Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Our top moments of 2011…

Tue 3 Jan 2012

It’s time for our yearly feature where we ask OAE staff and musicians what their top moments of the past year were, so here we go – and feel free to add your top moments to the comments!

“As always with OAE events when you think back over the year it’s SO difficult to pick a clear winner – it could be Matthew Truscott’s gruesome description of how gut strings are made, which had hundreds of children squirming on the edge of their seats in our school’s concert in King’s Lynn; – it could be the incredibly warm reception we had in Keswick where the audience are really hungry for live concerts; but I think in the end it’s a tie between playing for the first time under the baton of Adam Fischer in an exciting and spontaneous Fidelio (the Prisoner’s Chorus in particular was incredibly moving), and the Haydn symphonies with Sir Simon Rattle at the Royal Festival Hall. As always with Rattle it involved digging deep into ourselves and the music, and for me it involved a personal triumph: over-coming the vertigo that came with being, unusually for me, right on the edge of our highly raised platform and managing not to throw myself off the stage.”

Cecelia Bruggemeyer, Double Bass

“This may not seem that positive, but then perhaps it is… my top moment of 2011 was landing at Heathrow airport at 2.15pm on Sunday 25th September. That seems like a pretty precise moment, but it was the end of the busiest summer we have ever known at OAE. I’m in charge of all the orchestra’s touring and it was so good to know that since June we had managed to successfully get an orchestra of up to 90 people around Europe and put on concerts in Luxembourg, Paris, Dublin, London, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Ingolstadt, Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, the Proms, Edinburgh, Warsaw, Eisenstadt, Warsaw again and Bucharest!”

 Megan Russell, Projects Manager

“Well, 2011 has been a pretty eventful year so it’s REALLY hard to pick my top moment- sitting (almost) next to Madonna in our 21 June concert with the Labeque sisters is almost up there, but I think the best moment was sitting in the Village Underground on the 24 June- listening to my favourite singer, Elin Manahan Thomas singing some beautiful arias at The Night Shift, with an gin and tonic.  Perfect.”

Natasha Stehr. Marketing and Press Officer

“Difficult to choose from three instances of being with the Orchestra in towns or cities where three leading composers were born: Handel in Halle in Germany; Mozart in Salzburg in Austria; or Chopin at Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw.  But I think I’ll go for Chopin as I visited his birthplace on a beautiful summer day in late August and had a good look round the manor house, including the very room where he was born, as well as the church in the next village where he was christened.  I then went back to Warsaw to hear the OAE performing both Chopin Piano Concertos with Yulianna Avdeeva as soloist.  Altogether a special and privileged experience.”

Stephen Carpenter, Chief Executive

“My top moment of 2011 was watching Maggie, Matt and Robin play our very first Pub Night Shift to a very crowded and sweaty full house at […]

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We did it!

Wed 26 Oct 2011

Night Shift in a pub

As you may have seen, over the past month we have been busy raising funds to put on a whole tour of Night Shift’s in pubs, following on from the success of our initial event in September. Well, we had a flood of donations in the closing days of the campaign and were thrilled not just to meet our target, but to smash through it with £1,255 raised overall. We were thrilled with everyone’s generosity and enthusiasm, and with over 50 donors it really did prove the concept of Crowdfunding – a lot of small donations making a BIG difference. Thank you!

 

So we’re now proceeding with planning the tour, pinning down dates with musicians and scoping out pubs. We’d love to hear from you with any venue suggestions. We’re looking for pubs that have a space suitable for live music and which can hold 150+ people. If you have any ideas then drop us a line. We hope to announce dates and venues in early 2012, if not before.

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Just three days left to help us…

Wed 19 Oct 2011

There’s only a few days left to help us reach our £1200 goal, letting us take our Night Shift gigs to London pubs all over the capital.

We’re so grateful to everyone who’s donated already and we’re nearly there…but even with a sell-out crowd, each event loses a little money, once the musicians, DJ, room hire and publicity have all been paid for – so we need YOUR help to make up the difference and to make them happen.

We’ve got £400 left to raise- if just 80 people gave a fiver, we’d reach our target!  In return, there’s loads of thank you’s up for grabs, including a pint with the players, a VIP package at a future event or even a group hug from the office team.

So if you’re feeling generous, please do spare a few pounds to help us make this great project possible.

You can read more about the project and donate online here.

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Only a week left to help make our pub tour possible…

Fri 14 Oct 2011

‘Music in a pub? I see no reason not to like it.’

So said our presenter Jon Jacob when talking about our very first pub event this September. And we agree – what could be better than listening to great live music in your local?

 

Our Night Shift series of events has been pushing the boundaries of classical concerts for a while, with late-night performances that get rid of some of the often rigid etiquette of classical performances. We’ve brought a different vibe to our Southbank Centre home and also explored venues including the Roundhouse and Village Underground, taking classical music to unexpected places.

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If you want a gig in a pub…give us a hug

Fri 23 Sep 2011

Group Hug

If you’ve been following our Night Shift page on Facebook or our Twitterfeed you might have seen some odd pictures posted in recent days…the office giving each other a hug (repeated here for your viewing pleasure), pork scratchings, a pint, a bunch of postcards…

Well we can finally reveal what it’s all about. As you may have read on here, or perhaps you were there, earlier this month we put on a Night Shift event in a pub in King’s Cross. It was a great evening, and it seems that performers and audience enjoyed it equally.

So we’d like to do more. 5 more in fact. The idea is to do a tour of London pubs in February next year, taking in all corners of London. But, there’s a problem. As with almost every other event we do, ticket sales don’t cover costs, even with a sell-out. So we’re embarking on a fundraising campaign with a difference to make up the shortfall.

We’re doing something called crowdfunding. This is a quite new form of fundraising – all done online and based on the principle that a lot of people donating small amounts can make a big difference. We’ve partnered with Crowdfunding site wedidthis and have 30 days to raise the £1,200 required.

But it’s not all about take take take. A key part of crowdfunding is giving you, our funders (we hope!) the chance to get something back too. So, depending on your donation we have a whole raft of interesting thank yous lined up. For example, give us a fiver and we’ll say thanks on Facebook and Twitter. A tenner gets you a postcard sent to you from an OAE tour. £50 buys you a group hug from the office.

Yes, really.

There’s some more background about the campaign on the video below, including footage from our ‘pilot’ pub gig.

So, if you’d like to make our pub tour happen please visit our campaign page. Any donation, large or small, is useful. We have just 30 days to raise the money and if we don’t meet the target we get nothing at all. No pressure.

Thanks for reading, and a final, very unBritish plea: Get your credit card out and get crowdfunding!

 

 

 

 

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The Night Shift previewed in the Londonist

Wed 7 Sep 2011

If you’ve not come across it before the Londonist is a great online magazine, with info and previews of lots of interesting things to do around town. We’re really thrilled they’ve done a little piece on our Night Shift in-a-pub, and that they’re really *got* the OAE and what we’re all about.
If you’re intrigued we still have some advance tickets available for £6 here.

Coming up soon on the blog: Photographer Eric Richmond on the new pictures for the 2011-2012 brochure, What goes on in PRIDE meetings, and why Milk is good for classical music.

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