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Well, a full report will follow later, but in short, we had a fantastic time at the Roundhouse last night, a capacity crowd, a great atmosphere, and superb music, what more could you ask for? We’ll have lots of pictures in the coming days, but here are a few I took yesterday while we rehearsed.

William, Marketing Director

Our office team is just about to rush off down to Southbank Centre for tonight’s concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, but before we go I thought I’d post some pics from a trip some of us made to the Roundhouse last week – we went to see an early evening concert with the Britten Sinfonia and a late night one with the London Contemporary Orchestra – both were great, and it gave us a chance to see the set up for the reverb series, of which we’ll be a part tomorrow. If you’re coming to tonight’s concert – enjoy and do let us know what you think!

Another new podcast – this time looking at our upcoming concerts at Southbank Centre. Vladimir Jurowski talks about the Beethoven series and Symphonies 4 and 7, while OAE Leader Alison Bury also talks about Beethoven before moving onto our upcoming Vivaldi concert in April. Listen to the podcast here or download it on itunes.

Well, in photoshop at least. Here’s the pic that accompanies today’s Evening Standard preview of tomorrow’s Night Shift.

This morning Radio 4′s Today programme ran a feature on The Night Shift and informal concerts – interviewing conductor Vladimir Jurowski and OAE Leaders Maggie Faultless and Matthew Truscott. You can listen to it here. Is it just us or is the question about pay completely random and unconnected?!

With the end of another year just passed, we took the chance to ask members of the office team about their top OAE moments of 2009:

Stephen Carpenter, Chief Executive
“In August and September 2009, as part of the OAE’s year-long homage to Haydn in his bi-centenary year, we visited the composer’s two P(a)laces of Employment: Esterhaza in Hungary and Eisenstadt in Austria.  On a swelteringly hot day in Esterhaza we performed an all-Haydn programme in the same room in which most of Haydn’s symphonies were premiered.  We had a guided tour of the Esterhazy Palace and saw the room where the Empress Maria-Theresa stayed, and performed “her” symphony (No 48 in C) later the same evening.  In the front row of the audience sat Prince Paul Esterhazy, a direct descendant of Haydn’s Patron, Prince Nicholas Esterhazy.  A real connection with a golden period in music history.  It doesn’t get much better than that!”

Clare Norburn, Development Manager
The Haydn programme with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and especially the ambience in The Night Shift that night – it was electric!

On a personal note: the moment when I opened the envelope to find we had raised £100,000 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for the development of The Night Shift over 3 years

Natasha Stehr, Marketing and Press Officer
My 2009 highlights: becoming part of our office’s Running Club and actually sticking with it- OAE marathon next year?!  We had so many great concerts this year, it’s hard to pick one as my favourite, but if I had to choose it would have to be Marin Alsop and the OAE playing Charles Ives’ Unanswered Question as part of our Deconstructing Mozart event on the 5 Dec…a once in a lifetime moment!

Ceri Jones, Projects Manager
An office one
“the first outing for the Kings Place running club back in April.  Little did I know it would be met with so much enthusiasm, and that 8 months later a small clique would still be up and running (not sure what I can say about those that have given up, but at least they showed some initial enthusiasm and perhaps they will be tempted again in the New Year…)

A tour-related but not musical one
Having fun experiencing American mid-west culture and the most extreme cold in my life with the OAE & London Sinfonietta in Minneapolis back in January.

An actual musical one
The Creation before Christmas.  Managed to blag a seat in the auditorium rather than marching around backstage, and was blown away by the sheer volume of the orchestra and choir in that ‘let there be light’ bit!  It will stay with me for a while…

& Not so top moments
Getting up at 4am to get home from Berlin on Good Friday – way less than 24hrs after leaving London the previous day.  Ouch.

The snow day in Feb last year.  Sitting at my desk helplessly trying to get an orchestra and choir to the canary islands whilst others in the world were skiving off work ‘unable to get to work and playing in the snow 

Megan Russell, Projects Manager
I’m not sure if it my absolute ‘top moment’ artistically speaking, but a very memorable moment was when the Glyndebourne stage was suddenly filled with members of the Fairy Queen cast dressed as bright pink cartoon-esque bunny rabbits energetically acting out what bunny rabbits get up to in the spring time… I couldn’t quite believe my eyes!

Do you have any memorable OAE moments of 2009? Feel free to comment here!

Our new Night Shift podcast has just been released, ahead of our event at the Roundhouse this Friday. On it we catch up with Marin Alsop backstage after the last event, and also talk to conductor Vladimir Jurowski about this weeks show. We also talk to Marcus Davey, Chief Executive about the Roundhouse and its history. Listen to the podcast here

Tomorrow we’ll be releasing a further podcast tomorrow which focuses on our Beethoven Symphony Series and upcoming Vivaldi concert.

Today saw our first orchestral rehearsal of 2010 – we’ve had education events and a lunchtime concert but today was the first time for the full Orchestra to rehearse. In the morning the strings of the Orchestral had a sectional rehearsal (i.e. just the string section), pictured here where they area all in a circle. Then the full orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski all met for the afternoon rehearsal (which took place at Cecil Sharp House). We’re rehearsing for our concerts of Beethoven’s fourth and seventh symphonies – taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Thursday, then touring to Bristol on 2 February and Paris on 4 February, in addition we perform Symphony 7 and the Coriolan Overture as a Night Shift at the Roundhouse on 29 January.

This is the question posed by Notion magazine in their latest issue, going on to say:

” Nothing is uncool anymore, I know becaus Brian Eno said so recently…Cool itself is rather passé. There is, however, one exception, the impregnable bastion of uncool: Classical music.

It’s fair to say that Notion isn’t usually the kind of magazine that the OAE appears in, which in a way is why we’re especially excited to be featured. The article (which features yours truly, and more importantly OAE Leaders Maggie Faultless and Matthew Truscott) asks why classical music hasn’t become ‘cool’ like Contemporary Art or Theatre, and takes a look at our Night Shift series of concerts. You can read the article online here – just go to page 56 of the magazine.

The Night Shift makes its debut appearance at the Roundhouse in Camden on 29 January – details here and tickets here.

William Norris, Marketing Director

We got the New Year off here at the OAE to a flying start with, the OAE Academy, a three day course for our new Ann and Peter Law OAE Experience participants. We had a snowy few days with some players being delayed on their way in from Spain and others being snowed in in Somerset! Those who did manage to make it through the snow were treated to three days of rehearsals, singing workshops, a yoga session, Education sessions and some very tasty home cooked meals from the Amadeus centre.

The photos are of the orchestra rehearsing with OAE leader Maggie Faultless, an Education composition session and some group shoulder massages before the rehearsal with OAE Principal Oboe Tony Robson!

Megan Russell, Projects Officer

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