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We’re looking forward to our next Night Shift event on Wednesday (4 May), and ahead of it we’ve just released our latest podcast. In it we feature an in-depth interview with star pianist Artur Pizarro, talk to OAE violinist and Leader Alison Bury about what it’s like playing at The Night Shift, plus we look ahead to our June event in Shoreditch. First though we start off hearing from you, with audience reaction to our last event.

The Night Shift returns on Wednesday 4 May
The podcast will also shortly be available on itunes, just search for Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Next week we have the latest in our series of late-night Night Shift events. We caught up with conductor Roy Goodman after yesterday’s rehearsal to ask him about the symphony featured in the concert, Schubert’s Symphony No.4, TragicFind out more about the event here.

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Yesterday we sent the final proof of our new 2011-2012 brochure back to the printer, giving it a final sign-off so that they can proceed with printing all 36,000 copies. Always slightly scary in case there’s a hideous mistake you’ve missed… To avoid that, it gets read by as many people as possible in the office. Here’s Press Manager Katy Bell giving it a final once-over.

Katy reading our new brochure

At lunchtime today my colleague Megan produced 10 metres of hand-made bunting from her bag (as you do). We were all pretty impressed with it and immediately started to put it up in the office. While we were doing this my colleague Zen starting filming and taking pictures – I remarked that it would be great to get some pictures for the blog as ‘there’s nothing else interesting going on today to put on there’. At this point Megan remarked to me that in fact there was a 50 piece orchestra rehearsing two floors below us and that was maybe quite interesting.

Of course she’s right.  Its amazing how quickly something like that becomes routine and ordinary, and you have to be reminded how special it is. After lunch I took the escalator down to level -2 here at Kings Place to listen to the Orchestra, conductor Roy Goodman and pianist Artur Pizzaro rehearse Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto. Lovely as Megan’s bunting is, listening to the OAE play Beethoven is always going to trump most things. Here are pics of both bunting and rehearsal.

William Norris, Communications Director


Roy GoodmanIn just over a week’s time we have our next concert at Southbank Centre, May the fours be with you. We know the concert title has been a bit of a marmite-like subject, you either love it or hate it – but it just references all the fours – 4th May, Mozart Symphony 40, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4, Schubert Symphony No. 4…

Anyhow, for this concert (and the Night Shift that follows) we’re joined by conductor Roy Goodman, for whom this is a bit of a special moment – returning to the OAE as conductor, after having been a player member of the OAE in our early days back in the 80’s. Here’s his Speed Interview. You can also catch the concert in Bristol this Thursday, 28 April.

What/when was your big breakthrough?
Boy soloist for Decca Records in Allegri’s Miserere as a chorister in King’s College Choir 1963.

What do you fear the most?
Divorce and overdrafts.

 Which mobile number do you call the most?
Jane, my Kiwi girlfriend in Auckland, New Zealand.

What – or where – is perfection?
A full moon whilst sailing my boat in the Western Isles of Scotland. Read the rest of this entry »

After the last Night Shift back in January, where Vladimir Jurowski conducted us in music by Mahler and Liszt, our brave man-with-a-cam, Zen, asked the audience: ‘How was it for you?’

Here’s what people said:

Firstly, apologies for the use of the ‘word’ amazeballs, but it seems to be popular currency in the OAE  office at the moment.

So, we are very lucky at the OAE to have an amazing sponsor*, namely Lindt. They supply us with lots of lovely goodies through the year which are used for all sorts of purposes. However we just noticed in the office that we have a bit of an over-supply of the Fondente Lindt Balls. We can’t think why as they’re rather tasty. Anyway, rather than eat them all ourselves and get hideously fat, we thought we’d (obviously) fill up a violin case with them and turn it into a Night Shift competition – the next event of which is just 2 weeks away on 4 May.

The obvious question therefore is – how many Lindt Balls in the violin case?

The person closest to the answer (yes we did count them) will win all the Lindt Balls, plus a couple of tickets to our next Night Shift event. The competition will close on Tuesday 26 April at Midday – so get guessing! Just leave your answer as a comment here or leave an answer over on our OAE or Night Shift Facebook profiles.

*Of course we also have many other fantastic sponsors…

Well I think we’re just about recovered from our Baroque. Contrasted. festival which we held at Kings Place the other week. It was certainly a pretty intense week, particularly for those who were here every day and night for five days! We had some great concerts, workshops and events, and trying to force myself to be a tenor in our Sing Baroque! event (I’m really a bass) was a particular highlight interesting moment for me…

It was great though to see so many people turn out for this event and for our Baroque from Scratch session(for amateur instrumentalists) too – we’re pretty sure to plan more events like this, together with our inreasingly popular TOTS concerts.

Anyway, after some of the concerts we caught up with you to find out what you thought – here’s what you said. Thanks to all for coming!

William Norris, Communications Director

This week, we chat to Georgina Cooksley about life as an intern with the OAE…

GeorginaWhat’s your role in the OAE office?

I’m the graduate intern so I get to be involved in all parts of the OAE. Mainly I work with the Projects team organizing and planning concerts but I also liaise with the Communications and Development teams and help the Education team with string club (although I can’t actually play the violin…yet.)

What does your typical day involve?

No two days have been the same here and there’s always a new challenge. One morning I had to dash to the Barbican to deliver Sir Simon Rattle his Tristan and Isolde music and another I’m backstage at the QEH catching Nick Logie with the chocolates or giving out flowers on stage. Most days I’m in the office talking to the players’ on the phone, helping Megan with US visas and E101s, drinking coffee, fixing the photocopier and anything that pops up.

Which mobile number do you call the most?

I text message rather than call people, so the number I probably text the most is my friend Amanda. My mum would be a close second and it’s normally for cooking or cleaning advice.

What – or where – is perfection?

Lying on a beach with your feet buried in the sand, listening to the waves roll along the sand.

What’s your favourite ritual?

Oh dear, this is going to sound bad but I would have to say ‘Friday night wine.’ It’s more about celebrating the end of the week and having a chat and a giggle with your friends over wine. It’s especially good if it’s a New Zealand wine. Read the rest of this entry »

A short video from our trip up to Sheffield back in February – a concert which was part of our Green Tour initiative which saw the OAE ditch individual cars in favour of coaches and trains. Though we now know that trains are noisy places in which to film interviews… turn the volume up to hear Ceri at the start! Sadly we didn’t get footage of the venue evacuation, we were too busy wondering what on earth was happening…

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