Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Speed Interview – Rebecca Miller

Fri Jan 17 2014

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Ok, tonight's your last chance to see us playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons in 2019. It's @stgeorgesbris and we're join… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


Rebecca Miller joins us on Thursday 30 Jan for an evening of CPE Bach.  We spoke to her about working in the music industry, pre-concert rituals and why she loves working with the OAE.

How did you get into music?
Music was always a part of my family – my mother is a musician and I used to fall asleep to the sound of her practicing the flute on the other side of the wall. Perhaps that’s why I used to fall asleep during concerts as a kid… but obviously something went in!

When did you realize you wanted to make music your career?
The first time I tried conducting an orchestra. I felt that the suit fitted, and I was hooked.

What do you fear the most?
Spiders, cockroaches, something happening to my children.

When you’re not busy performing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Playing with my kids, reading novels, cooking, hiking, and shouting at the telly during Wimbledon.

Who’s your musical hero?
A cross between Roger Norrington and Leonard Bernstein. Or maybe Beethoven.

What was the last good film you saw?

Do you have any pre-concert rituals?
If I see a Wagamama around, then there’s Ramen.  Otherwise, I’m quite philosophical about doing up the 13 buttons on my jacket.

If you could choose to work in a different profession, what would it be and why?
I might open a restaurant. Failing that, a teacher or a cantor. I need to be doing something about which I’m completely passionate, and that helps make the world a slightly better place.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
I’m addicted to their sound. Also their energy, commitment, and courage.

What’s the most obscure album you own?
The Bare Naked Ladies – is that obscure? Or maybe Il Giardino Armonico’s ‘Four Seasons’.

What was your worst ever concert?
An outdoor community concert, in the summer, in the deep south US, in sweltering heat and humidity, with flying termites swarming.

What are you listening to at the moment?
CPE Bach! Am trying to learn to love Sibelius. And Brahms and Beethoven are always hanging around.

Which book do you think everybody should read?
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Visit art museums, go to lots of concerts, have interesting and stimulating conversations, and ask questions! (OK, technically that’s more than one piece of advice, sorry).


  • Curious, given this Miller’s first ever period orchestra outing. She’s a good conductor but in this repertoire? Isn’t it rather historically-uninformed and stylistically anachronistic to use a conductor in the music of CPE Bach?

    DEF Bach Wed Jan 29 2014
  • The OAE often works with conductors who are new to period instrument ensembles – even Sir Simon Rattle was new to it when he first conducted us!

    oae Thu Feb 6 2014