A new season of OAE concerts starts on 9 October, with concerts at Southbank Centre and elsewhere running through until May next year. You can get a little taste of what’s to come on our 100 second new season trailer, filmed in a low-fi ‘activist’ style to match our brochure and images this year.Read More
I’ve decided to theme this week’s Current Distractions arts blog around that old journalistic favourite: Going Up / Going Down.Read More
George Frideric Handel is best known for restoring English music to its’ highly respected and acclaimed position, following years of compositional drought after the death of Purcell in 1695. He wrote music that was especially melodic and cosmopolitan in approach.Read More
Get a taste of what we have in store for you over the year ahead with our just-released 2013-2014 trailer. In it we look back at highlights from the last 12 months and give you a taste of some of the most exciting treats we have in store for you.Read More
Our late night series, The Night Shift is off on a pub crawl, starting Monday…Read More
Our Projects Director, Ceri Jones, is leaving the OAE for new adventures today (insert very sad expressions from the office team). Here’s a little last blog from her, with some of her highlights from her time with us. Ceri – you will be much missed!Read More
Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye. After 3 awesome months as the Development Trainee, I am off to pastures new, aka working for a Circus.Read More
As many of you know, running alongside our ‘regular’ concerts we have a now well-established late-night series, The Night Shift. Now running for 7 years, the series presents our music in a relaxed late-night setting where many of the usual conventions of concert-going are suspended.Read More
We’ve managed to cram footage from all the myriad of activities we get up to here at the OAE, into the time it takes a second hand to do a full revolution… …from our regular Southbank concerts to our Education projects to our late night The Night Shift events and more, it’s all here.Read More
The time has come to unveil our new season brochure.This year we went for a purely visual approach, developed with our designers Harrison and Co and photographer Eric Richmond, which has a slight retro feel, using geometric shapes combined with a simple two tone palette.Read More
In the lead up to V4: The Seasons, we spoke with lead violinist Kati Debretzeni about her fears, her heroes and the challenges of combining period music with contemporary dance.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
As the last greying pumpkin remains rotting on doorsteps and the firework-burnt lawns of England begin to freeze over, we enter the pre-Christmas limbo period, also known as boredom. So this week, I, Nancy Cole, am charged with the role of distracting you from the soaring heating bills with a collection of cheerful goings on in the world outside: it’s a nice place really.
The V and A have awakened everyone’s movie curiosity by exhibiting some of the most iconic costumes every created. From the action of Gladiator, the ‘marvel’ of Spiderman and even the glamour of Atonement and that green dress… This exhibition includes over 100 of the most unforgettable film characters from a century of Hollywood filmmaking and there’s even the chance to see the very shoes worn by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
Tis’ the season for facial hair and I’m sure you’ve spotted many suspect tashes circulating the streets. Here’s a glimpse at the most influential and awe inspiring creations to give you and me some inspiration.
This mini-documentary gives a portrait of Afghan designer Massoud Hassani and his incredible Mine Kafon. During the shooting of the film it was proven that the prototypes work, now Hassani is in the process of finding collaborative partners – technical companies, fundings and governments – to put these life saving deminers into production. Watch the video to find out exactly how it works.
Next time you see a pigeon, refrain from the usual cries of disgust and have a closer look…
Whilst rediscovering some post war diaries, historians discovered that British secret services debated the idea of “radio-controlled pigeons“. Plans were also being made to train pigeons to carry ‘explosives to fly into enemy searchlights.’ Maybe one day?
Nancy Cole, Graduate InternRead More
We don’t usually post about Night Shift stuff on the main OAE blog, as we have a whole website for it over here, but our events this week are so unusual we thought it’d be wrong not to tell everyone about them.Read More
Here’s a round up of reviews from Sunday’s French Impressionists concerts with Sir Simon Rattle and Pierre-Laurent Aimard:Read More
Our very first piece of Night Shift merchandise on the online shop! Enjoy your beer at home in this Night Shift branded tulip-shaped pint glass.
Find out more about The Night Shift.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 [...]
Tomorrow night our late-night series The Night Shift comes to the legendary Roundhouse in Camden for one of our biggest Night Shift events yet, with over 80 musicians on stage to play Orchestral highlights from Berlioz’s Romeo & Juliet. The tag-line for the series is ‘Classical Music: Minus the Rules‘ and we bore that in mind when making this little film: see what happened when we set OAE violinist Jo Lawrence free on the streets on London…Read More
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 [...]Read More