Mon 11 Jul 2016


“It’s a bit like driving on the left – doing the same thing but in a different way”. Our Principal Timpanist Adrian Bending shows us his new set of drums, the Schnellar Timpani.

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Introducing Turning Points

Wed 29 Jun 2016


We’re an orchestra, so we love concerts. But because the traditional concert format is great for some people and not for others, we often ask ourselves the question, “how could concerts be different?” Ten years ago, we looked at the informal ways people used to listen to classical music and created The Night Shift, our rule-breaking late night format.

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Watercycle – the charity single

Tue 21 Jun 2016


We’ve just released what we think may be the world’s first charity single recorded on 17th century instruments.

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Our brochure for the 2016/17 season

Thu 9 Jun 2016

Katharine Spreckelsen

If you want info on all the concerts in our 2016-17 Southbank Centre residency in one handy place, we’ve just published our new brochure for next season.

Highlights include the return of Isabelle Faust to perform two of Mozart’s violin concertos, and international opera star Sarah Connolly tackling Berlioz’s dramatic song cycle, Les Nuits d’été. And we’re staging Bach’s mighty Christmas Oratorio over two nights at Cadogan Hall, performing for the first time with renowned Bach specialist Masaaki Suzuki.

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The forest, Weber, horns and that ‘sort of ghostly sound’

Fri 27 May 2016


‘When we play it, it invokes the horns of the forest. Which is where we all come from, ancestrally, as horn players.’

As the OAE horn section rehearse, Martin Lawrence talks about the forest, Weber, horns and that ‘sort of ghostly sound’.

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Beverley: The Age Old Story

Fri 27 May 2016


OAE Education Director and oboe player, Cherry Forbes, updates us on what’s happening up in Yorkshire. 

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21 years of photographing the OAE

Thu 12 May 2016

Eric Richmond

When I was first commissioned by the OAE I never dreamed that it would turn into a marriage of such long duration. The length and breadth of the collaboration has lasted over twenty years now, and long may it continue! It has afforded me the opportunity to get to know many of the players, which as time passes allows for an intimacy and a trust that is very rare in photography, a profession that, like the proverbial shark, requires constant forward movement.

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