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With the end of another year just passed, we took the chance to ask members of the office team about their top OAE moments of 2009:

Stephen Carpenter, Chief Executive
“In August and September 2009, as part of the OAE’s year-long homage to Haydn in his bi-centenary year, we visited the composer’s two P(a)laces of Employment: Esterhaza in Hungary and Eisenstadt in Austria.  On a swelteringly hot day in Esterhaza we performed an all-Haydn programme in the same room in which most of Haydn’s symphonies were premiered.  We had a guided tour of the Esterhazy Palace and saw the room where the Empress Maria-Theresa stayed, and performed “her” symphony (No 48 in C) later the same evening.  In the front row of the audience sat Prince Paul Esterhazy, a direct descendant of Haydn’s Patron, Prince Nicholas Esterhazy.  A real connection with a golden period in music history.  It doesn’t get much better than that!”

Clare Norburn, Development Manager
The Haydn programme with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and especially the ambience in The Night Shift that night – it was electric!

On a personal note: the moment when I opened the envelope to find we had raised £100,000 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for the development of The Night Shift over 3 years

Natasha Stehr, Marketing and Press Officer
My 2009 highlights: becoming part of our office’s Running Club and actually sticking with it- OAE marathon next year?!  We had so many great concerts this year, it’s hard to pick one as my favourite, but if I had to choose it would have to be Marin Alsop and the OAE playing Charles Ives’ Unanswered Question as part of our Deconstructing Mozart event on the 5 Dec…a once in a lifetime moment!

Ceri Jones, Projects Manager
An office one
“the first outing for the Kings Place running club back in April.  Little did I know it would be met with so much enthusiasm, and that 8 months later a small clique would still be up and running (not sure what I can say about those that have given up, but at least they showed some initial enthusiasm and perhaps they will be tempted again in the New Year…)

A tour-related but not musical one
Having fun experiencing American mid-west culture and the most extreme cold in my life with the OAE & London Sinfonietta in Minneapolis back in January.

An actual musical one
The Creation before Christmas.  Managed to blag a seat in the auditorium rather than marching around backstage, and was blown away by the sheer volume of the orchestra and choir in that ‘let there be light’ bit!  It will stay with me for a while…

& Not so top moments
Getting up at 4am to get home from Berlin on Good Friday – way less than 24hrs after leaving London the previous day.  Ouch.

The snow day in Feb last year.  Sitting at my desk helplessly trying to get an orchestra and choir to the canary islands whilst others in the world were skiving off work ‘unable to get to work and playing in the snow 

Megan Russell, Projects Manager
I’m not sure if it my absolute ‘top moment’ artistically speaking, but a very memorable moment was when the Glyndebourne stage was suddenly filled with members of the Fairy Queen cast dressed as bright pink cartoon-esque bunny rabbits energetically acting out what bunny rabbits get up to in the spring time… I couldn’t quite believe my eyes!

Do you have any memorable OAE moments of 2009? Feel free to comment here!

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.

We had a fantastic Night Shift event back on 5 December with Marin Alsop. Marin was on top form, and led an entertaining tour through Mozart’s Symphony 40, conducting great performances of each movement and engaging in some banter with presenter Alistair Appleton inbetween! Afterwards, despite having had an afternoon rehearsal and 7pm concert, as well as the Night Shift, Marin gamely suggested a post show Q+A which proved to be fascinating. My favourite answer from Marin was when someone asked her about how it was being a female in a male dominated profession. Marin recounted a tale from her first appearance at La Scala in Milan, where she was the first woman ever to conduct . At the Press conference the very first question was ‘So do you cook’?

Anyway, here are a selection of pictures from the evening, all taken by Joe Plommer.
View the complete set of official pics here, or the audience pics (taken on disposable cameras we gave out) here.

Our next Night Shift is at the Roundhouse on 29 January.

William Norris, Marketing Director

After our last Night Shift on 5 December we caught up with conductor Marin Alsop backstage, and asked her how the concert had been and how it was working with the OAE. Listen to the full interview at the next Night Shift podcast, out at the end of January.

The next Night Shift event is at Camden’s Roundhouse on 29 January, when we’ll be performing Beethoven with Vladimir Jurowski. Details

On the performance

On performing with the OAE

We’ve just released our very first podcast made specifically around our late night Night Shift series. This first installment includes audience vox pops from the last event, conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s reaction as he came off stage after the show, plus presenter Alistair Appleton’s take on the evening. We also look ahead to the event this Saturday with conductor Marin Alsop, and speak to OAE players Debbie Diamond and Sally Jackson about the event and Mozart’s Symphony 40.

