On Saturday 12th October we took part in the annual Guardian event The Big Draw at Kings Place. Two OAE musicians; Katherine Spencer (clarinet) and Joanna Lawrence (violin), supplied the music for the ‘draw what you hear’ workshops.Read More
This year, our popular New Years concerts return to Kings Place on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, to welcome in twenty fourteen with music that’s even more rousing than Auld Lang Syne, and the good news is a) it doesn’t matter if you’re hung over and b) we won’t make you hold hands and sing along.Read More
A chance to hear some of the audience reactions to the third and final part of our Kings Place ‘Bach Unwrapped’ series ‘Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos’.Read More
Soprano Helen-Jane Howells joined us on Friday for the last edition in our Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos series. We caught up with her after the show, for a chat about rituals and Ska music.Read More
Countertenor David Allsopp joins us on 17 May for the third and final instalment in our Bach journey, at Kings Place.Read More
Tenor Guy Cutting joins us on 17 May for the third and final instalment of Bach’s Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos. He took a break from rehearsals to speak with us about some of the simpler things in life.Read More
On 19 April, we performed on the Kings Place stage for the second of our three Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos concerts.Read More
As we prepare for the next in our series of three concerts at Kings Place celebrating the musical genius of J.S Bach (coming up tomorrow night), we caught up with conductor John Butt to find out more about the composer himself and what makes him so special.
For full information and booking details, visit the event page.Read More
Mezzo-soprano Sally Bruce-Payne joins us at Kings Place, on 19 April, for Bach Unwrapped: Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos. We asked her to take our speed interview, here’s what she had to say.Read More
We hope you enjoyed our OAE TOTS go Wind today- it was fabulous to see so many music makers at Kings Place on a snowy Saturday morning!
If you grown-ups would like to know what you heard and maybe listen again at home, here’s a list of some of the music we played:
Anon (songs) Wind, wind, blow the clouds/Rock-a-bye baby
Vilano Ground bass
Corette Rondeau from Sonata 1 Op. 2
Philidor Marche de La Calote
Keller 3rd movement from Sonata in C
Engels Nachtigall or Bird Fancyer’s delight
Handel Country Dance from Water Music
Purcell Wondrous Machine
Bach Sinfonia from Christmas Oratorio
If you’d like more information about OAE Education and future TOTS concerts, visit our Education section.Read More
Our Sing the Passions event at Kings Place is coming up tomorrow afternoon and we’re busy practicing our scales and warming up our vocal chords.
For those of you able to make it, here’s a bit about what we’ll be exploring in the workshop…
Our Principal keyboard player Robert Howarth will be joined by tenor Norbert Meyn, to sing the role of the Evangelist. Norbert is a specialist in language and will work with Robert and the audience to explore such matters as pronunciation and characterisation. We’ll be looking at a mixture of numbers from both Passions with such choruses as Sind Blitze, sind Donner in Wolken verschwunden and Kreuzige, kreuzige!
If you already have a score of the St Matthew and St John Passion, then please feel free to bring along your copies to the session. If not, don’t worry as music will be provided. (We’ll be working from the Barenreiter Score.)
Get those singing voices ready and we’ll see you there!Read More
Conductor John Butt is about to make his appearance with us for the first of three concerts at Kings Place celebrating Bach’s Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos. We put our speed interview questions to him:Read More
Then you might like our video trailer.
We’re very excited to be part of Kings Place’s largest annual series to date, Bach Unwrapped, celebrating the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. We kick off our set of nine events on 22 March with a concert celebrating his Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos, led by the effervescent conductor, John Butt.
But it doesn’t end there…from March to May, we’ll have two OAE TOTS concerts (23 March) for our younger music-lovers, a chance to sing Bach’s Passions with OAE principal keyboardist Robert Howarth (23 March), as well as a lively family concert (18 May) and a study day, focusing on Bach’s sublime Brandenburg Concertos (20 April).
If that’s still not enough Bach for you, you can download an online brochure for the whole series here.
All event info and booking can be found here or you can call the Kings Place Box Office on 020 7520 1490.Read More
On 22 March, our first concert as part of the Kings Place Bach Unwrapped series will explore Bach’s Cantatas and Brandenburg Concertos. Among the performers will be critically acclaimed tenor; Stuart Jackson.Read More
As the first in our series of Bach Unwrapped concerts approaches, we chatted to soprano Anna Dennis about snakes, Schoenberg and silent films…Read More
So much happens in the OAE Education department and as it is just little old me, the only office-based member of the team, I hardly get any time to sit down and blog about what I’ve been up to. My track record of broken blog promises for Team Comms is horrendous but today, the first day of half term, I have a bit of extra time so I gleefully agreed to actually sit and complete a blog.
I want to tell you about all the wonderful things I’ve been up to this half term.
I’m going to start with my most frequent commitment – String Club – which dominates every Monday afternoon. Every week Nancy Cole (our Graduate Intern) and I head over to a local primary school to join OAE violinists teaching the violin. One of my favourite moments at String Club, in fact one of my favourite moments since joining the OAE, happened last week when the tutors decided to run a listening session based on the Four Seasons. Excerpts from Winter and Spring were played by Cathy Ford, Naomi Burrell and Holly Harman and the pupils were enthralled. It was magic to watch, seeing them watch their tutors completely in awe, as if they were Rock Stars. Baroque and Roll.
