You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2009.

It’s that time of year again! Yes, the time of year when a bunch of weary enthusiastic OAE staff spend their days visiting various universities around London to promote our student scheme, Attitude. Actually that’s the fun part, the real work is back in the office when we have to type Freshers Fayreabout 1,500 names and email addresses (frequently trying to decipher some seriously unusual handwriting) into our database. Anyway, it’s all worthwhile and its actually great to get out of the office for a bit. Today we’ll be at the University of the Arts, and then we go on to UCL (1 and 2 Oct), ULU (2 Oct) and Imperial (6 oct). At the fairs we are encourging students to join our special free student scheme, Attitude, so that they can get cheap tickets and free beer (alway a winning combination) and we are also looking for student representatives to promote the OAE and our concerts acrosss London. Find out more here. Pictured you can see Natasha at the Royal Academy of Music fayre. It hadn’t started yet which is why she is still smiling…

William, Marketing Director

I asked our new Development Officer, Isabelle, if she’d like to pen a few words about her first week in the office.  So far we have just this one tantalising fragment, but apparently more is on the way.

“I had a brilliant first week as Development Officer. I’d like to tell you more about it but it’s too much like a dream that I haven’t woken from yet so can’t really explain it.”

William Norris, Marketing Director

Earlier this month, I travelled with a group of our patrons to Austria for a performance by the OAE in the Schloss Esterházy in Eisenstadt. Haydn worked in the Esterházy for over 30 years and it seemed a perfect time for this trip to celebrate Haydn’s Bicentenary.

Day One
After a hassle-free flight to Vienna we travelled to Eisenstadt, which is approximately 1 hour from the airport. That evening we dined outdoors at a lovely restaurant directly opposite the Schloss Esterházy. We sat outside to make the most of the balmy evening but blankets were a nice touch as the night turned cooler.

Day Two
Morning walking tour of the Jewish Quarter, Haydn Mausoleum and Schloss Esterházy, along with hordes of other tourists. The patrons then spent the afternoon in Hungary and thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Eszterháza.

We were all very excited about hearing the Orchestra perform in the Haydnsaal. As always, the Orchestra played beautifully and the acoustics were simply superb. Following the concert, Laurence Cummings and some of the other players from the OAE joined us for a hearty feast. We enjoyed a seasonal dinner, starting with pumpkin soup, which was the best I have ever had!

Day Three
Back to London with long delays checking into Heathrow…

Claire Lenyk, Development Manager, Individual Giving

A couple of pics from our trip to Eisenstadt last week – showing the Palace and conductor Laurence Cummings chatting with Ton Koopman of the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra who were also performing there. A full report coming soon!

Most deliveries to our office are fairly mundane, even boring. Stationery, post, maybe some new brochures if we’re lucky. One delivery we

Development Director Duke Dobing poses with the chocolates

Development Director Duke Dobing poses with the chocolates

had last week though was notable for two reasons. First it seemed to send the building management here at Kings Place into some kind of frenzy, as although it’s a brand new building, no one seems to have thought of how to get deliveries from the delivery bay through to our office. Everytime we think we have a solution to the problem some new problem comes up, and this time we at one point had three members of staff in the office on the phone to three different people in the management of Kings Place trying to work out how to get the delivery to us without contravening one of the many rules and reglations of the building. We have now been issued with a ‘simple’ 9-point (!) plan of how to get deliveries to our office…

Anyway, the really interesting thing was the content of the delivery – two delivery cages worth of Lindt Chocolates! Lindt are an OAE sponsor and this was our yearly delivery. Sadly, not for office consumption…

William Norris, Marketing Director

You may have read recently about our new Apprentice Conductor, Eduardo Portal. Well, Eduardo, whose official title is the  Melgaard OAE Young Conductor, recently started his year with the OAE, and here are his first impressions:

First day of rehearsals, my first day as assistant conductor of the OAE. The orchestra starts to play. What a sound! It is so alive! What is that wave moving around the rehearsal venue? Is it wind? Or water? Something must be happening, something that I have never experienced before. What is it? It feels like an injection of life inside my veins; my adrenaline goes up to high levels. I cannot remain sitting on my chair, I Eduardo Portalmust stand up, my excitement is too much to be sitting down. There I go, walking around the players and trying to find out what that phenomenon is. Is it the period instruments which cause such an effect? Maybe it is the players, or perhaps the conductor, it could also be the piece!

Now I know what it is. It is their way of making music! They all move together and produce this wonderful wave of sound going up and down as the piece evolves. Their phrasing is stunning! They all feel the direction of the music in the same way and contribute to create a wonderful and dynamic performance. It is as if the music were happening in this moment for the first and last time in the history, as if the piece were being composed while played and at the same time, being mastered with a superb performance. Read the rest of this entry »

When I finally get me one of those I-phone thingamajigs will be able to do this live, but for now pen and paper with a type up in the office afterwards will have to suffice!

Here’s a Project Manager’s 24hour tweet trip from the orchestra’s tour to Grafenegg, nr Vienna, Austria last Thursday 27th August.  The rules are 140 characters per tweet and no more.  Not too good at being concise so let’s see how I get on!

Thursday 27th August
8am Checking in at Heathrow Terminal 3.  Have just spotted jazz singer Jamie Cullum, wonder if he’s flying to Vienna too?

9am Late name swop on ticket due to sick violin and wrongly packed passport give heart palpitations. Checked in with 30secs to spare. Phew.

10am Airborne. Reading book. Wondering why so many OAE musicians drink tomato juice. Read the rest of this entry »

The summer is over, the new term is about to begin.  Our last events in August were the concerts with Sir Roger Norrington at the Proms, in Edinburgh, Grafenegg and Esterhazy.  They proved to be an enjoyable and exciting (perhaps a bit too exciting!) finale to the 2008-2009 season.

In Edinburgh we were looking forward to working in the newly refurbished Usher Hall, whose beautiful acoustic is ideal for the OAE’s sound.  We were joined by the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who had recently had an accident to her foot but gamely insisted on no fuss and certainly was a big hit with everyone in the orchestra.  The rehearsal in the morning went without a hitch and we dispersed to sample the delights of the Festival during the afternoon.  All went smoothly in the concert until we were just about to go on for the second half, when all the stage lights suddenly went out. (The wind players who were already on stage were plunged into gloom and looked most surprised!)  Read the rest of this entry »

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