The tail end of the summer saw us reunited with our Emeritus Conductor Sir Roger Norrington for a very special project – a 3 concert tour of Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. As you can imagine, this is not a piece the OAE performs very frequently.Read More
Until now, OAE tours to the USA have always been virtual for me, experienced through reviews, player blogs and the accounts of staff and players. However last week I was fortunate enough to hear the OAE in New York first hand.Read More
Our Principal Double Bassist, Chi-Chi Nwanoku MBE, took some footage when our Messiah Tour took us all the way to Moscow, Russia, for our first ever performance there.Read More
The Orchestra are currently on a festive tour- taking Handel’s Messiah to Las Palmas, Alicante and Moscow with director and OAE Principal Keyboard player, Robert Howarth.Read More
Not all tours are the same…
…so we found out when OAE violinist Susie Carpenter-Jacobs went behind the scenes for us back in May, when we took our Bostridge sings Bach concert on tour to Warsaw, Dresden, Prague, Vienna and Innsbruck.
Her video postcard gives a snapshot of what our musicians get up to whilst away on international tours, including snowball fights, beautiful views, some rather rude water fountains and of course, some wonderful music-making…
For more information on future OAE concerts and tours, visit our What’s On pages.Read More
On our recent tour with Sir Simon Rattle, three brave members of the OAE set themselves a tough challenge. They would aim to have tea and cake in every city of the tour. Here’s how Tanya (harp), Jane (flute) and Rebecca (bassoon) got on…Read More
As we’re about to hit the road with Sir Simon again we thought it was a good time to post this video from last year’s tour with him, when we visited Luxembourg, Paris, Dublin and of course, London.Read More
OAE Projects Manager Megan Russell is a keen photographer and took some great pictures from the Luxembourg and Paris legs of the tour – here are a selection:Read More
Here’s a little video diary from our trip to Paris back in January, when we took a supersized OAE there for a concert of Wagner, Liszt and Mahler with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly. We armed Communications Director William Norris with a video camera, and here are the results:
Viola player Annette Isserliss concludes her US tour diary:
Awoke wondering how on earth the OAE homeward travellers (the players who weren’t staying on for the Heiner Goebbel’s concert) had managed to rouse themselves to leave at 6.00 am! Took the subway (with viola in tow) to meet cousin Judy in Chelsea, and after a guided tour of some of the finer architectural sights, we climbed up onto the High Walk: converted from an old railway on an overpass to a garden walk with views of Chelsea Harbour with Hoboken,New Jersey beyond, on one side, and interesting city glimpses on the other. Although botanically at this time of year it was confined to almost-budding saplings and crocuses (crocii??) it was exceedingly pleasant in the mellow sunshine. As we approached a bench with a be-hatted native simultaneously basking and scribbling, it looked up, and turned out to be fello viola Nick Logie! He was staying in NY a bit longer, not only for the sponsors’ reception that evening, but because his eldest son Sascha is currently working in NY for the UN.Read More
Viola player Annette (known to many in the OAE as ‘Netty’) Isserlis made a diary of our recent tour to the US. Here’s days 1-3 with the rest following tomrorow. We hope to post some pics up soon too… A few additions from the blog editor in the brackets!
Mon Mar 14
Scene: Carluccio’s, outside Terminal 5, LHR.
Breakfast with husband Ken between red-eye flight in from Schipol (following 2 OAE concerts in Groningen and Nijmingen with Rachel Podger), and impending flight to USA: Ken to LA for solo concerts and Me to Boston with OAE and Sir Roger (Norrington), continuing the CPE Bachfest.
Dreadful news continuing to come through about the Japanese Disaster(s). Ken’s family all ok.
Painless flight to Boston followed by similarly painless Immigration, amazingly! It transpired that he chatty officer knew Yo-yo Ma personally….
Convivial dinner and bed not too early: it’s the only way to sleep through the 1st night, in my experience.Read More
Projects Manager Megan Russell got snapping when we were in Paris with Vladimir Jurowski and our Symphonic Enlightenment programme a couple of weeks ago:Read More
Projects Director Ceri Jones took a video camera with her on our most recent tour to France and Spain. Here’s the (condensed) video diary:
1 Conductor, Opera
2 Types of currency
3 Flights, Acts, narrators, countries, languages (4, if you include the Catalan translation in the Valencia programme)
4 Concert halls (5 if you include a rehearsal in the RFH), hotels
5 Singers, Cities visited
6 Pieces of outsized luggage
7 hours from Toulouse to Tarragona (including lunch and loo breaks!)
