Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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2013-2014 London concerts: now on sale

Fri 8 Feb 2013

Our 2013-2014 Southbank Centre season is now on public sale.

It all starts off on 30 September when baroque legend William Christie returns to us to conduct a programme of orchestral overtures and arias by Rameau as well as music from England’s favourite adopted composer, George Frideric Handel. This opening concert not only starts our season but also our eight-event series Gamechangers, featuring works and composers that were pivotal in shaping musical history and performers who are gamechangers in the musical scene today.             

The season continues through until June 2014 with artists appearing including Semyon Bychkov, Principal Artist Sir Mark Elder, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Robert Levin and Sir Simon Rattle.

Also during the year, our The Works series continues as well as OAE TOTS concerts  for music-lovers aged 6 and under.  And, new for 2013, we have a Family Concert celebrating Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Our late-night popular series, The Night Shift will also continue, with performances being announced later.

Details of all performances are now online on our site, or you can alternatively browse the online concert diary below.

Concerts can be booked through Southbank Centre online or on 0844 847 9922.

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Look! No Conductor! – Artists in conversation.

Wed 20 Jun 2012

Aftershow event with Steven Isserlis, Robert Levin and Isabelle Faust

Back on 3 and 4 May in London and Bristol we had a slightly unusual concert – one with no conductor. Each of the three pieces on the programme was instead directed by one or more of the guest soloists; Robert Levin, Isabelle Faust and Steven Isserlis.

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Look! No Conductor! Audience Reaction

Fri 18 May 2012

Look! No Conductor! Audience Reaction

A couple of weeks ago we teamed up with soloists Steven Isserlis, Isabelle Faust and Robert Levin for a concert where each of them directed a piece each, with no conductor involved. Here’s what the audience at the Queen Elizabeth Hall thought of it – we particularly like the ‘almost like a jazz band’ comment!

After the show the three soloists joined the audience out in the bar for a lively Aftershow talk and Q+A – which we got on camera, so we’ll be posting that soon too.

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Look! No Conductor! Reviews

Tue 8 May 2012

Here are a couple of reviews from our Look! No Conductor! concerts in London and Bristol last week, with soloists Steven Isserlis, Isabelle Faust and Robert Levin.

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Look! No Conductor!: Listen again

Fri 4 May 2012

Our conductor-less performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last night was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and is now available to listen to on BBC iPlayer until next Thursday 10 May. Enjoy!

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November 2011 podcast now out…

Wed 16 Nov 2011

Here’s our brand-new podcast for November. As ever, it’s a packed edition. First off we speak to regular OAE collaborator, violinist Rachel Podger, about her upcoming project with us – 1700s London and the Fab Four, a concert featuring music from Haydn, Abel, Arne and JC Bach that you can hear in both London and Bradford-on-Avon. Then we catch up with Education Director Cherry Forbes backstage at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where we find out more about her role and what the OAE Education team gets up to. Next up is OAE Co-Principal Keyboard player Steven Devine who tells us about his favourite recordings, including a VERY unusual version of Handel’s Messiah (hear a more conventional one from us on 6 Dec at the Royal Festival Hall!). Lastlywe take a look back to September, when Robert Levin joined us to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 – in a special interview he tells us about the piece and his approach to it. Happy listening!

The podcast will soon also be available on itunes.

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The Night Shift: in pictures

Wed 12 Oct 2011

Charles Hazlewood at The Night Shift 29 September

Here’s a few pictures from our Night Shift event at the Southbank Centre at the end of September.
Apologies for the delay- we’ve had a very busy few weeks, launching  our new concert series, The Works, and launching this new website!

You can view the full set (all taken by Joe Plommer) over on The Night Shift’s Facebook page or on Flickr.

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Robert Levin, Mozart, and er, Duke Ellington?

Fri 30 Sep 2011

Pianist and scholar Robert Levin appeared with us last night in two concerts (a 7pm and a Night Shift) and today has been on a bit of a media blitz, appearing on Radio 4’s Today programme and the World Service too. There’s also something in the Evening Standard.

 

The reason? Well Robert has been talking about two things. Last night he performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 with us, and Robert’s research strongly points to it being written for a pupil of his, Barbara Ployer, something previously unknown. One of the reasons he suspects this is that he found a coda written for the piece, which was intended for Barbara, and this coda hasn’t been performed for at least 200 years. But alongside this, Robert has been talking about how we perform Mozart these days. Modern performance very much sticks to what is written on the page, with no deviation. But Robert argues that in Mozart’s day there would have been a lot of free rein given to the soloist, to embellish the basic musical line, improvise around it etc. In fact, Robert, argues that his hero, Duke Ellington, is really like a modern-day Mozart.

 

Robert is performing the Concerto with us again on 4 October, as part of our very first The Works event. In the event he’ll be joined by presenter Suzy Klein, and the first half of the concert will be given over to a ‘guided tour’ of the concerto. More on the event in this previous blog post.

 

Here’s Robert talking about the concerto, plus links to today’s coverage.

