Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Not all audiences are the same: Steven and Susann

Fri Jun 29 2012

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Magic + flutes = one of the most-loved operas of all time. We're performing Mozart's The Magic Flute @glyndebourne… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


Next in our series of audience / orchestra interviews is our chat with OAE co-principal keyboardist Steven Devine and audience member Susann.


How was the experience of doing the photoshoot?

I really enjoyed the shoot. Everyone was friendly and excited because I had been the first person they took pictures of.

How did you hear about the ‘OAE and me’ campaign?

I have been receiving the newsletter of the OAE  and they sent the link to this nice video where audience participation was advertised.

Tell us a bit about you, your work and hobbies. 

I am Susann, 23 years old, and I come from Berlin. I have been in London for a few months to study abroad for a year at King’s College at the Department of War Studies.
I am interested in contemporary conflicts, especially in Afghanistan and Iraq and I am doing a lot of strategic studies and analysis.
I am a keen ballet dancer and I love classical and electronic music, even though that seems to be contradictory. My grandparents have taken me to the ballet, the opera and the theatre since I was a child, so I fell in love with classical music from the beginning.
Visiting concerts of the OAE in London made me feel at home.

Steven Devine
Steven Devine

Tell us a bit about you, your work with the OAE and your hobbies outside of it.

I am the co-principal keyboard player for the OAE which means I get to play quite a varied pallette of music, mostly improvising, on harpsichord, organ and fortepiano.  I also direct the Orchestra from time-to-time.  Outside of the Orchestra, I’m Director of Development at the Finchcocks Musical Museum which is a beautiful manor house in the Kent countryside packed to the rafters with historical keyboard instruments (over 100 at the last count).  I love playing squash (just don’t get to do it very often) and being at home!

How was the experience of doing the photoshoot?

Some of the things we were asked to do took us a little out of our comfort zones…

Tell us about what you were wearing for the shoot.

Concert black suit with my favourite Gap shirt.

How would you describe the OAE to a friend? How is it different to other orchestras you might play in or listen to?

Wonderful musicians performing a huge range of music and searching for the “communication” with their audiences. There is such a great sense of pride in the players and corporate responsibility.

What’s been your favourite moment to date playing with the OAE?

Directing the Orchestra at the Musikverein in Vienna.

If you could pick one concert to see in our 2012-2013 season which one would it be and why?

Tricky!  It’s a hard call between the French Baroque Concert with Jonathan Cohen and the mezzo Sarah Connolly, and John Butt’s Bach programme.  The French programme as I find the music so wonderfully crafted (and very rarely done) and John Butt brings such a musical intelligence to Bach.  Can’t wait for both!

What’s the most listened-to track at the moment on your iPod (classical or non classical)?

I’ve been listening to the 1st edits of a disc of some very unknown French Trio sonatas I’ve just recorded with London Baroque.

Here are some images of Susann and Steven that didn’t go into the brochure, together with the final picture that we selected. All pics by Eric Richmond.


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