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Charles HazlewoodCharles Hazlewood opens our 2011-2012 Southbank Centre season with us tomorrow, conducting music by Weber and Mendelssohn, in our Fingers, Felix and the Freeshooter concert. Later on, he’ll join us in The Night Shift.

What/when was your big breakthrough?

Winning the European Broadcasting Union Conducting Competition in 1995

What do you fear the most? 

Losing my children

What – or where – is perfection?

At the end of the rainbow I guess, or in Mozart’s Magic Flute

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?

Withnail (from the film Withnail & I) because he’s a very flawed (sort of) genius whose own worst enemy is most definitely himself.

What’s your favourite ritual? 

Story telling or making risotto

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?

Nelson Mandela

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?

Malibu surfing.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To breathe

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?

The slow movement of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante K364, Sibongile Khumalo live at the Market Theatre and Radiohead’s Paranoid Android, even stevens.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?

The sound and the way they listen

Concert details and booking

I was hardly involved in the project back in 2005 (being merely the OAE’s office administrator at the time), but remembering how much I had hugely enjoyed watching the performance at the Royal Festival Hall I was excited that we’d be putting it all back together again.MND 014

The project was only confirmed a few months ago so it’s been a busy few months for everyone involved, not least for bottoms horn ears which have been to Sydney and back since February (No, not on little holiday, but to take part in the production with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra which was also care of the Tim Carroll/Jenny Tiramani team).

The performance was to take place in Middle Temple Hall, which it self brings multiple challenges – well out of the comfort zone of a concert hall, with no purpose-built auditorium, stage, ANY equipment or staff.  Cue the OAE team…

So, courtesy of our Production Manager Simon in came the stage, and making use of the chairs already at the hall, the hall was turned into an auditorium for 4 days.  Construction work started on Friday afternoon, and by Saturday afternoon the stage was built and ready for Philippa and myself to lay out the stage for the orchestra.  Read the rest of this entry »

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