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St George's, Bristol

St George's, Bristol - venue for our lunchtime concerts

One of the recurring fixtures in the OAE’s diary is our annual series of lunchtime concerts at St George’s, Bristol, one of our most regular venues out of London.

There are usually four lunchtime concerts in the series, given by the soloists of the Orchestra, which then go on to be broadcast by BBC Radio 3, and are also often performed elsewhere too – for example as part of our recent Baroque. Contrasted. festival at Kings Place. Indeed, if you scroll down to our April postings you’ll find some info on the composers featured – one example here.

The most recent set of these concerts is being broadcast this week by BBC Radio 3, and the music includes pieces by well known Baroque names such as Bach and Handel, alongside some real rarities. Of course, though they’re broadcast at lunchtime, through the BBC’s Listen Again feature you can listen anytime within a week after the broadcast date.

The BBC also produced a short film to accompany the concerts which features rehearsal footage plus interviews with musicians Margaret Faultless (violin) and Steven Devine (keyboard)

The programmes are being broadcast at 1pm Tuesday to Friday this week, and you can listen to them on the links below:

Tuesday – Refelctions on the Grand Tour – music for Cornetts and Sackbuts
Wednesday – Bach, Handel and Purcell – Wind soloists of the OAE
Thursday – Vivaldi and Corelli – String soloists of the OAE
Friday – Handel, Vivaldi and Coreli – Wind and String soloists of the OAE

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On 6 April our next mini-festival at Kings Place, Baroque. Contrasted. kicks off with 5 days of concerts, talks, demonstrations and even singing-along showcasing the depth and variety of Baroque Music. We asked around the office to see what people here are most looking forward to:

I’m really looking forward to Steven Devine’s Sing Baroque event on 9 April.  It’s been a while since I’ve been able to stretch my vocal chords and being able to sing choruses from the beautiful Dido & Aeneas is a pretty decent way to spend a Saturday lunchtime 🙂

Natasha Stehr, Marketing and Press Officer

It’s hard to chose, because there’s lots of fab music. I’m going to chose two events. First, Baroque Strings on 7 April, because it includes Vivaldi’s La Folia variations. It’s what the German’s call an ‘earworm’ – i.e. a tune you can’t get out of your head which just goes round and round on repeat…My second pick would be Sunday’s coffee concert. Not only is it just really lovely to start your Sunday with a coffee and great music, but it’s always fantastic seeing the students on our Apprenticeship scheme play. Plus the concert includes Purcell’s Abdelazar, which reminds me of playing it in my school orchestra – though I suspect this performance will be considerably better…

William Norris, Communications Director Read the rest of this entry »

Steven Devine is our Co-Principal Keyboard player and is appearing in tonight’s concert of CPE Bach, both within the Orchestra and also as soloist for the Harsichord Concerto. We’ve actually just released some more tickets for the concert, which is at the Queen Elizabeth Hall tonight – come and hear acres of CPE Bach for just £12! Anyway, here’s Steven’s Speed Interview.

What/when was your big breakthrough?
I’ve been so lucky to have had a number of “lucky breaks” – the first was arriving at Finchcocks Musical Museum on holiday when I was 12 (I’ve been there, on and off, ever since).  The second was winning the first Broadwood Harpsichord Competition.

What do you fear the most?
Losing the ability to think clearly.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My partner, Kate’s.

What – or where – is perfection?
It is something to aspire to.  In a domestic sense it is at home, in the garden with my family and a Chablis.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Changes daily, but overall I think Madame Souza from Belleville Rendez-Vous for dogged persistence, with a dog that’s bigger than she is. Read the rest of this entry »

Who knew such adjectives would be applied to a little known Baroque (or early Classical?) composer? But those are the words of OAE players and conductor Sir Roger Norrington, when asked to describe the music of CPE Bach. Steven Devine, who plays Harpsichord, goes on to say he’s ‘a bit of a maniac’. Who knew? In our latest video OAE players and Sir Roger talk about this fantastically exciting and unusual music, which we play tomorrow at Southbank Centre. You can find out even more about the music in our Study day on Saturday, with some serious study of CPE Bach in the morning and a performance and player discussion in the afternoon.

A while back, photographer Karen Robinson was commissioned by Southbank Centre to take pictures of the Resident Orchestras and their major artists, with a view to using the images for the Southbank Centre’s 2010-2011 Classical Music Season. You may well have already seen the photographs in the Southbank’s Classical Music Guide. As part of the project, Karen spent a day with the OAE as we rehearsed and performed Vivaldi’s L’estro armonico at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The results are fantastic, and a wonderful glimpse into what happens backstage at a concert. Here’s an initial selection (from the afternoon rehearsal), and more will follow.

William Norris, Marketing Director

Last night was the second evening of our week of events Henry George Jospeh Felix at Kings Place, and it also saw the first Aftershow. This is a new idea whereby after the main concert the audience are able to enjoy a short informal performance in the bar afterwards. For this event Double Bassist Chi-chi Nwanouku and ‘cellist Richard Tunnicliffe played Rossini’s Duetto for cello and bass and also treated us to a special arrangement of the aria voi che sapete from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. A good crowd stayed for the event, and there will be another Aftershow after this evening’s 9pm concert of Bonduca when Soprano Elizabeth Weisberg and Alto Timothy Travers Brown will be joined by harpsichordist Steven Devine for a short performance of songs by Purcell.

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