We’re back with Marin Alsop at the Royal Festival Hall on 6 February 2016. So we thought we’d put her through our speed interview again.Read More
Mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn-Rogers performs Handel’s Messiah with us tomorrow evening (9 December). In preparation, we put her through our speed interview.Read More
Richard Tognetti is leading our concert, Lord of the Strings, in London and on tour around the country. He’s a world renowned violinist, Artistic Director and leader of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, surfer, composer…Read More
Joyce El-Khoury plays Pauline in Les Martyrs at the Royal Festival Hall on 4 November, as well as the upcoming Opera Rara recording of the opera. We found out what makes her tick by means of our tried and tested speed interview.Read More
On 15 December, soprano Brenda Rae joins us for a concert performance of Fantasio, in association with Opera Rara. We spoke to her about nerves and Star Trek…Read More
Contemporary composer Clare Connors received acclaim for her Kraftwerk arrangements and collaborations with artists such as Michael Nyman and David Byrne of Talking Heads.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
Ahead of our Insight Club on 6 April, we chatted to astrologist and OAE enthusiast Shelley von Strunckel about Mozart, mysticism and The Matrix…
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
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
As his dancers warmed up for V4: The Seasons, we spoke with choreographer Henri Oguike about some of the simple things in life.Read More
As rehearsals for V4: The Seasons stopped for a well-earned coffee break, we took the opportunity to speak with dancer Edward Kitchen.Read More
V4: The Seasons will see the OAE in a unique event that mixes period performance with the contemporary choreography of Henri Oguike. We met up with dancer Rhiannon Morgan at rehearsals to find out more about how she got in to dance.Read More
With his performance in Haydn’s Creation on the horizon, we asked tenor Andrew Kennedy a few quick questions…Read More
Ahead of our two concerts this week at the City of London and Hythe Festivals, we caught up with composer Judith Bingham whose new piece, The Hythe, will be given its world premiere with us on 4 July as part of the City of London Festival and again in Hythe itself on 6 July.Read More
Ahead of next Wednesday’s concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with Ian Bostridge singing some of Bach’s greatest music, we caught up with OAE Co-Principal keyboard player, Steven Devine, who’ll be directing from the harpsichord and organ…Read More
We chatted to OAE Principal flautist Lisa Beznosiuk to ask her a few questions, amidst her solo performances with us this week on our Baroque Giants: Bach tour in London, Birmingham and Bradford-on-Avon.Read More
After a very slight break for the OAE, we’re going on another tour, this time with Laurence Cummings who will be directing an all-Bach programme from the harpsichord. In London we’ll be at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 4 March, followed by The Night Shift on the same night and the programme also appears as The Works on Tuesday 6 March. We’re also performing with Laurence at the Wiltshire Music Centre (9 March) and Birmingham’s Town Hall (8 March).
We caught up with Laurence to ask him a few questions…
What/when was your big breakthrough?
I feel that my musical career has been one long and fortunate slow burn but the thing that really changed my musical life and was a catalyst in the process of becoming a conductor was being appointed Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in 1997. I have enjoyed working with the students so much over the years and learnt so much from them. In fact Matthew Truscott, the leader for these projects, was one of the first students I worked with at RAM. I am very proud of his amazing achievements and delighted to be sharing the concert platform with him!
What do you fear the most?
A life lived in fear is a life half-lived (quotation from the film Strictly Ballroom!), however I won’t go skiiing in case I break my arm or damage my hands. It doesn’t stop me dancing wildly at parties though!
Which mobile number do you call the most?
What – or where – is perfection?
A walk in the countryside with my boyfriend.
Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Mrs Madrigal from Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City.
What’s your favourite ritual?
Hanging up my coat and putting down my bag when getting home.
Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
My mother. She has achieved the most extraordinary things in her life. After my father died tragically early, she raised three children with strength, courage and grace and went on to become a Macmillan nurse. On retirement only a year’s voluntary service overseas would do! Where? Siberia of course. She worked with hospices in Russia and helped to forge links with British palliative care teams, creating exchanges of medical equipment and information. She is also wonderful company and her favourite word is ‘fun’!
What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Live in the moment. I was very taken, when reading Rinpoche’s The Tibetan Art of Living and Dying, with the quotation from William Blake ‘He who binds to himself a joy, does the winged life destroy, But he who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in Eternity’s sunrise’.
What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Bach’s Mass in B minor.
What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
Where to start?! With the OAE you can take the phenomenal standard of playing as a given, but what is so fascinating and energising is playing with musicians who have such a high level of […]
As we get ready for In the Spirit of Tradition at St Georges Bristol, we look back at our speed interview with Sally Beamish…Read More
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…
– 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 […]Read More