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Evil black poodles, electrifying Beethoven and DNA. Our top OAE moments of 2010

Thu Dec 23 2010

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As has become customary at this time of year we asked around the office and orchestra for people’s top OAE moments of 2010. There are definitely a few trends in the below… and we’d love to know what your top OAE moments of the year were too.

It’s difficult for me to decide whether Beethoven with Iván Fischer or Bach with John Butt wins my best moment of 2010? I’vedecided it’s John Butt because I have not worked with him as a director before. John is a leading Bach scholar and there were constant pearls of wisdom and humour (always a good thing in rehearsals). He is such an open and physically uninhibited musician. One of my favourite moments was when he asked us to be like evil black poodles—- all I could think of was Cruella de Vil! Not very 18th century but it worked.

Martin Kelly, Viola and Vice-Chairman

It was definitely Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne which I had the pleasure of watching twice; firstly on our annual office trip and the next time with my mum when we were caught in the worst downpour of the summer. The poor dressed up Glyndebourne-dwellers were darting, bubbly in arms, into any available shelter possible during the interval and it was a sorry, soggy lot of us who trudged back into the performance. It was my mum’s first visit to Glyndebourne though and she didn’t care at all. Don Giovanni was amazing all the way through but I especially loved the very end. Those dramatic scales over the descending bass line plus the Commendatore bellowing ‘Don Giovanni!’ certainly made for a spine tingling death scene!

Natalie Chivers, Education Projects Manager

I loved the Creation education project.

The chaos of moving 800 children that preceeded and followed the event was quite something; the silence and concentration of all those pupils watching and engaged during the performance in a packed Queen Elizabeth Hall was striking. I had great fun and learnt a lot about DNA!

The Night shift at the Roundhouse in January was amazing too.

Isabelle Tawil, Development Manager, Individual Giving

Without a doubt, the Iván Fischer Beethoven concerts in March – particularly at the Lincoln Center in New York where we gave two concerts as part of a complete cycle of the Symphonies with Iván’s “other” Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which gave two concerts as well.  The audience reaction and Iván’s inspiring and totally unique conducting style produced electrifying musical moments of the year.

Stephen Carpenter, Chief Executive

As always I’ve had a little trouble choosing my top moment of the year.  When I looked over everything we’ve done I wanted to pick lots  – Both Night Shift’s in new venues: the Roundhouse and Wilton’s Music Hall, the Monteverdi Vespers tour, the inaugural Scratch Orchestra, the complicated Seraglio tour being over… all sprang to mind BUT I think my top moment of 2010 by far has to be OAE’s performance of Beethoven 5 with Iván Fischer in the Royal Festival Hall last March.  Wow.  I literally wanted to jump out of my seat in that last movement – such an exciting and energy fuelled performance!

Ceri Jones, Projects Director

My 2010 highlight: Taking our late-night concert, The Night Shift to the Roundhouse in January, as part of their Reverb festival- an immense night and the OAE played my favourite piece of classical music ever: the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No.7.  What an experience!  Hoping for even more exciting Night Shift events next year 🙂

Natasha Stehr, Marketing and Press Officer

Am I allowed three? As I edit the blog I reckon I am…First has to be The Night Shift at the Roundhouse. Such an incredible night – packed to the rafters, a completely different audience to usual, and a stunning Beethoven 7 with Vladimir Jurowski, proving that Beethoven is as powerful and relevant now as when first written. Second must be Iván Fischer’s edge-of-seat Beethoven 5 at the Royal Festival Hall. It’s so exciting to rediscover that piece afresh. Lastly back to The Night Shift, this time the most recent one in October. Kati Debretzeni stunned the crowd in a Vivaldi concerto with an amazing cadenza – and they responded with spontaneous applause straight after it, a bit like a jazz solo! And probably what would have happened in Vivaldi’s day too. Great to see an audience respond in such a natural spontaneous way.

William Norris, Communications Director

One Comment

  • I was at all of the Fischer Beethoven concerts in NYC – I still can’t believe I saw the NINE in 4 days, almost straight. A great experience – thanks to all who participated! Also Iván made a surprise appearance at the free talk before one of the concerts to answer questions. So cool.

    Ed Chang Thu Dec 23 2010