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Here’s a few reviews from our concerts at New York’s Lincoln Center. Watch out for a blog article from OAE viola player Nick Logie coming very soon.

New York Times
New York Times again

Manhattan Head Rush blog

We had a great couple of days the other week at the photoshoot for next season’s brochure. As we speak the photos are being processed and the brochure designed so look out for it later next month. In the meantime here are a few offcuts from the shoot we thought you might like to see.

Conductor Iván Fischer tries out a Double Bass

Well I am back at Alice Tully Hall in the orchestra manager’s room typing this on day two of our trip to New York. Last night’s concert went really well, we had a standing ovation from the audience and the players and Iván were really pleased with it.  After another New Yorker breakfast of waffles and fruit (very tasty!) with the girls from the Development team we have an open rehearsal this morning for the friends of the Lincoln Center. We also have some members of the Budapest Festival Orchestra (BFO) listening to the rehearsal, they are completing the Beethoven Symphony Cycle with us here. Iván called me into his dressing room this morning, he was very pleased as his ‘touring wardrobe’ had arrived with the BFO. A flight case complete with suit, iron, ironing board, baton drawer and coffee maker!

Our second and final concert is tonight, we will be performing symphonies nos. 1, 8 and 5. I’m hoping to sneak into the audience and listen for a bit tonight once I have done my backstage duties here as the hall is fantastic. Before that, I’ve got a bit of free time this afternoon so I think I’ll take in a few more of the sights – yesterday I managed to fit in Times Square, the Rockerfeller Centre, Grand Central station and ‘World of M&Ms’ – so tacky you couldn’t help but like it! So I’m going to head down to the southern tip of Manhatten and take the Staten Island ferry and see the Statue of Liberty.

I was very pleased to find out yesterday that our return flights for tomorrow were not cancelled (we are travelling on British Airways!!!) so the final instalment will come next week when we have arrived back in the UK.

Megan Russell, Projects Manager

(editors note – watch out for further NYC news from Nick Logie in the Orchestra very soon)



Megan, our Projects Manager, got an unexpected trip to NYC with the Orchestra this week. One of the violinists was unwell so we had a spare place, so after weeks of processing visa applications it was only fair that Megan got to go! Yesterday she sent us a quick report:

Well the orchestra is now safely installed and rehearsing. Philippa and I unloaded the van this morning with all the gear. We had a yummy NY breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs and maple syrup and then came back to the hall and the tech crew had done the set up for us. They are really great here, really friendly and seem to be on top of everything. Andrea and Lisa were here at 8am so met both of them. Will swing by the Empire (It is literally right across the road) (ed’s note – Empire is the hotel we usually stay at but was too expensive this time!), the Lucerne (the hotel we are at this time) is about a 10 minute walk and is quite nice. I’ll also go and check out ink48 too (another hotel we are checking out for our next trip here)

The gala event last night was fantastic. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. Thompson Reuters put on a great dinner and the view was fab – on the 30th floor. The players presentation went really well, I think they were really pleased with it all. Hope all is well at mission control, say hi to the gang.

Philippa, our Orchestra Manager also emailed us a few pics:

We like to give all of our Southbank Centre concerts a title, as a kind of boiled-down summary of the event. They’re usually short, snappy and maybe a little bit irreverent (not irrelevant, as I was about to type). We thought we’d ask your help for this one – post your ideas as comments.

Tuesday 21 June 2011
Royal Festival Hall

Haydn Symphony No.64, Tempora mutantur
Mozart
Concerto in E flat for Two Pianos, K365
Haydn
Symphony No.95 in C minor

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Katia and Marielle Labèque
pianos

Today we had a preliminary meeting with our photographer (Eric Richmond) and designer (Chris Harrison) to prepare for the photoshoot for next season’s brochure which we’ll be shooting Thursday and Friday. We were experimenting with the gaffer tape (pictured!), and trying to perfect the lighting – it’s amazing how complex it is – trying to avoid shadows while also avoiding glare off the tape.  More from the shoot soon…

Here’s a selection of reviews from our concerts at the Southbank with Iván Fischer recently.

4 March (Symphonies 2 & 3)

The Times
Guardian

The Arts Desk

10 March (Symphonies 1,8 & 9)

Independent
Guardian

Both concerts were broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and you can still listen to Symphonies 2&3 here until tomorrow and 1, 8 & 5 here until next Monday.

We’re repeating the concerts in New York next week – with the Budapest Festival Orchestra also playing at Lincoln Center at the same time, so between us we’ll play a whole Beethoven cycle, all conducted by Iván Fischer. The only small fly in the ointment at the moment is the BA strike, so while we can get there we’re not entirely sure how we’re getting home yet…

The pictures we used for our 2009-2010 season seemed to stir up a fair amount of interest, debate and comment, and now it’s already time for us to think about next season. How are we going to top our current look (which most seem to have described as ‘American Gothic’)? Well the photoshoot is in a couple of weeks time and all we’re prepared to say is that it’s going to feature gaffer tape…

It’s been a little while since we posted here – apologies. It’s not because nothings been happening at OAE towers, far from it, in fact I think quite the opposite! The Orchestra has been busy rehearsing for Tamerlano at the Royal Opera House. We had the final rehearsal on Tuesday (which is like a proper performance really) and all went well, though it’s hard work for the Orchestra – 3.5 hours of music! It’s a spectacular production, particularly if you’re fond of blue elephants (!), so do catch it if you can. First night is this Friday and details are here, togeher with a pic of the blue elephant.

You can also view a trailer for the production here.

Meanwhile we’ve also been rehearsing for the next concerts in our Beethoven Symphony Series – the next two concerts are with Iván Fisher (pictured rehearsing with us yesterday), and we’ll perform No’s 2&3 tonight at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and 1,8 & 5 at the Royal Festival Hall next Wednesday, the 10th. Then, at the end of the month we travel to New York City where we give the same two concerts at the Lincoln Center – Iván will also be conducting his own Budapest Festival Orchestra there in two concerts and between the two orchestras we’ll give a complete Beethoven symphony cycle. Reports from players and staff will of course appear here.

Meanwhile last week five of use from the office travelled up to Glasgow for the annual Association of British Orchestras concference – which this year focused on identity. More on that soon…

William Norris, Marketing Director

OAE on Twitter

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