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Baroque Contrasted imageNext week we go Baroque crazy with our festival at Kings Place,  an action-packed five days of concerts, talks, workshops and more. We’re playing some music from the big names of the Baroque, but the Thursday and Friday concerts also contain a few rarities. Any fans of the composer Finger here? Or William Williams?

Well, over the next few days we’re going to be posting up some potted facts about these lesser-known composers, and we’ve also put some playlists together for you on Spotify, so you can preview some of the music. We’ll also try and find some Youtube links for those of you who aren’t using Spotify yet.

Here are the Spotify links – enjoy!

Listen to highlights from the hour-long concerts on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 April here

Listen to highlights from the 7.30pm concert on Saturday 9 April here


Here’s a little video diary from our trip to Paris back in January, when we took a supersized OAE there for a concert of Wagner, Liszt and Mahler with conductor Vladimir Jurowski and mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly. We armed Communications Director William Norris with a video camera, and here are the results:

We usually keep the blog reserved for the fun stuff but we can see from the geeky stats we get on this blog that some of you have been searching for information on the OAE’s funding situation. We’re pleased to say that after today’s announcement we remain funded by the Arts Council, with only a small 4.5% cut from the 2011-2012 financial year. You can read our full statement here. Now – on with the fun stuff and the music!

Here are a few more staff choices from our Baroque. Contrasted. festival next week at Kings Place:

I’m really looking forward to next week’s events because there’s SO much variety. It’s hard to pick a favourite but starting my Sunday with cup of coffee and some beautiful baroque music sounds pretty appealing to me; I also like the idea of being one of the first to hear the future OAE players.

Isabelle Tawil, Development Manager

Anything with the words coffee and Handel is definitely up my ally. I like the idea of a Sunday morning coffee with the OAE at the Coffee Concert. I’m also excited to get my Purcell groove on in the Sing Baroque event, what a great excuse to sing in public without an out of tune rendition of Whitney Houston.

Georgina Cooksley, Intern

Baroque Strings because it has the theorbo in it and I want to see what all the fuss is about, or maybe Reflections on the Grand Tour to see and hear what sackbuts are like.

Dipu Yonjan, Finance Officer

During the next week we’ll be posting up some playlists so you can get acquainted with the music ahead of the concerts, as well as telling you a little more about some of the more unusual composers featured. You can find out more about the festival with our virtual brochure here.

Here’s the lastest podcast of our OAE Extras pre-concert events. In this one, from our From a Dream to revolution concert back in February, broadcaster Rob Cowan talks to conductor David Zinman about his career, life and recordings.

Before the ‘From a Dream to a Revolution’ concert on 08 Feb 2011 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, David Zinman talked to Radio 3 presenter Rob Cowan about his career, life and recordings and how musical interpretations have changed over the years.

listen to the whole talk below: Pre-concert talk: David Zinman – 08 February 2011 by OAE

Viola player Annette Isserliss concludes her US tour diary:

Thurs 17th

Awoke wondering how on earth the OAE homeward travellers (the players who weren’t staying on for the Heiner Goebbel’s concert) had managed to rouse themselves to leave at 6.00 am! Took the subway (with viola in tow) to meet cousin Judy in Chelsea, and after a guided tour of some of the finer architectural sights, we climbed up onto the High Walk: converted from an old railway on an overpass to a garden walk with views of Chelsea Harbour with Hoboken,New Jersey beyond, on one side, and interesting city glimpses on the other. Although botanically at this time of year it was confined to almost-budding saplings and crocuses (crocii??) it was exceedingly pleasant in the mellow sunshine. As we approached a bench with a be-hatted native simultaneously basking and scribbling, it looked up, and turned out to be fello viola Nick Logie! He was staying in NY a bit longer, not only for the sponsors’ reception that evening, but because his eldest son Sascha is currently working in NY for the UN. Read the rest of this entry »

This lunch-hour three of us from the office decided to do something a little different and take in some contemporary art. We headed down to the Gagosian gallery in Kings Cross to take a look at K.364, the latest exhibition by artist Douglas Gordon. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a film, shown on two huge screens in a pitch black and slightly unnervingly disorientating space. The film follows two Israeli musicians of Polish descent as they travel from Berlin to Poland and culminates with their performance (with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra) of Mozart’s K.364 Sinfonia Concertante, which we have recently performed on tour and which comes to the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Saturday. While we were there the performance part of the film was playing and it was a fascinating experience, feeling as if you’re really inside the performance, with the sound surrounding and enveloping  you and the film being shown both on the huge screens as well as being reflected in full length mirrors. Definitely worth a visit, though the exhibition closes this Saturday.

You can view a trailer and find out more at the gallery’s website.

We’ll be posting the second part of Netty’s tour diary tomorrow, but in the meantime here are a selection of reviews from our trip across the pond.


New York Times on the period instrument movement

Boston Globe

New York Times (on CPE Bach)

New York Times (on Goebbels)



The Boston Musical Intelligencer


The Arty Semite


Viola player Annette (known to many in the OAE as ‘Netty’) Isserlis made a diary of our recent tour to the US. Here’s days 1-3 with the rest following tomrorow. We hope to post some pics up soon too… A few additions from the blog editor in the brackets!

Mon Mar 14

Scene: Carluccio’s, outside Terminal 5, LHR.

Breakfast with husband Ken between red-eye flight in from Schipol (following 2 OAE concerts in Groningen and Nijmingen with Rachel Podger), and impending flight to USA: Ken to LA for solo concerts and Me to Boston with OAE and Sir Roger (Norrington), continuing the CPE Bachfest.
Dreadful news continuing to come through about the Japanese Disaster(s). Ken’s family all ok.

Painless flight to Boston followed by similarly painless Immigration, amazingly! It transpired that he chatty officer knew Yo-yo Ma personally….

Convivial dinner and bed not too early: it’s the only way to sleep through the 1st night, in my experience.
Read the rest of this entry »

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March 2011

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