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We’re really excited to be part of the Edinburgh International Festival and are taking our tour with the brilliant Vladimir Jurowski to the Usher Hall tonight where he’ll be conducting a programme of Weber, Liszt’s dramatic Faust Symphony and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E with Alina Ibragimova.

Here’s a taster of what’s to come tonight, plus why the OAE can be compared to a very famous cat and mouse duo…

 

Tickets for the concert can be bought online or by phoning the EIF Box Office on 0131 473 2000.

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Later this week we’re reunited with our Principal Artist, Vladimir Jurowski to start rehearsals for a tour with him. The first two dates of the tour take in San Sebastian and Edinburgh (for the festival), with a programme of Weber, Mendelssohn (the violin concerto with Alina Ibragimova) and Liszt’s epic Faust Symphony. While you may know the Weber and Mendelssohn, you may well not know the Liszt, so we’ve put together a Spotify playlist of the entire programme for your listening pleasure. More on the tour in due course…

As mentioned below, our concert in Sheffield last week had a rather odd start.

The Orchestra came on stage on time for a 7pm start, all fine. We settled in our seats. The Management team of 3 (myself, CEO Stephen Carpenter and Projects Director Ceri) were all split up in the hall, rather than sitting together as we supposed to. As usual there was that moment when the Orchestra stops tuning and the crowd goes suddenly quiet, waiting for the conductor to appear. Except that he didn’t.

5 minutes later he still hadn’t. Rather odd. The crowd was getting restless.

After a little longer Orchestra Leader Matthew Truscott got up (to applause) and left the stage, presumably to find out what was happening.

He didn’t return.

At this point I texted Ceri, asking if she knew what was up. She didn’t. I suggested that conductor David Zinman was either unwell or had got the start time wrong. Both seemed a little unlikely. Unfortunately I made a typo and said “Either I’ll or has got the…”. So I re-sent the world ‘ill’ on its own. Ceri took this as confirmation that he was indeed ill and I apparently set her mind immediately racing as to what we would do! Read the rest of this entry »

A while back we asked you for suggestions for our opening concert of our 2011-2012 concert of season at Southbank Centre. Now, we have to admit we weren’t really overwhelmed with entries, certainly not as many as last year, but despite this we did get a few good suggestions (after all, quality is better than quantity, right?). We’re just finalising everything for the new season now ahead of a press launch in January and thought we’d let you choose which title we go with. To jog your memories the concert is:

Weber Overture Der Freischutz
Mozart Piano Concerto No.23
Mendelssohn Symphony No.3, Scottish

Robert Levin piano

Voting will close at 4pm on Thursday 16 December

A re-run of something we did a year or so back that in the end came up trumps.

We give each concert in our Southbank Centre concert season a title – a way of summing up the evening in a few words. They’re (ideally) pithy, witty, perhaps a little irreverant, and should be a good way of grabbing the attention of someone who is skim-reading our brochure or website.

Last year, with your help, we came up with Papa Haydn and Sister Act for our 21 June 2011 concert with Sir Simon Rattle, the Labeque Sisters, Mozart and Haydn. So we’re turning to you again for ideas for this concert which features in our 2011-2012 season – just post your ideas as comments. And if there’s anything super-amazing there may well be a little prize in it…

The concert:

Weber Overture Der Freischutz
Mozart Piano Concerto No.23
Mendelssohn Symphony No.3, Scottish

So put those thinking caps on and get inventive…

A selection of recent reviews:

23 April, The Night Shift, Queen Elizabeth Hall
Guardian

5 May, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Middle Temple Hall
Time Out
Evening Standard

15 May, Bonduca, Kings Place
The Times

20 May, Romantic Connections, Queen Elizabeth Hall
Classical Source

One Concert in the Life of a Touring Musician

So – how have we weathered these last eleven days?

To summarise: four concerts in three venues: Kings Place, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and St. George’s Bristol; three days of ‘Giulio Cesare’ at Glyndebourne; two days of rehearsals at Maida Vale studios, rounded off with a one-night dash to Perugia. Perhaps the deafening silence during the four-hour coach journey from Perugia back to Bologna airport on Monday morning speaks for itself.

The Italian bit began on Sunday with an alarm call at 5.30 a.m. in a hotel near Gatwick. Those awake enough to think of it, boarded the airport bus last in order to get to the check-in desk first, ahead of the double basses, timps and cellos. For, without such tactics, the best-laid plans for a leisurely breakfast and a strong cup of coffee, prior to take off, can fade slowly into a distant dream as time drips by in the first of the interminable queuing procedures that are the hallmark and curse of air travel. Even getting through security can induce moments of character-building restraint. For, on various memorable occasions in the past, instrumentalists have been ordered to hand over tuning forks, hundreds of pounds worth of spare strings and vital, expensive reed-making knives and pliers – packed into suitcases nowadays. As musicians, possibly the most profound question to be asked during the whole tedious business is: “Any sharp instruments in your hand luggage?” Read the rest of this entry »

So we decided to dip our toes into the world of podcasts with this trial one, during which you can find out more about the music featured in our concerts with Robin Ticciati next week (20 May at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and 23 May in St George’s Bristol). Let us know what you think!

OAE Podcast No.1

If you are so moved as to book tickets for the concerts you can do so here for London and here for Bristol.

Emma Pask, our Projects Intern, is here seen modelling the latest on-trend fashion. A Domino’s Pizza uniform. pizza-delivery2
Why, you might ask?
Well, tonight we’re performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream (with Mendelssohn’s complete incidental music) at Middle Temple, in Tim Carroll’s production which we premiered several seasons ago. And, it seems, a pizza delivery is an integral part of the production.  You’ll be able to find out whyand how because the performance is being recorded by the BBC and will be available to view on the BBC Red Button service and the BBC Radio 3 website from 10 May.

Thanks to Domino’s Pizza for donating the uniform, and to Emma for modelling it.

OAE on Twitter

  • And now to play us out, the Chorale we sang earlier, but this time set by Buxtehude @KingsPlace posted 7 hours ago
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