Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Natasha’s parting speed-interview

Wed Nov 9 2011

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Today it’s Natasha’s turn to tell us about her time at the OAE:


What’s been the highlight of your time with the OAE, either office life or performances (or both!)?


I know it is such a cliché, but there honestly have been so many great moments in my two months with the OAE that to pick one would not do the experience justice. A selection of highlights would definitely include:


– Robert Levin’s amazing Mozart. Three improvised cadenzas. Wow.


– The Young Conductor auditions – such a talented selection of people to choose from


– The Night Shift in a pub


– Raiding the PFA (refer to question 3)…


– Tracking down a drawing of Barbara Ployer for the Mozart concert. First and last time I shall speak to the head Professor at the Mozart museum, Vienna – in German (which I have never studied!)


– Chatting with members of the orchestra. Truly the most talented, down to earth, interesting people. I shall miss them very much.


– Presenting flowers on stage. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a stern voice in my head repeating ‘look elegant, don’t trip up’. Elegance achieved?  Not really. Did I remain upright? Yes. Success.


– Being included in so much creative work. Writing articles, suggesting ideas, cropping photos, raiding the OAE library for information on Beethoven, Berlioz and Mozart. Not your average tea making internship.


– The release of the Beethoven CD on the OAE’s new label, OAE Released. An amazing recording that is now available to buy on our new website.


-Spending time with the office. So many jokes, fun outings, and shared experiences. The office staff in three words: Wonderful, funny and positive.


What’s surprised you most?


How much the office and orchestral members work together; it really is such a joint creative venture. There’s nothing more exciting than feeling like you’re really making a contribution to such an important creative outcome.


What has been your favourite item to appear in the PFA?


OK, so this is a tricky question which has required a lot of thought. First of all, to clarify, the PFA is the Projects Food Area, a desk devoted to treats for office members to rifle through during the day. When the orchestra go on tour or an office/orchestral member goes on holiday, it is tradition to bring back an edible treat for us all to share. The PFA placed in the middle of the office (next to the Projects team) so there is no casual cake stealing. Everyone can see you. Everyone could see me. Taking ANOTHER biscuit…


My highlights


– Japanese pink sausage. Now complete with eyes.


– The bag of apples I put in during my first week. Clearly I didn’t understand that this area is for treats and TREATS ONLY.


– Maple syrup biscuits from Will’s holiday to Canada


– The ‘Big Katsu’


– Lastly, the two cakes to celebrate/commiserate the end of my internship. Thanks guys! 🙂


How would you sum up the OAE in three words?


Amazing, glorious and effervescent. Oh and amazing. Again.


What’s next for you?


I’m working at a couple of music festivals and searching for my golden ticket job to repay my student loan. I’ve been spoilt by such a great internship that my next adventure will take a lot of living up to! Working in live classical music is an incredibly rewarding, joyful and wonderful thing to do. Once you’ve got the bug, it’s impossible to get rid of it. And trust me, you wouldn’t ever want to do so!

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