Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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On Thursday 23 January, representatives from the four resident Orchestra’s at Southbank Centre, piled into a conference room along with an incalculable number of journalists to find out what was in store for the 2014-2015 Season.  After a decent amount of coffeee, orange juice and pastries, we all took a seat and listened as Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly hinted at what lay in store.

We were treated to a live marimba performance from percussionist Colin Currie before being shown a short video that featured players from each Orchestra resident at Southbank Centre – the LPO, Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta and of course, us.

At the OAE we’ve worked long and hard (well particularly season curators Lisa Beznosiuk and Chi-chi Nwanoku) to create a vibrant and exciting season and we hope you’ll join us for what’s set to be a fantastic year.  Here’s a few of the highlights.

Our new Southbank Centre season begins on Thursday 9 October and includes the Flying the Flag series, a five-part concert series celebrating nations and their music. Spanning two centuries, from rarely-performed Rameau operas to the UK premiere on period instruments of Dvořák’s New World Symphony, we’ll explore widely contrasting national musical styles and the idea of music representing nations, lost nations and turning points in their history, both musical and political, such as Beethoven’s French-revolution era Symphony No.3.

“The idea for Flying the Flag began with our experience as players travelling all over the world” says Chi-chi. “High streets seem so similar whether in Berlin, Tokyo or New York, with the same branded names on shop fronts. By contrast, with some of the music we play there is never any doubt ‘where you are’ on this earth. It made us think about the hallmarks of national identity and how composers have used them, along with significant historical events, as inspiration to create some of the most exciting music there is.”

For the first concert we’ll be Flying the Flag for France, L’amour, a concert featuring concert performances of two Rameau operas – Pigmalion and Anacréon.  For this, we’ll be working with Rameau scholar and conductor Jonathan Williams, combining the orchestra’s expertise and Williams’ academic research to produce historically authentic performances.

We’ll be working with conductor François-Xavier Roth for the first time in another French-themed Flying the Flag on 22 October 2014 at Royal Festival Hall, featuring the rarely- performed First Symphony of George Onslow, who, as Lisa Besnoziuk notes, sounds from his name to be ‘jolly English’ but is in fact hailed as the ‘French Beethoven’.

Following the critically-acclaimed production of Offenbach’s Fantasio in December 2013, we’ll be  joining forces with Opera Rara and Sir Mark Elder again on 4 November 2014 to perform Donizetti’s long lost opera, Les Martyrs. Its intriguing history includes censorship by the Italians on religious grounds, forcing the premiere to take place in France.

On 15 January 2015, Vladimir Jurowski leads an exciting programme, comprising Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 1 Winter Daydreams’, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bare Mountain and scenes from Boris Godunov, offering a rare opportunity to hear distinguished Russian baritone Sergei Lieferkus singing the title role.

Mark Padmore leads the OAE and a consort of singers in a self-directed performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion on 2 April 2015 and the season concludes on 12 May 2015 with Stevie Wishart’s composition Double Entendre: a concerto for double bass with two “choirs” of instruments, in which one group of string-players uses the plucking technique “pizzicato” while the other uses the bow “arco”. Bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku explores the extremes of both techniques in solos with the groups, while a complex cadenza involves a simultaneous combination of each. The programme also includes other traditional concertos by Telemann, Handel and Vivaldi.

Keep your eyes peeled for the exclusive press video featuring Chi-chi and Lisa, which we’ll be posting soon.

2014-2015 On Sale Dates

27 Jan
Friends booking opens
(Click here to become a friend)

3 Feb
Priority Mailing list booking starts
(Click here to join our Priority Mailing list)

Public booking will open on 17 February 2014

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