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If you had dropped a bomb on the Royal Festival Hall last Friday, at around 11am, then you would have wiped out a very large section of London’s classical music life. Why? Well last Friday was the press launch of the 2011-2012 classical season at Southbank Centre. I’m sure to the assembled ranks of journalists that this all seemed very normal and routine, but the fact is a huge amount of work goes into not just the organisation of an event like this, but in getting the seasons of four Resident Orchestras ready in time, so they can all be launched at exactly the same time, and go on sale all together three days later. For the OAE launching this early in the year is something of a novelty, as until recently we’d do it in a much more leisurely fashion. Maybe in April…May…just whenever we got it all together really.

But obviously we make a lot more impact if we launch our new season together with the other Residents: LPO, Philharmonia and London Sinfonietta and also together with the various series that the Southbank Centre puts on too.

Pictured below (thanks to Sam Dub for the pics) are the various speakers for the event – including Marshall Marcus, who not very long ago was the OAE’s Chief Executive. We, as you know, don’t have a Principal Conductor, so we asserted our difference and had a player representing us – a huge thank you to OAE Leader Matthew Truscott for volunteering – he did a great job, though he did remark he was far more nervous than he ever gets when playing his violin!

Obviously we were excited about our own season, but its also fun to hear whatevery one else is putting on – and we were especially excited to see that Eduardo Portal, our Melgaard Young Conductor last season, is featuring in the LPO’s season – congratulations to him! There will definitely be an OAE crowd there cheering him on on 25 November.

Some boring small print: Friends of the OAE have priority booking till 21 Feb – we’ll be posting full details of everything then. If you want to sign up to the Friends give us a buzz! 020 7239 9382. There’s also a cheaper Priority Bookers option for £15.

Already there has been some coverage:

Guardian

Gramophone

Evening Standard

William Norris, Communications Director

Regular readers of this blog or our Facebook Page will know we were due to interview Vladimir Jurowski back in December. Well, that didn’t happen as he wasn’t too well, and about to embark on a big tour. We did however catch up with him last week, when he was with us conducting the Symphonic Enlightenment programme. We’d like to say a big thank you to him for giving up some of his hectic schedule to speak to us – particularly given that a) He still wasn’t 100% well, as evidenced by the tissue clutched in his hand and b) his schedule really is super-packed – he didn’t even have any time off over Christmas!

Anyway, we had a bit of a backlog of videos last week, so this is a little late but hopefully still interesting. Vladimir talks to us about his concerts of Wagner, Mahler and Liszt with us, about how he ‘met’ the OAE and about our late-night Night Shift concerts. The next chance to hear our partnership with him will be this summer – details to be announced. Enjoy – and remember you can still listen to Friday’s concert for a few more days here.

Hi everyone. This is my very first spangly blog I’ve written all on my own. I’ve been included on a few but never attempted to write more than 50 words so here goes…

Previous secondary school education project

Previous secondary school education project

My role in the office is Education Projects Manager which means I help run our ever expanding education programme here at the OAE, along with Cherry Forbes (Education Director). Our programme includes loads of creative, instrumental, opera and other various projects designed for tots right through to residents in nursing homes, so the list could go on and on. I wanted to take a few minutes from my day to tell you about a special project we have coming up for GCSE and A-Level students. Maybe then I’ll get a taste for this blogging thing and tell you about everything! You can have that to look forward to….

Mozart is our inspiration in the education department during 2010-11 and in particular we’re looking at his 40th symphony for our school concerts this spring (incidentally you can contact me to enquire about primary school spaces for our school concerts), a music and maths composition project next term and last but not least, our secondary school GCSE and A-Level study day with the OAE on 4 February at Kings Place.

It’s really exciting putting on an event like this where it fits nicely into the music curriculum and you feel it could really benefit everyone, from the students and the school teachers right through to the examiners. All music students have to study Mozart as part of their music syllabus so why not make it more fun and informative for them by chucking them a full live orchestra? Read the rest of this entry »

Well, this time last week we had the latest of our late night series of events, The Night Shift at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. It really feels like the series has ‘come of age’ now, with the event being the third in the last year to sell out, and our very first sell out at Southbank Centre. It’s just sad to have to turn people away! We hope everyone who came had a great night, and we have had some great feedback on Twitter. More feedback, good or bad, is always welcome though, as it helps us improve future events.

This is a bit of a roundup from the last event, and below are some pics,  vox pops from the audience, a few Tweets, plus presenter Alistair Appleton has made a Spotify playlist of his favourite music by Mahler, for your further listening pleasure. The next one, on 4 May, is already on sale, and needless to say, we recommend early booking!