 

 

Robert on the Today Programme

 

Evening Standard Coverage

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Introducing The Works – why, what, how & when…

Tue 20 Sep 2011

The Works logo

Many of you will know of, or will have been to, one of our Night Shift events. We introduced these late-night concerts about 5 years ago, for a number of reasons – the prime one being that we wanted to appeal to a different audience to that which comes along at 7pm. But also at the OAE we like experimenting and trying new things – and the idea of a late-night informal concert simply appealed to us. As evidenced by the fact we’re still doing them 5 years later, the series has been a great success, but a year ago we started thinking ‘what next’?

When I say ‘what next’ I mean in terms of types of concert. We really like the idea of varying the concert format, so that we have a range of things that appeal to different people. We already have our ‘standard’ 7pm concerts, the Night Shift and also our amazingly popular Tots events. So we started thinking about other ideas. A shortlist was drawn up, we debated it at a board meeting, and we decided to go for something which at the time was called an ‘explorer’ concert.

The idea from this is evolved from a couple of one-off events we’ve had with conductors Iván Fischer and Marin Alsop in past seasons, where they have deconstructed a piece of music before we give a performance of it. But the concept also evolved from what some Night Shift focus groups had told us. In those groups we actually had some attenders who were somewhat older than the typical Night Shift audience. Like others in the focus groups they weren’t actually that keen on traditional classical concerts, but they came because they liked the event and its informality. However some of them did say that it was a little too late for them and that they felt they didn’t quite fit in with the studenty audience. So this made us think…we could develop something almost midway between a 7pm concert and a Night Shift. Something informal, welcoming and approachable, but perhaps a bit more structured than a Night Shift, but incorporating lots of ideas from it nonetheless.

So, after an office-wide brainstorm to find a name The Works was born. The concept is not rocket science. The heart of it is a concert at 8pm, that lasts around 80 minutes, with no interval. In the first part of the concert the presenter and conductor or soloist will give the audience a ‘guided tour’ of the featured piece of music, movement by movement. Then there’s time for a Q+A and then a full performance of it. Drinks will be allowed in and we hope some of the informal atmosphere of the Night Shift will ensue. Before the concert, from 7pm we have some jazz in the bar as a way to start people’s evening off and then after the concert our Education Director, Cherry, will lead a ‘speed-date-the-OAE’ session, which is basically a flash way of enabling the audience to meet the Orchestra (all will be explained on the night)!

Our first one is coming up soon on 4 October, for which we’re fortunate to be joined by pianist Robert Levin, who is such an amazing speaker. He’ll be playing and introducing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 – a […]

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Netty's tour diary. Part 1 (CPE Bach, Birthdays and Viagra)

Mon 21 Mar 2011

Viola player Annette (known to many in the OAE as ‘Netty’) Isserlis made a diary of our recent tour to the US. Here’s days 1-3 with the rest following tomrorow. We hope to post some pics up soon too… A few additions from the blog editor in the brackets!

Mon Mar 14

Scene: Carluccio’s, outside Terminal 5, LHR.

Breakfast with husband Ken between red-eye flight in from Schipol (following 2 OAE concerts in Groningen and Nijmingen with Rachel Podger), and impending flight to USA: Ken to LA for solo concerts and Me to Boston with OAE and Sir Roger (Norrington), continuing the CPE Bachfest.
Dreadful news continuing to come through about the Japanese Disaster(s). Ken’s family all ok.

Painless flight to Boston followed by similarly painless Immigration, amazingly! It transpired that he chatty officer knew Yo-yo Ma personally….

Convivial dinner and bed not too early: it’s the only way to sleep through the 1st night, in my experience.

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Name that concert – vote now!

Mon 13 Dec 2010

A while back we asked you for suggestions for our opening concert of our 2011-2012 concert of season at Southbank Centre. Now, we have to admit we weren’t really overwhelmed with entries, certainly not as many as last year, but despite this we did get a few good suggestions (after all, quality is better than quantity, right?). We’re just finalising everything for the new season now ahead of a press launch in January and thought we’d let you choose which title we go with. To jog your memories the concert is:

Weber Overture Der Freischutz
Mozart Piano Concerto No.23
Mendelssohn Symphony No.3, Scottish

Robert Levin piano

Voting will close at 4pm on Thursday 16 December

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New York Smash 'n' Grab

Thu 27 Aug 2009

We seem to have done a few of these ‘smash and grab’ dates, as this type of trip is affectionately known, to New York recently. Those of the orchestra who really can’t stand the jet lag seem to avoid the trip so those who do go take it for what it is and we realise we are very lucky to be taken to exciting places, something most working people never do. And for me personally, my view is that I’ve done trips away to all kinds of undesirable places, so a(nother) chance to spend some time in this amazing “city that never sleeps” (with an Orchestra that hardly sleeps) is absolutely fine by me.

Anyway, as someone with young children it sometimes feels as though I’m in an extended state of jet lag. So if the worst bit is a couple of films and some kip then fine by me. On the outward flight I even got to sit next to a cello which didn’t fall asleep on me or even want to get out to go to the loo.

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