Another thing that happened this half term was my viol debut. When I joined the OAE, I never imagined that I would be sat in front of a class of 10 year olds with a bass viol, picking out a ground bass for a professional player. This is exactly the situation I found myself in at a Guardian Newspaper workshop where we invite classes from partner schools to Kings Place to interview an OAE player and write about them in a journalistic style. I’m particularly proud of the picture description (at the top of this blog).
To report everything else that has been going on in one article would take me into a small novel word count rather than a punchy blog but, to give a bit more information, this half term has included – Early Years work in Camden, live music in nurseries, the OAE Academy where young professional players receive OAE coaching, an amazing schools concert where about 350 pupils came to Kings Place to play with the Orchestra, coaching for youth orchestras and a newly formed early music group, Musicians on Call visits to nursing homes…
So this week I pause briefly to catch my breath but it isn’t really a break; it’s a chance to gear up for next week when we have a pre-concert event, a study day and performance and another schools concert – to name a few things. Phew.Read More
Well, what a year it’s been…what with the small matter of the Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee, the notorious IKEA monkey in a coat, and of course, some fab concerts with the OAE.
So we thought we’d put together our top office highlights from 2012…enjoy!Read More
Last Saturday we took part in the Guardian Big Draw, a really lovely day where families come to Kings Place to get involved in lots of different art activities. The OAE’s part in this day is always slightly abstract and I love the creativity that it generates. On a Big Draw day, two OAE musicians play duets and then have a range of drawing activities that anyone can join with.
This year we had Tony Robson on recorders and Rebecca Stockwell on bassoon and the activity sheets included: draw what you hear, draw the musicians, turning music notes and staves into something different or draw what the music makes you think of. Of course we also had the all-important blank pieces of paper for those who wanted no prompts but to simply sit and draw to the music.
The results from Saturday were spectacular. We covered a column in Kings Place in music inspired artwork – from quaver-cats to portraits of the musicians- the variety of creative output was brilliant. The day ended on a real high when Chris Riddell, who had given a talk to budding artists, came to draw our musicians, capturing them in his trademark way.
For me, I love asking young people to draw what they hear – you are either met with a very confused look or wide eyed enthusiasm; there are no right or wrong answers for this task. I also like the exploration of art in this multidiscipline way, plus being able to listen to OAE musicians playing duets all day is such a treat!
Finally, a lovely story that came to me as feedback after Saturday was from a mum who, on taking her children home, was asked if they could listen to more music to draw what they could hear. More drawing, more music, more art – that’s what it’s all about really!Read More
As we’re well into our new Current Distractions blog series, we thought we’d mix it up a bit and invite some guest bloggers to give us their lowdown of what they’re relishing in the arts world at the moment. This time Marketing Manager, Natasha Stehr takes the helm.Read More
It was the morning of Friday 27 January 2012. There was much clapping, chatter and the hum of excited voices from the group of Year 6 children eagerly joining in with the ‘warm up’. I was sitting at the back of the concert hall, at Kings Place, waiting for my first experience of Anthem for a Child to begin.
Anthem for a Child is the OAE’s most ambitious education project to date, consisting of a nationwide series of workshops and concerts for as many as 5000 children, and students, of all ages. Anthem endeavours to engage young people with music and aims to leave behind an excitement for the making of music long after they have completed their projects. The Anthem tour focuses on two especially commissioned pieces by the composer James Redwood – a fanfare, Twangling Instruments, based on Caliban’s speech from Shakespeare’s The Tempest (during which the children will have the opportunity to play their instruments alongside members of the OAE) and My Cry, a song which all the children will learn…and I found myself happily joining in too – the atmosphere was so remarkably infectious!
The children began with Twangling Instruments, and were encouraged to get out their violins, cellos and recorders. Cue further excitement and delighted giggling as the children prepared to join the Orchestra with the piece they had been practising hard for weeks. Half of the group of youngsters formed the choir and the theme for the rest of the concert was laid out – the importance of working as a team. The children were asked to identify how many ‘teams’ they could hear within the Orchestra itself and these various ‘teams’ were put ‘under the microscope’, where the specific job of each was pointed out. The oboes were observed working in parallel, the strings were counted and the members of the bass ‘team’ (bassoon, cello and harpsichord) were examined also. The emphasis was placed on how each team/instrument had an important job to do on its own and, as a result, they contributed to the sound of the piece as a whole – their individual voices, together, played as one sound. There were further pieces played to demonstrate how the sections of the Orchestra work independently to create the complete sound of a musical piece. The children were then taught a rhyme and divided into two sections, to sing the ‘canon’. Again myself, and other members of the OAE team, were happy to join in with the rhyme and actions.
It was the vocal fanfare, My Cry, which concluded the concert. The children had learned sections of this ‘anthem’ in class in advance of the day and it was as though they couldn’t wait to sing it, they got up from their seats with such excitement. The words to this piece are inspiring and enriching and celebrate what it means to sing – the power of the voice on its own and the collective strength of a choir as a whole. It was moving to hear this group of children so proudly and enthusiastically singing the words ‘My voice is mine and it is me’. I began to feel almost envious that I had not been involved in such a project as this when I had been at school, and it served to [...]Read More