Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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An impromptu violin lesson in Modena

Wed May 25 2011

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STOP THE BUS! OAE TOTS workshops to accompany our friends @LPOrchestra's FUNharmonics this morning. https://t.co/AhvaLlyDMe


Members of the Orchestra are currently in Modena, Italy – we’re there with the London Sinfonnietta, giving a performance of Heiner Goebbels’ Songs of Wars I have Seen. Principal Flute Lisa Beznosiuk tells us about their evening:

“We’re in elegant boiling hot Modena, arrived last night.

Last night four of us (Netty, Chi-chi and Shelagh Sutherland ..) walked to one of Pavlo’s (Lisa’s brother) recommended restaurants in Modena and it was excellent…Especially when the young curly haired waiter found out we were musicians. He became very excited, rushed off and came back with a Stentor violin in a big padded case (like the ones you see kids carrying). He’s desperate to learn the violin and had never had a lesson.

So, having finished our steaks, we got it out… all played him a tune. Netty – The Irish Washerwoman, Chi-chi played Campdown Races, I had a go at O Sole Mio and Shelagh achieved a high distinction with her rendition of Mason’s Apron.

Then, to his delight, Netty gave him his first lesson right there in the restaurant in front of us (most people were eating outside). He was SO thrilled and had a wonderful smile on his face as he began producing sounds on his violin. We’ve got photos. He asked if he and his friend could come to our rehearsal today – he can’t make the concert because of waiting in the restaurant.

I had an idea that we should tell musicians (especially violinists) to go and eat there when visiting Modena and give him the odd lesson!”


  • Great to see the OAE continuing to take youth education seriously!

    Michael Smith Wed May 25 2011
  • Excellent outreach work! Can you pass on the name of the restaurant in Modena please?

    Ian Dean Wed May 25 2011
  • It was a great night out. Marco came to our rehearsal this afternoon, and invited Netty & I back to the restaurant for some nourishment (as nowhere else seemed to be open!). He plied us with cold meats, cheeses, grilled vegetables, vino bianco & rosso, sparkling water, a calorific pud with dollops of cream & a double espresso! Netty felt the least she could do was offer another violin lesson, & promptly taught him his first scale. D major 🙂 He refused to take any payment for the food. I have posted photos on my facebook page, entitled Modena 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150638535150057.682299.645745056&notif_t=like

    Chi-chi Nwanoku Wed May 25 2011