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One of the OAE’s regular ‘homes’ outside of London is St Georges in Bristol. We usually give 3-4 ‘main’ concerts there a season, and often a series of lunchtime chamber music concerts too. However, depite having worked for the OAE for getting on for five years until last week I had never been there! So, I decided to catch the last concert of our mini-tour with Yannick Nézet-Séguin there. It’s a beautiful building – very striking outside, and like St John’s in London it used to be a church. Inside it’s very intimate – and the acoustic is fantastic – very ‘in your face’ but in a good way, and the sound has a nice warm quality to it. being an old building it does have a few drawbacks – including the very creaky floor boards in the balcony. I was up there in the rehearsal being shown around by the Marketing Manager of the venue when we hit a very creaky spot – rather embrasssingly the Orchestra stopped rehearsing and I got a ‘look’ from Yannick followed by general mock stamping of feet from the Orchestra! The performance itself was fantastic – and there was the rare sight backstage of all the players virtually queueing up to say thank you and goodbye to Yannick at the end. An added bonus on the way home was discovering that bars on trains obviously don’t have licensing restructions like pubs and I was able to buy a nice 1/2 bottle of red wine to keep me company on the journey back to London, despite it being after 11!

William Norris, Marketing Director

Regular readers of the OAE blog will by now have a sense of how much work goes into making a concert happen – booking artists, thHair straighteninge orchestra, rehearsal venues, travel arrangements, getting programmes written and printed etc etc. But there is so much more that needs to happen – including last  minute emergency hair straightening for the office team. (with apologies to OAE Project Manager, Ceri Jones, pictured…)

A few more reviews from our Southbank Centre season opening concert with Yannick Nézet-Séguin

The Times

Classical Source

David Nice blog (scroll down!)

We are running a very small scale tube advertising campaign at the moment – a couple of pics of it below. You’ll find the posters at Waterloo and Embankment stations – there are several designs to look out for.

Also, I can’t remember if we posted this link before – but here’s blogger opera chic‘s take on our ‘look’ for the 2009-2010 Season.

We’ve just had the first few pics back from our Night Shift event last week, which we’ve posted to our new Flickr account. More will be added in the coming days. We’re especially interested to see what is on the disposable cameras we let loose amongst the audience. Lets hope it’s all clean… (pics below by Joe Plommer, showing Orchestra, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and presenter Alistair Appleton)

Last night saw the start of our new season at Southbank centre, with an all Haydn programme coducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin who was making his debut with us. With both a 7pm concert and a 10pm Night Shift it was a long day for both players and staff, I was wearily packing away banners and tealight with fellow staff members at 12.45am…

But it was a real corker of an evening, and the partnership between Orchestra and Conductor seemed to get off to a flying start. We have two more performances of the programme, in Cologne this Sunday, 18 Oct and in Bristol on Tuesday 20 Oct.

We already have a couple of reviews in – the Independent being unusually speedy!

The Independent on the 7pm concert

Artsdesk on the Night Shift

William Norris, Marketing Director

Surely this is a blog about the behind the scenes operations of a period instrument orchestra, and not a bakery, but yes this blog article is Cakegoing to focus on the joys of cake….

Last Sunday morning I found myself running in the Royal Parks Half Marathon – a lovely half marathon route around Hyde, Green and St James Park, and other well known sights of London. – We even passed the OAE’s regular performing haunts of Southbank Centre and Royal Albert Hall. I’d got a charity place in the race alongside a group of people from a fitness group I belong to – Fitter London ( and we were all raising funds for a charity called Right to Play ( Right To Play is an athlete-driven international humanitarian organisation that uses sport and play as a tool for development of children and youth in the most disadvantaged areas of the world. Read the rest of this entry »

The stage is decorated with butterflies, moths and snakes of every hue, heralding the musical kaleidoscope that is about to fill the hall.  An orchestra excitedly assembles, with flutes, keyboards, bassoon, horn, cellos, double-bass, violins, trumpets and percussion – all shepherded by OAE musicians.  I am in the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford-on-Avon, about to witness a truly unique musical occasion – as animateur James Redwood puts it in his introduction, “This is the only time this will ever happen!” Read the rest of this entry »

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October 2009

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