Tweets

ThoroughlyGood Oh dear God. Where’s @theoae presenter? http://boo.fm/b258585
tomjennings Really enjoyed The Night Shift at Southbank Centre. @theoae doing Liszt’s Les Preludes and Mahler’s Totenfeier. Looking forward to next gig.
colinmyer At the #NightShift in the QEH on the South Bank. Translation: look how cultured I am.
thoroughlygood If Mahler’s Totenfeier represents what happens directly after death then I see little difference with a normal day at work. #thenightshift
payamtorabi‎ Night Shift with the OAE: inspirationally different approach to music. Well worth going if you get the chance.
Artyomliss‎ The Night Shift @Southbank. Is it right to be attempting to turn a classical music performance into a “facebook-style event”? Discuss…
101holidays Great performance by @theoae at the Southbank Centre last night. Love the Night Shift

Vox Pops

 

 

 

 

Ok, three posts in a day on here is perhaps a little excessive. But we really did have to tell you about the arrival in our office yesterday of our very first OAE Released CD. When I arrived at work in the morning and saw a huge box with my name in it I at first thought it was a very generous birthday present. On closer inspection it turned out to be the first copies of our recording of Monteverdi’s Vespers (Honestly, I wasn’t disappointed). As with any new piece of print I could barely look at it for fear of finding mistakes, but all looks ok.

Later on in the day our designer Chris Harrison, whose company Harrison and Co devised the artwork for the CD, dropped by and took this picture. In due course we’ll be releasing some videos talking to some of the musicians featured in the recording and also to Chris who’ll talk about how the distinctive artwork for the CDs was arrived upon.

The Vesper’s CD is the first on our brand new label, OAE Released, which we’re developing with Signum Classics. We have more recordings planned so keep your eyes, and indeed ears, peeled for them.

Oh, you want to buy a copy? Well you can get one for the knock down price of £15 (It’s a double CD, and that’s even cheaper than Amazon) by ordering direct from us, details are on our website. You can’t order online at the moment, and we know that’s a bit rubbish.  A new website is coming soon which will have a shop and we’re working on a temporary solution. Watch this space… UPDATE: Online ordering via Paypal is now availble on the link above.

As an added bonus, the first 100 orders also get a free OAE book. Wooo.

If you’re terribly modern you’ll be able to download it from places like iTunes, Eclassical, Naxos and Amazon in due course.

And if anyone does want to send me large birthday presents the address is on the website. Thanks.

William Norris, Communications Director

More reviews from Friday’s concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Plus you can listen to the concert online for a further 6 days.

Guardian

Financial Times

 

I am writing this on my final day here at the OAE. Firstly I should just explain the title ….on my second day here I got to accompany Megan to Glyndebourne to see Don Giovanni conducted by Vlad, and tonight on my last day is the fantastic concert in the RFH of Wagner, Liszt and Mahler again conducted by Vlad.

I have enjoyed my time here immensely, I was applying to the internship to find out all about ‘orchestra managing’, but have come away with knowledge about stage management, touring, visas, franking machines, rehearsals, lit stands, technical riders, Donor strategy, fixing, programming, recording, marketing, press interviews, the BBC, printing labels, playing the violin, making teas, folding music stands, running rehearsals, ordering bouquets, eating chocolates, evacuating Kings Place, and most of all un-jamming the photocopier. Read the rest of this entry »

We’re back from Paris and a second performance of our Symphonic Enlightenment programme of Wagner, Mahler and Liszt. First reviews from Friday’s performance are now in too – mainly from bloggers and online. Hopefully the Nationals will follow tomorrow. Thanks so much for the comments posted on our blog, You Tube video and also for the many Tweets we’re had as well. It’s always great to get such instant feedback!

Radio 3 recorded Friday’s concert at the Royal Festival Hall and you can listen to it at 7pm tonight, or online here for 7 days after.

Also coming up on the blog – a video interview with conductor Vladimir Jurowski, a round up of Night Shift news, pictures from Paris and a Parisien tour diary. Plus a parting shot from our intern Ingrid.

MusicOMH

Classical Source

BachTrack

Tonight we play our Symphonic Enlightenment programme at the Royal Festival Hall - a late romantic programme of Wagner, Mahler and Liszt with 90 players on stage. For us, a huge undertaking. Parts of the programme had their first airing on Wednesday at our (Sold out) Night Shift, but tonight will be the first time that Sarah Connolly joins us to sing Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (well, not quite first, we have obviously rehearsed it!).  We caught up with her earlier this week to ask her about the piece:
(Click through to YouTube to watch in HD)

Vladimir Jurowski, one of our three Principal Artists, conducts three concerts with us this week, two in London and one in Paris. Ahead of these we caught up with him for one of our Speed Interviews:

What/when was your big breakthrough?
1995

What do you fear the most?
To act against my own conscience.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My wife’s

What – or where – is perfection?
Perfection is an ideal. As such it belongs into the reign of dreams.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Snufkin (Snusmumriken) from the ‘Moomins’-series by Tove Jansson – for he is an idealist, an individualist, always calm, good-humoured, a music-lover and an eternal traveller. Read the rest of this entry »

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