Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Tour Diary: Sheffield

Mon 11 Apr 2011

A short video from our trip up to Sheffield back in February – a concert which was part of our Green Tour initiative which saw the OAE ditch individual cars in favour of coaches and trains. Though we now know that trains are noisy places in which to film interviews… turn the volume up to hear Ceri at the start! Sadly we didn’t get footage of the venue evacuation, we were too busy wondering what on earth was happening…

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My week as a green crusader

Tue 15 Feb 2011

In honour of the Orchestra’s Green Tour around the UK this week, the office-based administrative team also committed to Green Week.  For a bit of fun most of us wore something green all week, as a constant reminder about all the things we would 100% commit to do.  I spent the week carrying my thermos flask and a ‘Cats of Cyprus’ fabric shopping bag with me in an attempt to avoid package wastage and also spent the entire week nagging my colleagues about turning their computers off properly at the end of the day… Here’s how I got on the rest of the week…

Monday
A normal day in the office, today, whilst the orchestra were busy rehearsing down at The Warehouse (one of our regular rehearsal venues).  Had a player meeting later on in the day, which required 4 A4 pages of handouts.  I copied them all onto 1 A4 sheet (double-sided and at 50% size), praying that no body minds how small the text would be – reading glasses at the ready! (incidentally I didn’t get any comments).  Later on that day I had the fun task of carrying home a DVD player with large speaker I’d been given (in huuuge box!).  Determined not to cave in and get a taxi I had an interesting journey home, much to the hilarity of my fellow train passengers.

Tuesday
Concert day at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, which started with meeting the Web streaming team down at the hall, helping them with their set-up.  Am really excited about the web stream as thousands of people will be able to watch our concert without having to travel anywhere!  I decided to grab a coffee on the way back to the office, and asked if I could get my coffee in my flask (to avoid wasting more cardboard cups).  The barrister had to ask her supervisor if this was OK, which yes it was – result.  Sadly the coffee was made in the cardboard cup and then poured into my flask – FAIL!  Cardboard cup still wasted…

Later on at the hall, was excited to see the signs in the foyer asking our patrons to reuse their programmes, and our article in the programme

about the green tour.  Southbank centre is totally on top of environmental issues and recycling etc, so big tick!  It was a shame that on the way home I didn’t screw the lid back on my water bottle properly and by the time I got home my bag and re-useable programme were soaked.  I hope it dries out in time for our next concert on 3rd March.

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Antony Pay: Speed Interview

Thu 10 Feb 2011

Antony Pay is our Principal Clarinettist, and he’s currently on tour with us, taking centre stage with Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No.1. There’s still a chance to catch the performance tonight in Sheffield or Saturday in Basingstoke. We put some quick fire questions to him:

What/when was your big breakthrough?
In January 1968 when the London Sinfonietta did its first concert.  That led quite quickly to work with the LPO and the English Chamber Orchestra, and then to my being appointed first clarinet in the RPO under Kempe…I remember it being a golden year!

What do you fear the most?
I feel most terrified in the moments before throwing myself into a challenge; once I’m actually doing it, it isn’t so bad.  On a more trivial level, I don’t like to feel as though I’m looking stupid, so answering questionnaires like this is difficult.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
I often call my wife;  sometimes that’s just for a lift back from the railway station, but we speak most days when I’m away.

What – or where – is perfection?
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?”

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From a dream to revolution. First Reviews

Wed 9 Feb 2011

First reviews and bloggers are in after our concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last night:

Independent (five stars!)

Classical Source

Orpheus Complex

Also some coverage ahead of our debut concert in Sheffield:

Sheffield Telegraph

Remaining concerts in this tour in Sheffield (10 Feb) and Basingstoke (12 Feb)

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One down, three to go!

Wed 9 Feb 2011

Last night saw the first of our From a dream to revolution concerts, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. It kicked off our green tour, and also saw our very first live stream take place (let us know what you thought if you saw it). The concert got a great reception from a sold out hall, and today sees a slightly tired team back in the office, and the Orchestra speeding up to the Lake District on the train for tonight’s concert in Keswick. Up in Keswick David Zinman is replaced by Eduardo Portal, who some of you may remember was our Melgaard Young Conductor last season.

Below are some pictures from last night, plus Orchestra Manager Philippa with our hired in transit van. Usually, for players with large instruments, it’s up to them to get their instruments to the venue (oviosuly we do transport them for them when we tour overseas!), resulting in many cars being driven to Bristol, Birmingham or wherever it may be. As a small Orchestra we don’t have the luxury of a big truck like the symphony orchestras do! But this time, to save carbon emissions, we’re putting all the large instruments in one van, which Philippa is (at this very moment) driving up to the Lake District. We did joke about buying her some pink fluffy dice to go with her transit van…

Next stop: Sheffield

William Norris, Communications Director

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OAE. Live and Free.

Fri 4 Feb 2011

Next week brings another OAE first – we’re doing our first ever live concert stream, in collaboration with IC247.

Our From a dream to revolution concert on Tuesday 8 February at the Queen Elizabeth hall will be streamed online live and free, starting with the pre-concert interview with conductor David Zinman at 5.45pm and then followed by the concert at 7pm.

It ties neatly into our green initaitive which accompanies next week’s tour (of which, more soon), enabling those unable to come to the concert to still enjoy it.

The concert will be streamed live here and if you use Facebook you can find the relevant event here.

The programme is:

5.45pm: OAE Extras Broadcaster Rob Cowan talks to David Zinman about his career and recordings.

7pm: From a dream to revoulution

Mendelssohn Overture, Intermezzo, Nocturne and Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Weber Clarinet Concerto No.1 in F minor
Beethoven Symphony No.7

David Zinman conductor
Antony Pay clarinet

You can download a free programme to accompany your listening here – this will be available from Monday 7 Feb.

Lastly, if you want to listen to this concert ‘in the flesh’ then it tours to Keswick (with Eduardo Portal replacing David Zinman) on 9 Feb, Sheffield City Hall on 10 Feb and Basingstoke’s Anvil on 12 Feb. London is now sold out but more tickets will be released at 12 noon on the day.

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