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As has become customary at this time of year we asked around the office and orchestra for people’s top OAE moments of 2010. There are definitely a few trends in the below… and we’d love to know what your top OAE moments of the year were too.

It’s difficult for me to decide whether Beethoven with Iván Fischer or Bach with John Butt wins my best moment of 2010? I’vedecided it’s John Butt because I have not worked with him as a director before. John is a leading Bach scholar and there were constant pearls of wisdom and humour (always a good thing in rehearsals). He is such an open and physically uninhibited musician. One of my favourite moments was when he asked us to be like evil black poodles—- all I could think of was Cruella de Vil! Not very 18th century but it worked.

Martin Kelly, Viola and Vice-Chairman

It was definitely Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne which I had the pleasure of watching twice; firstly on our annual office trip and the next time with my mum when we were caught in the worst downpour of the summer. The poor dressed up Glyndebourne-dwellers were darting, bubbly in arms, into any available shelter possible during the interval and it was a sorry, soggy lot of us who trudged back into the performance. It was my mum’s first visit to Glyndebourne though and she didn’t care at all. Don Giovanni was amazing all the way through but I especially loved the very end. Those dramatic scales over the descending bass line plus the Commendatore bellowing ‘Don Giovanni!’ certainly made for a spine tingling death scene!

Natalie Chivers, Education Projects Manager

I loved the Creation education project.

The chaos of moving 800 children that preceeded and followed the event was quite something; the silence and concentration of all those pupils watching and engaged during the performance in a packed Queen Elizabeth Hall was striking. I had great fun and learnt a lot about DNA!

The Night shift at the Roundhouse in January was amazing too.

Isabelle Tawil, Development Manager, Individual Giving

Without a doubt, the Iván Fischer Beethoven concerts in March – particularly at the Lincoln Center in New York where we gave two concerts as part of a complete cycle of the Symphonies with Iván’s “other” Orchestra, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which gave two concerts as well.  The audience reaction and Iván’s inspiring and totally unique conducting style produced electrifying musical moments of the year.

Stephen Carpenter, Chief Executive Read the rest of this entry »

OAE office mid morning Friday 29 January. Orchestra Manager arrives with a sprained ankle and a packet of frozen peas. Oh dear. Having been ordered to follow my GCSE P.E. anatomy and physiology advice of R.I.C.E. (that’s Rest, Ice, compression and Elevation) I quickly established that I would be acting as both Ceri Jones Projects Manager and the legs of Philippa Brownsword Orchestra Manager at the Roundhouse today… Given the general buzz and excitement of the event at the Roundhouse there was no way Philippa was going to go home and rest!  We all wanted to be part of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Hard to believe it was a whole 2 weeks ago now, but we’ve just received the pictures from our Night Shift at the Roundhouse. Here are some of our favourites, but you can view the whole set here at the Night Shift Flickr page. All pics taken by Joe Plommer.

Well, a full report will follow later, but in short, we had a fantastic time at the Roundhouse last night, a capacity crowd, a great atmosphere, and superb music, what more could you ask for? We’ll have lots of pictures in the coming days, but here are a few I took yesterday while we rehearsed.

William, Marketing Director

Our office team is just about to rush off down to Southbank Centre for tonight’s concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, but before we go I thought I’d post some pics from a trip some of us made to the Roundhouse last week – we went to see an early evening concert with the Britten Sinfonia and a late night one with the London Contemporary Orchestra – both were great, and it gave us a chance to see the set up for the reverb series, of which we’ll be a part tomorrow. If you’re coming to tonight’s concert – enjoy and do let us know what you think!

Well, in photoshop at least. Here’s the pic that accompanies today’s Evening Standard preview of tomorrow’s Night Shift.

This morning Radio 4’s Today programme ran a feature on The Night Shift and informal concerts – interviewing conductor Vladimir Jurowski and OAE Leaders Maggie Faultless and Matthew Truscott. You can listen to it here. Is it just us or is the question about pay completely random and unconnected?!

Our new Night Shift podcast has just been released, ahead of our event at the Roundhouse this Friday. On it we catch up with Marin Alsop backstage after the last event, and also talk to conductor Vladimir Jurowski about this weeks show. We also talk to Marcus Davey, Chief Executive about the Roundhouse and its history. Listen to the podcast here

Tomorrow we’ll be releasing a further podcast tomorrow which focuses on our Beethoven Symphony Series and upcoming Vivaldi concert.

Today saw our first orchestral rehearsal of 2010 – we’ve had education events and a lunchtime concert but today was the first time for the full Orchestra to rehearse. In the morning the strings of the Orchestral had a sectional rehearsal (i.e. just the string section), pictured here where they area all in a circle. Then the full orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski all met for the afternoon rehearsal (which took place at Cecil Sharp House). We’re rehearsing for our concerts of Beethoven’s fourth and seventh symphonies – taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Thursday, then touring to Bristol on 2 February and Paris on 4 February, in addition we perform Symphony 7 and the Coriolan Overture as a Night Shift at the Roundhouse on 29 January.

This is the question posed by Notion magazine in their latest issue, going on to say:

” Nothing is uncool anymore, I know becaus Brian Eno said so recently…Cool itself is rather passé. There is, however, one exception, the impregnable bastion of uncool: Classical music.

It’s fair to say that Notion isn’t usually the kind of magazine that the OAE appears in, which in a way is why we’re especially excited to be featured. The article (which features yours truly, and more importantly OAE Leaders Maggie Faultless and Matthew Truscott) asks why classical music hasn’t become ‘cool’ like Contemporary Art or Theatre, and takes a look at our Night Shift series of concerts. You can read the article online here – just go to page 56 of the magazine.

The Night Shift makes its debut appearance at the Roundhouse in Camden on 29 January – details here and tickets here.

William Norris, Marketing Director

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