Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Not all audiences are the same: Greg and Debbie

Thu May 17 2012

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"One thing that is always surprising to me is how beautifully the softest sounds carry." @houghhough talks preparat… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Debbie Diamond and Greg

So this is the first in a new series of blog posts springboarding from our brand new pictures which feature members of the OAE audience. In each we’ll profile both audience and orchestra member and also show a wider selection of pictures of each. First up is Greg, who posed with OAE violinist Debbie.

Greg (T) (as we have two Greg’s in the brochure!)



Tell us a bit about you, your work and hobbies.

I work as an Occupational Therapist in a Community setting.  My main role is to help increase people’s self reliance in daily activities and to to reduce risk.  This can be after an illness or accident or indeed at end of life to ensure safety, dignity and comfort.   A large part of what I do is reablement, working with improving self confidence and functional ability as well as adapting the physical “home” environment.  It’s a very rewarding job and I’m fortunate to have chosen a career with many areas of exploration and specialism.

I am also in my final year of training to become a Shiatsu Practitioner with the The Shiatsu College, London.  A wonderful treatment modality with a rich history that allows people to connect on deep levels.  In my spare time I practice Ashtanga and Jivamukti Yoga and am learning to play the Piano Accordion.

How did you hear about the Not all audiences are the same campaign?

I discovered the OAE were looking for fans to be part of the marketing campaign on Facebook.  Without much thinking I took a snap on my phone and that was that.  In for a penny, In for a pound I thought.  I was surprised and delighted to be chosen.

How was the experience of doing the photoshoot?

I had a fantastic time.  A sense of being plucked from one life and dropped into another – for a few short hours.  Then I was back at work writing reports and arranging appointments.  Surreal and terrific fun!  Everyone was very friendly.  Eric Richmond was the consumate professional and ensured the feeling in the room was light and creative.  My ego was well and truly massaged that day.

Tell us about what you were wearing for the shoot.

Not being a natural style icon, I decided to go for something that I wear a lot of the time because it’s what I feel comfortable in.   My very favourite jacket and a sturdy/robust pair of Australian “R.M. Williams” boots.

 How would you describe the OAE to a friend?

I would say the OAE have an integrity and an “honouring” about what they do.  They respect the composers and what has gone before, bringing well known (and not so well known) harmonies into the 21st Century in a way that is accessible, still retaining what is historic but keeping it vital and dynamic.

How would you say the OAE is different to other Orchestras?

The main difference for me is that when I listen to the OAE I always feel like I’m being transported back in time, and that what I am hearing is very precious.  It’s definitely a Zen thing.

If you’ve been to an OAE concert recently tell us a little about it.

I attended the Spinal Chords second performance (London premiere) in February.  I found the piece very moving and it was an honour to be present.   I have worked with people in my capacity as an Occupational Therapist, who have experienced spinal injury and witnessed the debilitating effects that can manifest, physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually.  All of these aspects were contained in the piece.  I was very surprised by how the combination of words (Melanie Reid) and music (Sally Beamish) enhanced each other, communicating an honest and raw account of Melanie’s lived experience of spinal injury including her journey of recovery and re-connection.  The words were read beautifully by Juliet Stevenson.

If you could pick one concert to see in our 2012-2013 season which one would it be and why?

I do like a drama so am particularly interested in the scenes from Purcell, Rameau and Charpentier – Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers, French Exchange, in November.

What’s the most listened-to track at the moment on your ipod (classical or non classical)?

Without hesitation, it has to be “Marz” by John Grant, from the album “Queen of Denmark”.


Debbie Diamond, OAE violinist

Debbie Diamond

Debbie Diamond

Tell us a bit about you, your work with the OAE and your hobbies outside of it.

I’m Canadian and I moved to London 13 years ago. I’ve been playing with OAE since then. Outside of orchestral life, I enjoy swimming, cycling, gardening, and spending as much time as possible with my husband and two young children. I also really like going to see modern dance.

How was the experience of doing the photoshoot?

It was a lot of fun and my audience partner was very nice!

Tell us about what you were wearing for the shoot.

I was wearing one of my concert outfits.

How would you describe the OAE to a friend? How is it different to other orchestras you might play in or listen to?

Over the years, most of my work has been with OAE, partly because it’s the best around. OAE has very high calibre conductors, very creative programs, and I often feel like I’m stretching myself and growing as a musician.

What’s been your favourite moment to date playing with the OAE?

My favourite moment was playing Beethoven symphonies in New York with Ivan Fischer about 2 years ago. It felt like we were in the palm of his hand, he was being completely spontaneous during the concert, and we were totally under his control, and yet it was incredibly liberating all at the same time.

If you could pick one concert to see in our 2012-2013 season which one would it be and why?

I would pick the concert featuring Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with choreography. This is music that we all know very well, but I’ve never seen it choreographed, so this promises to be very innovative and exciting.

What’s the most listened-to track at the moment on your ipod (classical or non classical)?

I don’t have an ipod! Technologically I’m still in about 1995…but two of my favourite groups to listen to are Turtle Island String Quartet (fantastic jazz and original compositions) and Lehakat Sfatayim (an Israeli Moroccan band that plays traditional music – great for cleaning the house).


Here’s a selection of pictures of Greg and Debbie, including the final one which has been used in the brochure. All pictures are by Eric Richmond.


  • it’s a great idea – great fun to read especially since I know Debbie.

    malki lapidus Thu May 17 2012
  • Debbie rocks. The OAE is indeed one of the great ones today. But are we really in the age of Enlightenment?

    Jamie Diamond Thu May 17 2012
  • LOVE the photos! fun, and energy-filled!

    Vanessa Paloma Fri May 18 2012
  • Who knew you’d be such poses could be made by you Greg. The camera loves you! OAE sounds great too. A x

    Angela Beckwith Sat May 19 2012
  • Getting the audience involved for the OAE publicity for 2012-13 was pure genius, terrific photography and great choice of subjects: players, audience members and instruments. Kudos to Eric Richmond and Harrison & Co., the OAE players and the terrific audience members who took part.

    G Limor Sun May 20 2012