Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Natasha’s parting speed-interview

Wed 9 Nov 2011

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 […]

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Algae, cravings and no wine. Natasha’s first day

Tue 6 Sep 2011

Natasha Riordan-Eva

I’m Natasha, half of the new Communications Intern duo (my partner in crime being Darren Charlton, the Thursday-Friday man. We’re still looking for a good Jedward style name so have a look at suggestions on the previous blogand start thinking up your own ingenious ideas). I graduated in July from Bristol University so this is my first venture into the working world, away from the comforts of a student loan and 2pm starts. I worked as an OAE student rep during my second and third years and was eager to continue with the orchestra as not only are they the best in the business, but two years of free tickets, badges, beer mats and one personally signed Christmas card from the Communications team won’t repay themselves.

I am working three days a week which means I sadly won’t experience the delights of ‘Friday Wine’, but to make up for it, my view of the canal is simply breathtaking. Floating beer cans lodged in the inert sheet of green algae and the miraculous bird who walks on water gently drift by whilst I and try to fight off the Prêt-a-Manger cravings (there are two stores within five minutes walk). The atmosphere here is less stuffy office and more creative hub. The building is shared by other companies so there is a lively buzz in the foyer and the gallery downstairs makes a nice view whilst cruising down the escalator. Today’s tasks have included making myself acquainted with the large selection of communal tea, adding media to the new website and narrowly avoiding a wandering set of timpani so squeaky and cumbersome that it required an elevator (so THAT’s why we have one in the open plan office) to be transported from one level to the other! It’s been a pretty great day, the highlight definitely being answering the phone for the first time as ‘Natasha from the OAE’. There are some fab concerts coming up; looking at the orchestra’s schedule is like reading a list of my classical music highlights. First up – I can’t wait to hear three players giving The Star of Kings pub in King’s Cross some special OAE treatment at The Night Shift on Thursday night. Be there! Anyway, time has flown by and it’s now five thirty – home time! I think it is safe to say that day one has been a complete success. Shame about the Friday wine, but how many other interns get to meet Trevor Pinnock on their first day in the office?

Natasha Riordan-Eva, Communications Intern

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