The podcast can also be listened to here or seach for ‘Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on itunes. You can find out all about The Night Shift at its website.

I just realised that yesterday our blog celebrated one year online. It’s been a busy year, and we’ve really enjoyed blogging about the OAE’s activities – and hope you have enjoyed reading! We fully intend to go on in the style and manner in which we have started…

To celebrate we’re giving away a pair of tickets to each of three forthcoming concerts. Simply send us an email here, stating which of the three concerts below you’d like to come to, and we’ll pick winners at random on Friday. Deadline for entries is 9am Friday 4 December.

William Norris, Marketing Director

Saturday 5 December, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, 7pm
Mozart Deconstructed – Marin Alsop explores, deconstructs and conducts Mozart’s Symphony No.40

Saturday 5 December, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, 10pm
The Night Shift – our informal late night concert format with Marin Alsop conducting Mozart Symphony No.40, with presenter Alistair Appleton. Live music pre-show from 9pm and DJ after until 1am

Wednesday 9 December, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, 7.30pm
Haydn’s Creation – Sir Mark Elder conducts, with soloists Sally Matthews, Andrew Kennedy and Neal Davies.

Small print: winners will be picked at random on Friday 4 December, no cash alternative.

Ahead of our concerts with her on 5 December, we, together with Southbank Centre, asked Marin a few questions:Marin Alsop

What do you fear the most?
Losing my independence as I get older

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My family

What – or where – is perfection?
On the podium when everyone is completely “in the zone” and creating great, inspired music together

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Horatio Alger – I still believe in the American dream

What’s your favourite ritual?
I love Sunday mornings with pancakes, the paper and, most importantly, my son and partner.  We usually go for a hike in the Colorado mountains afterwards.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
Barack Obama – he’s all about what CAN be.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I’d love to be a gymnast, back flips and the works!

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre (Royal Festival Hall/Queen Elizabeth Hall/Purcell Room/Hayward Gallery)?
Conducting Bolero at the Festival Hall reopening was very exciting; it felt like being part of history.

What’s your favourite website?
The one I visit most often, to check on my calendar is www.marinalsop.com otherwise there are many others I use all the time especially Wikipedia.

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
Leonard Bernstein, and the Beatles.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Perseverance is the key to success. Work hard and maximize every opportunity!

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Mahler Symphony 9

Do you have a New Year’s resolution for 2010?
Always try to get healthier!

Marin conducts us on 5 December at 7pm at Southbank’s Centre’s Queen Elizabeth hall, and again at 10pm in The Night Shift. Tickets

Our next Night Shift is coming up on 5 December – in the 10pm concert Marin Alsop is conducting Mozart Symphony No. 40, while before the concert there is live music from cellist Andy Nice. Afterwards DJ Rico Portland is playing until 1am, and we’re giving you the chance to choose a track to play as part of his set.  He’s shortlisted 6 tracks and you can vote for your choice here, and listen to the tracks on the You Tube links below:

1) Deadmau5 – Strobe
2) Kenneth Bager ft Julee Cruise – Fragment Two (The First Picture)
3) Mandalay – Beautiful (Canny Remix)
4) First State – Reach Me
5) Rob D – Clubbed to Death
6) FC Kahuna – Hayling

 

Find out more about The Night Shift and book tickets at the special minisite

We talked a while back about the photoshoot for our new brochure. Well we’re now busy designing said brochure, but we thought you’d like a sneak peak at one of pics. Pictured (l-r) are Catherine Ford, Philip Bainbridge (and his dog), Katherine Hart, Neil McLaren and Jenny Bullock. The2009-2010-season-image new season at Southbank Centre has just gone on sale – in a future post we’ll talk about what we’re all looking forward to most, but to just pick out a few obvious highlights we’ve got a complete run of Beethoven Symphonies, a very rare OAE venture into Elgar with The Dream of Gerontius, Donizetti’s opera Maria di Rohan (a collaboration with Opera Rara)  and a concert unpicking Mozart’s Symphony No.40 with the brilliant Marin Alsop.  You can look (and book, should you feel so inclined) at all the concerts here, and we’ll let you know when a downloadable brochure is ready. Happy browsing!

William, Marketing Director

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