8 1st violins
9 Players getting up at an ungodly hour to get back to London for an Education session on the last day of tour.
10 Bottles of wine, consumed on the coach after the last concert…ahem
Ceri Jones, Projects DirectorRead More
Yes, the words of a Girls Aloud song and also something I re-discovered on our trip to Poissy last week. We were in Poissy for a concert performance of Cosi fan Tutte, under the baton of James Gaffigan. I kind of knew already that my French wasn’t entirely up to scratch and had been palming off all my French e-mails and telephone conversations over the last few weeks leading up to the trip to Megan, (who is perfectly fluent), but like the go-getter I am I decided to give the French a go – and be prepared to face the very embarrassing consequences. This did get me thinking though. Perhaps someone should write an idiots Orchestra Tours Manager Guide in the most popular European languages? Perhaps the not-so helpful ‘Computer says no’ staff at the Holiday Inn Gare l’est would have been more helpful if I could have sweet talked them in the language of Lurve???
Here is a list of some phrases I made use of and also some that I could do with some help on…Read More
Sorry to have cut short the end of my St Paul story. I’ve now been back a week and a half and it’s taken me this long to get over the jet lag. (Sorry I promised my colleagues at the end of last week that I would moan about jet lag no longer, but here I go again…)
The last few days of our visit in St Paul were the most exciting as after all the preparation the performances of Goebbels’ Songs of Wars I have seen were finally to take place.
For both the Friday and Saturday night concerts in the Ordway Center, the St Paul Chamber Orchestra led from the piano by Pierre-Laurent Aimard performed Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto. With insider knowledge on what was to come in the 2nd half of the concert I was intrigued to how the audience would react as the 2 pieces couldn’t have been more different.Read More
We had our first Goebbels rehearsal yesterday evening. Here is the orchestra rehearsing on the vast stage at the Ordway Center. It seems
Americans do everything on a much vaster scale than us Brits. Not only breakfast (which today included muffins, bagels, waffles, fruit, omelette, French toast, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, yoghurt, cereal, coffee, fruit juice…..) but weather, and now concert halls too!
Yesterday was a day of firsts for me. First long haul plane journey, first time experiencing jet lag, first trip out of Europe, first trip to the USA, first Visa, first time visiting a place where it’s normal for the temperature to be less than 0 degrees! So as you can imagine I was quite anxious about the trip…!
We’ll we’ve been here 24 hours now, and as the first rehearsal is this evening my first blog entry will focus on the non-musical elements of being on this tour.
The journey itself went actually very smoothly. North West Airlines were great. They were very happy to take the double bass in the hold – with no arguments! There was a great array of films to watch on the 8 hour journey (I managed 3 and a half, 2 of which were well worth watching) and as the plane was not very busy there was plenty of room to stretch out. I can’t say that the food we were served was anything to write home about so I won’t!
As mentioned in our top moments post below, Chi-chi Nwanoku had a memorable, if rather stressfull moment from 2008…
‘As far as OAE stories go I think the best I can offer was the time neither my bass or stool arrived at Schipol airport, Amsterdam, for a concert the same evening at the Concertgebouw as part of our tour with Ian Bostridge. When Philippa (our Orchestra Manager) and I tried to ‘log’ it at the appropriate desk in the customs hall, we literally had the “computer says no” Dutch equivalent!….Read More
On arrival in Birmingham we were greeted by a lively and colourful German Christmas Market, scenting the air with wurst and glühwein as we made our way to Symphony Hall. Pre-rehearsal saw a flurry of Christmas cards exchanged: the result of an afternoon and evening at home! Simon must have felt himself in a time-warp as he rehearsed with us, with exhortations to round out the ends of notes and reach for extremities in our dynamic range, to exploit the idiosyncracies of this exceptional hall, which he’d inhabited from its inception. Indeed it owed its very existence to Simon.
This concert, which felt extremely special to us, must have stirred up many memories for Simon as well as for the 2000-strong audience, of whom the core must surely have been his loyal admirers. (Incidentally the acoustic was as faithful to the splutterers as to us!)
Simon’s electric immediacy and spontaneous gestures drew crackling energy from us and the audience reaction was palpable.
We unwound homewards, in cars and a merry band on the train, reverting to Glyndebourne- commute mode. This morning, Stansted – headed for more German Christmas markets!
Annette Isserlis, violaRead More