You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2010.

One of my tasks as the OAE intern, is to coordinate the application process for finding a new intern (sob!) If you, or anyone you know would be interested in applying please have a look on our website for all the details and information on applying. http://www.oae.co.uk/standard.asp?ID=48

Its such a fantastic opportunity and I can highly recommend the experience as a brilliant way to find out all about working in an arts organisation as well as clocking up valuable experience as you go. In just 3 months I have got to attend concerts, rehearsals, recording sessions, learnt about marketing, education and development and seen how to make an orchestra run smoothly first-hand, not to mention meeting all the incredible musicians!

The internship is really a diverse and special experience within such a diverse and special orchestra, so I really encourage you to spread the word!

Ingrid Van Boheemen, Graduate Intern

In danger of being a touch geeky, we thought we’d tell you something about pitch, how it’s not always been as it is now..

Pitch did not use to be standardized as it is today and was different from country to country and changed through the eras.  It is denoted by 2 coordinates, frequency (Hz) and note A in the middle of the treble staff. So A=415 is A at 415Hz.  Still awake? Good.

It was recently highlighted in the office when a Clavinova had to be tuned to A=415 in a rehearsal so that the choir were singing in the correct pitch.  Modern standardised pitch is A=440, which makes the A=415 of the Baroque era a G sharp to our ears.. A bit confusing for people with perfect pitch!

This gets tricky with fixed pitch instruments such as oboes and flutes which are of course designed to play specific pitches, whereas stringed instruments can be tuned to whatever pitch is needed. So when playing with period fixed pitch instruments one has to make sure every other instrument can be tuned to the same pitch and that you have a fairly large collection of pitch forks..

Just so you know, the last Night Shift on 20th October was A=415 (Baroque) and the upcoming ‘French Connections’ concert on 9th November (Cherubini/Mehul/Berlioz/Mozart) will be A=430. Come and see if you can tell the difference!

Here are a couple of reviews from this season – including a very enthusiastic one from The Independent for The Night Shift. We’ve also included a link to one bloggers account of his evening at The Night Shift.

Telegraph on 7 October concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Celebrating Pergolesi

Independent on 20 October concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Night Shift and A Grand Tour of Italy

Culture Hedonist on 20 October, The Night Shift

Rosemary sings with us tomorrow night at our twin performances at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (7pm and 10pm). Here are her quick Rosemary Joshuaquestions…

What/when was your big breakthrough?
I’m still waiting for it!

What do you fear the most?
Walking onto the stage with the wrong vocal score in my hand! It nearly happened to me once before a concert performance of Tancredi… I was travelling with various music scores and just happened to pick up the wrong one as I left my dressing room in a panic…

Which mobile number do you call the most?
Officially my husband’s!

What – or where – is perfection?
Having flaws and defects is what makes life interesting…perfection is what we aspire towards and keeps us motivated. The perfect place to be is wherever the people I love happen to be in the world…

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Basil Fawlty…  the sheer energy and sense of improvisation overwhelms me every time. Fawlty Towers never lets me down when I need a good laugh! Read the rest of this entry »

We’ve been starving in the office, as no-one baked anything for a whole fortnight!

So we were very glad when Ceri Jones (Projects Director) brought in some delicious Bara Brith (Welsh tea bread):Ceri's Bara Brith

No-one’s cooking for a while now, but we’ve got a few office birthdays coming up and I’m sure there’ll be some festive treats in store soon…

Tomorrow night’s concert at Kings Place is a pretty unusual affair. Not only is it a joint concert with the London Sinfonietta, but the second half in particular sees four very unusual things occur. First, we merge with the London Sinfonietta, to create a new ensemble made up of players from both orchestras. Second, together, we play a brand new comission by Richard Causton, Dark Processional (in the spirit of the REMIX festival, it is based on music by Pergolesi). Third, in the second half of the concert, OAE players will use (fairly) modern instruments and play at modern picth. Last, but not least, we’re going to be playing Stravinsky (only the second time we have ever done so). The piece is Pulcinella, and it is the climax of the REMIX festival here. As you may know, it’s based on pieces by Pergolesi and other composers of his time – and we play these antecedents in the first half of the concert. So, all in all a pretty special event – and one thats not very likely to be repeated for a while!

