It’s time for our yearly feature where we ask OAE staff and musicians what their top moments of the past year were, so here we go – and feel free to add your top moments to the comments!
“As always with OAE events when you think back over the year it’s SO difficult to pick a clear winner – it could be Matthew Truscott’s gruesome description of how gut strings are made, which had hundreds of children squirming on the edge of their seats in our school’s concert in King’s Lynn; – it could be the incredibly warm reception we had in Keswick where the audience are really hungry for live concerts; but I think in the end it’s a tie between playing for the first time under the baton of Adam Fischer in an exciting and spontaneous Fidelio (the Prisoner’s Chorus in particular was incredibly moving), and the Haydn symphonies with Sir Simon Rattle at the Royal Festival Hall. As always with Rattle it involved digging deep into ourselves and the music, and for me it involved a personal triumph: over-coming the vertigo that came with being, unusually for me, right on the edge of our highly raised platform and managing not to throw myself off the stage.”
Cecelia Bruggemeyer, Double Bass
“This may not seem that positive, but then perhaps it is… my top moment of 2011 was landing at Heathrow airport at 2.15pm on Sunday 25th September. That seems like a pretty precise moment, but it was the end of the busiest summer we have ever known at OAE. I’m in charge of all the orchestra’s touring and it was so good to know that since June we had managed to successfully get an orchestra of up to 90 people around Europe and put on concerts in Luxembourg, Paris, Dublin, London, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Ingolstadt, Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Salzburg, the Proms, Edinburgh, Warsaw, Eisenstadt, Warsaw again and Bucharest!”
Megan Russell, Projects Manager
“Well, 2011 has been a pretty eventful year so it’s REALLY hard to pick my top moment- sitting (almost) next to Madonna in our 21 June concert with the Labeque sisters is almost up there, but I think the best moment was sitting in the Village Underground on the 24 June- listening to my favourite singer, Elin Manahan Thomas singing some beautiful arias at The Night Shift, with an gin and tonic. Perfect.”
Natasha Stehr. Marketing and Press Officer
“Difficult to choose from three instances of being with the Orchestra in towns or cities where three leading composers were born: Handel in Halle in Germany; Mozart in Salzburg in Austria; or Chopin at Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw. But I think I’ll go for Chopin as I visited his birthplace on a beautiful summer day in late August and had a good look round the manor house, including the very room where he was born, as well as the church in the next village where he was christened. I then went back to Warsaw to hear the OAE performing both Chopin Piano Concertos with Yulianna Avdeeva as soloist. Altogether a special and privileged experience.”
Stephen Carpenter, Chief Executive
“My top moment of 2011 was watching Maggie, Matt and Robin play our very first Pub Night Shift to a very crowded and sweaty full house at […]Read More
Last Tuesday’s concert at the Royal Festival Hall with Sir Simon Rattle was always going to be a busy night. Not only was it Sir Simon, which always brings a frisson of excitement, but we had a sold-out Royal Festival Hall, which while fantastic, is always a little stressful. We also had a plethora of different receptions going on around the venue for the various people who had supported our Silver Appeal and for our sponsors, Commerzbank. At the last moment though, an additional complication was thrown into the mix.
As you might have read previously on the blog we knew that Madonna liked the Labèque sisters, so we really did send an invite to her. Of course we didn’t think for a minute she would actually come. The day before the concert our Intern, Georgina, received a mysterious call from someone needing to make special arrangements for a VIP. They had previously been in contact with our Projects Director, Ceri, but she was now in the air en route to Dublin. So Georgina took down all the details and requests of the mysterious VIP without actually knowing who it was. Ceri was uncontactable for the next 2 hours – cue feverish speculation in the OAE office.
As soon as Ceri landed Georgina called her. It was indeed the Queen of Pop Madonna. To use teen speak, everyone was a bit OMG.Read More
Well, the reviews are in from our Rattle concert on Tuesday at the Royal Festival Hall, plus a couple from the tour too. You can read them via the links below, but here are three of our favourite quotes:
“That continuing rapport was immediately and sustainedly obvious in this delightful Haydn and Mozart concert, and all without any of the publicity overload that surrounded his Berliner Philharmoniker dates earlier in the year.
There was some Haydn in those Berlin programmes, too, but this time, working with a much smaller and more specialist band, the treatment was more authentic and enjoyable.” THE GUARDIAN (4 stars)
“It was in the two Haydn symphonies that Rattle and the OAE best showed what a triumphant partnership the two have honed in some 25 years working together” THE TIMES (5 stars)
“When this music is played by the OAE light doesn’t just dawn, it dazzles; and even more so when Sir Simon Rattle is on the podium” THE TELEGRAPH (5 stars)
BBC Music Magazine
Irish Times (Dublin concert)
Petite Classique (Luxembourg concert, in French)
Picture by Joe PlommerRead More
Well, after five cities, four concerts, three trains, two planes and one coach our tour with Sir Simon Rattle is over. Everything culminated in a sold-out concert at the Royal Festival Hall last night (a concert that marked 25 years of the OAE!) , and not only was it sold out but we had a few added complications, not least of which being a last-minute special guest – none other than Madonna!
Today we have a slightly tired team in the office (and most probably a slightly tired Orchestra too!) but we’ve not long to catch our breath – the Orchestra is rehearsing today and tomorrow for the Glyndebourne production of Rinaldo and Friday sees our Night Shift at Village Underground.
In the coming days look out for special reports, pictures and footage from the tour, plus a full report on last night’s action-packed evening at the Royal Festival Hall.
Oh and if you want to get in early next year’s concert with Sir Simon is already on sale…
William Norris, Communications DirectorRead More
Well we’ve been waiting to post this video for over a year now, since we first came across it. It’s even spawned an office catchphrase (ok, a Communications Department catchphrase) in ‘Where’s my champagne?’.
Anyway in this video, Madonna (the new face of OAE videos), introduces her favourite pianists, the Labèque sisters, to her entourage of dancers and musicians. The Labèques appear with us on tour with Simon Rattle this week and next, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto for two pianos in Luxembourg, Paris, Dublin and London.
Enjoy the vid – we did send Madonna an invite to the London concert, but I guess it must have got lost in the post…
William Norris, Communications Director
P.S. Where’s my champagne?Read More
Wolfgang Amadeus Madonna anyone?
This week we’re collaborating with the London Sinfonietta on REMIX, a 3-day festival celebrating remixing, reinventing and recyling music. Over three concerts we’re going to be looking at how composers have copied, stolen and taken inspiration from each other.
For example, on Thursday the OAE plays Bach’s version of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, while on Friday the London Sinfonietta play music by Purcell rearranged by John Woolrich, George Benjamin and Oliver Knussen…
So, with this in mind we’re asking you to name what your musical dream team would be. Perhaps you would bring Haydn and Beethoven together, Purcell and Vivaldi, Madonna and Mozart…
Let us know here what two (or more!) composers or musicians you would like to see work together and we’ll be awarding a pair of free tickets to Saturday’s concert, Music as Theft, to whoever comes up with our favourite idea. Oh, and if you’re really bored then you could also submit a pictorial mash-up like ours – there will be extra prizes for that! You can post them on our Facebook Page. Deadline is 5pm this Friday, so get thinking…
William NorrisRead More