You might have seen that the beeb have their own specially erected pod, currently housing them in the Southbank Centre and we’re pleased to announce that tomorrow’s concert of Gamechangers: A Forgotten Cello will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 at 7pm.Read More
In this week’s Current Distractions – street art, a dressed up dad, a matchstick Hogwarts, mind music, a lady singing in a lake and much, much more.
Actually, no, that’s pretty much everything.Read More
It is our great pleasure to announce that actor Samuel West will be narrating our French Fancies concerts, in Reading and London, on 19 & 20 February. Samuel will be accompanying the Labèque sisters on stage and reading Ogden Nash’s libretto to Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals. Here’s a bit about his previous work…Read More
We’ve had an amazing response to our performance at the BBC Proms with Marin Alsop this weekend.Read More
Conductor Marin Alsop joins us for BBC PROMS: Brahms- A German Requiem. Here she tells us a bit about her heroes and the most important lesson life has taught her.Read More
Once again, we look at what’s been pulling at our attention strings in the OAE office.Read More
Steven Devine is one busy man- he’ll be on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune later today chatting about our concert with Ian Bostridge next week and performing some fabulous music from Bach. Tune in from 4.30pm!
The broadcast will be available on BBC iPlayer for seven days afterwards. He can be heard 1 hour and 21 minutes into the show.Read More
Back in June the OAE spent 2 days filming in Christchurch Spitalfields with Sir Mark Elder, the results of which will be premiered on BBC Four this Autumn.
We were approached late last year by the BBC Classical Music TV team who were amidst plans to produce a programme for BBC four, tracing the evolution of the musical genre of the Symphony. OAE would be used to show examples from earlier repertoire, and other orchestras (the BBC Symphony and the Halle) would take over at the appropriate point in the repertoire. Whilst the OAE does perform late 19th Century and early 20th Century music at times, it was probably fairer to let a full Symphony orchestra do this but… ;). The filming dates were held in OAE’s diary, straight away (probably the only 2 free days we had in June in amongst Glyndebourne and festival dates), but as is often the case with the recording industry (whether audio or visual) the absolute final schedule was not settled upon for quite some time.
This March we had a recce of Spitalfields Church with the whole BBC production team, and were delighted that it would work for the shoot, as it is such a stunning building. Not much parking outside for the BBC guys, and a slightly complicated get-in for any keyboard instruments that we were using, but as Spitalfields Church is just beautiful, it was definitely worth accommodating any issues and I am sure it will make an excellent backdrop for the programme.
Musically OAE’s examples ranged from Stamitz, through Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and Berlioz. All of which require different sized orchestras… The production team had a challenging job slotting the schedule together so that we didn’t have players hanging around when they weren’t needed, and I think the schedule must have had about 10 reincarnations, and therefore 10 variations on the budget. Anyway, we got there in the end, and I’m looking forward to seeing the end result on TV.
Ceri Jones, Projects Director
Symphony, with the first two programmes featuring the OAE, starts on Thursday 4 November on BBC 4 at 9pm.Read More
Friday saw the latest in our series of schools concerts at our London HQ, Kings Place. Around 400 children joined the OAE, and when we say joined, we really mean it – they helped swell the ranks of the Orchestra to unprecedented proportions! The event generated a fair bit of media interest, with our new OAE musicians appearing on the BBC London radio breakfast show and the concert also being covered by ITV’s London tonight – watch and listen below.
London Tonight report
BBC London Breakfast (2hrs, 45mins in)Read More
On Wednesday evening brass soloists of the OAE appeared on Radio 3’s In Tune programme, ahead of their concert this evening at Kings Place. While on the programme they played some of the music featured in the concert and also talked to host Petroc Trelawny about it and their instruments. You can view a picture of them in the studio here. As you’ll see, a rogue percussionist sneaked in…You can listen to us on the programme here – it’s about 14.30 into the show. Join them tonight at Kings Place to hear the concert (8.45pm) – and there’s even a free performance afterwards, in the brass section’s natural habitat – the bar.Read More
As many of you will have heard on the radio or read in the press our performance tomorrow will feature Edward Elgar’s orginal trombone, played by our Pricipal Trombone, Sue Addison. This will be the first time it has been played in concert since Elgar’s death. Below are some links to various press stories and we’ll post some pics of the trombone very shortly.
Tom Service Guardian BlogRead More
Being a member of the projects team, I have a lot to do with the intricacies of planning all of our concerts and tours, but on Monday afternoon Ceri (our Projects Manager), Philippa (the Orchestra Manager) and I headed off to a meeting with the BBC about our televised Prom on 25th August with Sir Roger Norrington and it all became clear (as mud!) at just how much more complicated things can be when you add a TV broadcast into the mix.
It was my first time to White City (and to within spitting distance of the infamous Westfield shopping centre) and the famous television centre (hence the cheesy photo!). The Proms meeting was actually just down the road, so no celeb spotting for us, but instead we were greeted by a panel of about 15 members of the Proms team including everyone from lighting and sound to make up. The Sixteen were just finishing up their meeting when we arrived as this was part of two days of back to back meetings to discuss all of the logistics for the televised Proms.
Our programme is particularly complicated as we have four different orchestral set ups, a soloist to fit in, a harpsichord to tune and a change of pitch. We discussed the logistics of how to fit the TV cameras in around the orchestra, the lighting for the Orchestra, the amount of time it would take to reset the orchestra between pieces and also for the conductor to take his bow and the for the applause at the end as all of this has to be factored into the BBC’s scheduling times. There are also other Proms and Prom rehearsals for that day with some of their related equipment needing to be left on stage, and not to forget the TV crew’s lunch times!
It looks set to be a fantastic concert and it was fascinating to get a glimpse into the planning that goes into the TV side of things. We might have ended up having a quick peek in the shopping centre afterwards too…!Read More
I was hardly involved in the project back in 2005 (being merely the OAE’s office administrator at the time), but remembering how much I had hugely enjoyed watching the performance at the Royal Festival Hall I was excited that we’d be putting it all back together again.
The project was only confirmed a few months ago so it’s been a busy few months for everyone involved, not least for bottoms horn ears which have been to Sydney and back since February (No, not on little holiday, but to take part in the production with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra which was also care of the Tim Carroll/Jenny Tiramani team).
The performance was to take place in Middle Temple Hall, which it self brings multiple challenges – well out of the comfort zone of a concert hall, with no purpose-built auditorium, stage, ANY equipment or staff. Cue the OAE team…
So, courtesy of our Production Manager Simon in came the stage, and making use of the chairs already at the hall, the hall was turned into an auditorium for 4 days. Construction work started on Friday afternoon, and by Saturday afternoon the stage was built and ready for Philippa and myself to lay out the stage for the orchestra.Read More
Emma Pask, our Projects Intern, is here seen modelling the latest on-trend fashion. A Domino’s Pizza uniform.
Why, you might ask?
Well, tonight we’re performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream (with Mendelssohn’s complete incidental music) at Middle Temple, in Tim Carroll’s production which we premiered several seasons ago. And, it seems, a pizza delivery is an integral part of the production. You’ll be able to find out whyand how because the performance is being recorded by the BBC and will be available to view on the BBC Red Button service and the BBC Radio 3 website from 10 May.
Thanks to Domino’s Pizza for donating the uniform, and to Emma for modelling it.Read More