Yesterday we caught up with OAE players who were at Kings Place for that evening’s concert and asked them about the experience of working with the London Sinfonietta and playing the music of Stravinsky:

Ahead of The Night Shift next week we have a new podcast – in it we speak to violinist Kati Debretzeni about the music in the concert, listen to your views on the last event at Wilton’s Music Hall, find out about the history of the Southbank Centre and lastly talk to band the Silvermoths who support the OAE at the next event. Enjoy!

Wolfgang Amadeus Madonna anyone?wolfgang-amadeus-madonna

This week we’re collaborating with the London Sinfonietta on REMIX, a 3-day festival celebrating remixing, reinventing and recyling music. Over three concerts we’re going to be looking at how composers have copied, stolen and taken inspiration from each other.

For example, on Thursday the OAE plays Bach’s version of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, while on Friday the London Sinfonietta play music by Purcell rearranged by John Woolrich, George Benjamin and Oliver Knussen…

So, with this in mind we’re asking you to name what your musical dream team would be. Perhaps you would bring Haydn and Beethoven together, Purcell and Vivaldi, Madonna and Mozart…

Let us know here what two (or more!) composers or musicians you would like to see work together and we’ll be awarding a pair of free tickets to Saturday’s concert, Music as Theft, to whoever comes up with our favourite idea. Oh, and if you’re really bored then you could also submit a pictorial mash-up like ours – there will be extra prizes for that! You can post them on our Facebook Page. Deadline is 5pm this Friday, so get thinking…

William Norris

Yesterday morning was the culmination of what seems like months if not years of work for our concert on Saturday night. A little more Rehearsal for REMIXcomplicated than usual, this concert is a mixture of OAE and London Sinfonietta players (our very distant relations who we share an office with). As part of having our headquarters at Kings Place, we put on several concerts here throughout the year and this week is our REMIX festival, mixing all sorts of old and new including mixing up the two orchestras. This all started many moons ago when we decided to have an orchestra made up of players from both orchestras. After working out how to split the booking between the two orchestras, we then had to find OAE players who were happy to dust off their modern instruments to play some 20th century music – Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and a new commission by Richard Causton. Fixing a project with just one orchestra involved presents enough challenges, but dealing with two orchestras whose playing spheres never overlap presented quite a few more! Eventually we managed a final orchestra list, a final seating plan, the right music (we were helpfully sent the whole of the Pulcinella ballet parts instead of just the suite to start with!) and a rehearsal plan.

Sitting and listening to the rehearsal yesterday, it was really interesting to see a rare sight, OAE and LS players sitting side by side, and even stranger to see OAE players playing modern instruments. The rarest thing, however, was when the conductor, Nick Collon, announced that Richard Causton would be coming to the afternoon rehearsal – it’s not very often that the composer of the music OAE is playing turns up to a rehearsal!

Megan Russell, Projects Manager

Find out more about REMIX by downloding the brochure here.



Next Wednesday, Kati, one of the OAE’s four leaders, will direct two concerts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, one at 7pm and a following Night Shift at 10pm. We caught up with her to ask her a few questions…

What do you fear the most?
Debilitating illness of a loved one.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
The wonderful Hungarian-speaking babysitter’s of my 15 month old Alma. And I keep trying my husband’s knowing he won’t hear it – I inflicted the phone on him…

What – or where – is perfection?
In our minds. But no harm in trying!

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
I like anti-heroes better then heroes. Sancho Panza or Leporello are so much more interesting then the protagonists – they are human, and frail, and have real emotional depth and complexities.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Not a person of rituals really. If pressed – going to a cafe and reading the newspaper by myself. Sad… Read the rest of this entry »

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